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Kids today grow up knowing all about recycling. But when Joe Hayes was a kid, recycling hadn't been invented. Money was so tight for Joe's family that they had to be inventive about using and reusing everything. They didn't call it recycling, they called it making do. Joe says his family was dirt-poor. In fact, he says, they lived in a wide-open stretch of played-out land where even the dirt was broke, so impoverished that all anyone could manage to get out of it was beans. Beans and more beans, that's all folks grew and that's all folks ate. So imagine the family's delight when Joe's father turned up one day with a big fat hambone! There was rejoicing all over the place, especially at the dinner table that night. Joe's mother was determined to make that bone last as long as she possibly could. As thrifty as she was, she would have done just that except the neighbors got wind of the bone's arrival. Being neighborly, she just had to share that bone. That's when this Tall Tale got even TALLER.
Joe Hayes is such a stylish raconteur that kids can't resist listening to him. Like that recycled hambone, generations of kids have been passing that Hayes and his books around and around, the kids now squeezing as much joy out of him as their mothers and fathers did before them. Hayes lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but travels all over the Southwest telling his stories.