It’s not only in visual images that one remembers. Sometimes it’s the smell of fresh-cut wheat, the sound of a well-tuned tractor or the feeling of calmness as you walk across your newly-planted soybean field.
For Plains farmer, Max Amerin, although now blind, the smells, sounds and feelings of his fields have not disappeared. Amerin lost his sight in 2010, due to a health complication. Since then, he has remained farming.
“I farmed all my life,” he said. “ Amerin’s son, Jake Amerin, 29, works closely with his father. But some chores, Amerin can still do on his own.
“I can still drive the tractor and combine,” Amerin said. But he admitted, he always has a sighted person in the seat next to him. Sometimes it’s a friend, usually its Jake Amerin, sometimes it’s his ex-wife, Ann Swank, or his other son Dalton Amerin.
“It’s amazing what Max can do,” Swank said.
Amerin is able to change a tire and fix a tractor by feel. He can also turn on the sprinklers, put gas in the tanks and air in the tires. For him, working to help his son on the farm is crucial to staying fit in both mind and body.
“It’s fun,” he said. “Dad was there for me, now I’m there for my son.”
From a young age, Amerin helped his father with seeding and planting, now he feels like all those years on the farm has helped him create a photographic memory. “I’ve seen it before, but I feel it with my fingers,” he said. “I can feel ball bearings.”
Although he admits he’s slowed down quite a bit, Amerin said his other senses have not left him. He still advises his son on what to do with their corn, milo and wheat fields.
“I can still smell the weeds, feel the corn and know how high it is,” he said. “I can feel the wheat in my hand and know when to cut.”
Amerin said he is not intimidated, but he understands there are tasks he cannot do. After being in a comma, he said his health could be worse.
“Blindness is kind of a blessing,” Amerin said. “Sometimes God gives you gifts you don’t realize you have until they’re gone.” As reported in The Hutchinson News.