Sadly, it happens every day. Old timers with lifetimes of farm knowledge especially those who lived and worked in what we generally call 'threshing days,' pass on, taking their wisdom with them.
Sure, there are plenty of newcomers who adopt the hobby each year, but no amount of new blood or enthusiasm for farm collecting can replace those important memories of days gone by.
Take a quick glance at this issue of Farm Collector, and you'll see four wonderful stories about older collectors who could teach us all a few things about life on the farm - in the days before genetically modified crops were a household word.
They've seen good times and bad, from the Great Depression to the birth of modern agriculture. For young people who collect vintage farm equipment and related items, the memories older collectors carry are invaluable for placing farm machines, tools and other antique treasurers into proper context.
For many years, Farm Collector has published personal recollections about those days of yesteryear, such as 'The Day the Thresher Came,' page 38, penned by 84-year-old Patrick 'Quint' Cusack. Our latest effort, however, will be the most comprehensive attempt to preserve memories of the past before they're gone for good. The Farm Collector Memory Project will compile as many tales as possible from our older readers, and present them in upcoming issues to ensure at least a few stories from the past will be handed down to future generations.
Yet, we can't do it alone, and we need your help. If you worked the fields during threshing days, please send us your memories or anecdotes.
Write about the day the straw stack burned (and the thresher with it!) or the time you learned the real meaning of hard work. We'll print as many as possible, as space allows.
Naturally, photos are invaluable for story telling, so send good-quality photos from the period, if possible. Ideally, photos will include the writer or directly relate to the story. Also, include an envelope with return postage.
We'll compile the tales and pictures and present them so that our younger readers - and even some not-so-young -can carry those irreplaceable memories well into the 21st century.
Jason B. Harmon, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org