A thousand words beyond the Hill

Tyler Pelan

It’s the end of another day. After moving the cattle to better pasture, Leland Neville, 91, of Park City closes the gate.

He is nearly blind because of macular degenerative eye disease. Serving in the Air Force as a young man impaired his hearing. Because of a knee surgery years ago, he has to use a walker and he wears a specially made right shoe with a three inch rise on the sole. But he keeps working.

His wife of 40 years, Virginia, keeps up with the house. Sometimes his son, T.G., helps out around the farm. But outside, it is usually Neville completing the chores himself. Moving things around, cleaning out one of his barns or garages, driving out into the cattle fields on his golf cart – he calls it “piddling around.”

Once Neville hired a migrant worker, but he let him go because he wasn’t impressed with his work ethic.

“I know other people who lost their minds and their bodies after retirement,” Neville said. “I’ve stayed active on the farm, and that’s why I’m so healthy today.”

Tyler Pelan is a junior photojournalism major from Champaign, Ill. He can be reached at [email protected]