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From Sunup to Sundown, Time Well Spent

Former+Trinity+teacher+Mr.+Terry+Bean+works+a+365-acre+farm.+
Former Trinity teacher Mr. Terry Bean works a 365-acre farm.

Former Trinity teacher Mr. Terry Bean works a 365-acre farm.

photos by Anthony Black

photos by Anthony Black

Former Trinity teacher Mr. Terry Bean works a 365-acre farm.

Ethan Vanlandingham, Staff Reporter

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It’s 3 a.m.  He just got up.  It’s a cold day, but the cold doesn’t stop the cows, bulls and goats from being thirsty and hungry. He completes his morning chores, gets dressed for work, and drives 45 minutes to get there. He spends about seven hours at Trinity High School nurturing the minds of students. When he leaves school, he has already been awake for more than 12 hours.  

Mr. Bean, well known for his quick wit and some of the best puns ever, was described by students as ‘joyful, enthusiastic, funny, humorous, strong, loving, kind, caring and forgiving.’”

— Students of former Trinity teacher Mr. Terry Bean

After another 45-minute drive back home, he must feed more than 50 cattle and three bulls, and tend to a pond stocked with about 600 fish. After completing the afternoon and evening chores, he grades papers and prepares to do it all again the next day. For years, this was a normal day in the life of the now “retired” Trinity teacher Mr. Terry Bean.

Mr. Bean grew up on his family farm of more than 365 acres and has been working since he was able to walk. He attended Old Kentucky Home High School and later went to Western Kentucky University to get his teaching degree, all the while working part-time jobs, including driving a milk truck.

He then taught at Oldham County High School — before Oldham split into several schools — and coached football and wrestling. After spending 16 years at Oldham Co., Mr. Bean taught 16 years at St. Xavier, where he also coached football.

Mr.  Bean made his final teaching stop — 12 years at Trinity High School — which ended last May. During his time at Trinity, Mr. Bean was the defensive coordinator for the varsity football team. In just six seasons, the rock-solid defense helped lead the Rocks to five state championship games and four state titles.

Mr. Bean primarily taught social studies due to his fascination with current events and geography. He breathed, ate and slept social studies — and taught it with a sense of humor and enthusiasm that made him a favorite among his students and fellow teachers.

Sophomore Blake Godwin described Mr. Bean as “by far the best teacher I ever had” and as “having way too many good qualities to count.”

Mr. Bean, well known for his quick wit and some of the best puns ever, was described by students as “joyful, enthusiastic, funny, humorous, strong, loving, kind, caring and forgiving.” When asked why he thinks students love him so much, he replied that he was “real” and he “relates to the middle guys.”

While teaching and coaching football were huge parts of Mr. Bean’s life, he is now “retired” or, as he calls it, “redeployed.” Redeployed is definitely a better term, as he now maintains a 365-acre farm almost single-handedly.

On this farm he raises fish in one of his ponds, to be sold yearly to fish markets in New York or Canada.  He also raises about 50 calves each year to be sold off, has about 15 goats, a llama, two bee hives, and a dog named Chance.

Seventy acres of farmland are also devoted to the growing of corn and soybeans, which rotate each year so as not to exhaust the soil. Maintaining this behemoth plot of land, fully equipped with three barns, including an old tobacco barn, a huge mass of hilly land and, of course, an ancient Hopewell Indian burial mound, is no easy task.

Even mowing the grass of this huge place cannot be done unless, as Mr. Bean puts it, “you get a few Dr. Peppers in your system.” Even with the absence of teaching, maintaining the farm is a full-time job.

In addition to maintaining the farm, Mr. Bean also takes care of his father, who is 92 years old. Mr. Bean’s kind heart shows even in his treatment of the animals, raising them more like “family,” and not simply as income.

Mr. Bean and his wife saved the life of a stray, abused dog who showed up at their doorstep. They let him take refuge in their garage and provided him with a heater, toys and plenty of food and water.

They even gave him a new name, Chance, as Mr. Bean said, “I’ll give him a chance.”

Mr. Bean is living the American dream. He worked his way through high school and college and taught for a remarkable 44 years.

He maintains a farm that has been passed down in his family for 185 years. He has a wife, children and grandchildren, and has been working hard his entire life.

Before sunrise, Mr. Bean gets up.  It’s a cold day, but the cold doesn’t stop the cows, bulls and goats from being thirsty and hungry.

 

photos by Anthony Black

Former Trinity teacher Mr. Terry Bean works a 365-acre farm.

 

Videos by Anthony Black.

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1 Comment

One Response to “From Sunup to Sundown, Time Well Spent”

  1. Debbie Walling on May 11th, 2017 9:05 am

    Great tribute to a wonderful teacher and awesome friend! I miss him everyday.

    [Reply]

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From Sunup to Sundown, Time Well Spent