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Robert Boltmann

Robert Boltmann
Residing In: Hamburg, MN

As some of you know, music is a big part of my life from people coming to our room at the dorm to listen to Elvis or whatever I had, or listening to our latest song for momentum, before we’d leave to play a football game.

And some of you may know as we graduated, I was an expectant father. So my mistakes and failures, starting on the wrong foot, had its beginning in real life. Neither Janice nor myself were ready for what we thought we were. I tried very hard to make things work. I worked at Dad’s farm and then bought a farm at Hamburg, MN. Things were not happy. Janice wanted us to get away. So I rented my farm out and I worked at a big dairy in Portland, OR for 2 years. There the marriage really went down hill. I never cried so much over a woman. I would cry and sing hymns all day at work. My faith got me through a tough time in life. I always say out of something bad you can find good. The good was 3 out of 4 children are very productive. The oldest works 2 jobs. The second has a doctorate degree. He is the defensive coordinator at Edina football team and runs the weight room. He was the athlete in HS and college I wanted to be. His boys will be great also. So grandpa will have to get to the games. Jena the next one teaches grade school at St. James Lutheran in Howard Lake. The last one moved to New Ulm and lives off the county as well as her mother. Yet, she is a Christian.

Again going back to the music from the rock ‘n roll and the Elvis and Doo Wop era, I turned to Country Music when the heavy metal came in. There were two songs that I’ve tried to live by. They are “You’ve got to stand for something!” which is by Aaron Tippen. It is a song about standing up for what is right in life even if it will make you less wealthy or less popular. The other song is, “The River” by Dorth. It is a song about a vessel going down the river of life. We are the vessel and being a dairy farmer, the lyrics “Choose to chance the rapids, dare to dance the tide,” are fitting, because of all the uncertainties in prices and the failures and excuses of it. The best line of the song: “With the Good Lord as my Captain, we can make it through it all.”

Continuing with my life story…. As my four kids were growing, I married again. With the tight prices and a lot of work she soon became very unhappy. She got what she wanted. She got three girls to build her life around and exclude me and everyday telling me to sell the farm. There was no infidelity yet an understanding that we had very little in common except the girls and again another failure. Ann the oldest of the 3 girls lives in Kalamazoo, MI and we have a great relationship. The next two are more distant, blaming me for the divorce. The youngest works with me on the farm. She loves the cows, but doesn’t care much for me so there’s a lot of tension.

I put an ad in a dairy magazine looking for a friend and telling what I was about. That is how I met Becky who lived in Ohio. I found out we had so much in common in faith and work ethic and found that visits to each other weren’t enough. We have been married almost 9 years now working at each other’s side to have a good herd of cattle and a good life together. My favorite hymns are 1. “What a friend we have in Jesus” I am very grateful for my up bringing and religious training learning of my salvation and the strength in prayer. 2. “Abide with me.” Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes.” As I get older and know I’m getting to the end of the race, I know the Lord has a place for this old country bumpkin.

I love the sweet smell of curing hay. I love to gaze at the horizon and I am a sucker for golden sunsets. I don’t have much time, but I try to catch part of the Vikings, Twins, and Timberwolf games. I have these words in my truck, “Life is God’s gift. Make it count.” So with the Lord as my Captain, I’ll try.