Threshing The Wheat From The Chaff

Threshing scene

Courtesy of Old Time Threshers & Sawmill Operators, Fort Wayne, Indiana Threshing scene at the 1968 Old Time Thresher Show. Picture by Leo R. Clark, 105 Harvey St., Washington, Illinois.

Leo R. Clark

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I wish to thank those who ordered the steam engine records at Wauseon, Ohio-N.T.A. and during the weeks following, for their patience. I had ordered a supply of the record discs on which these are made, way back on July first. ALLIED RADIO CORP. of Chicago cashed my check on July third and it was returned through the bank to me. After waiting weeks for delivery, I was notified the record discs were on back order and a special order sent for me would be expected around Sept. 2nd. On Sept. 18th I got a letter saying they were already shipped. After waiting more weeks, and the shipment not arriving, I went to bat to learn the reason why. Usually I received my order from ALLIED in around six days. But now it was reaching toward the middle of October and no record discs. After three long-distance phone calls, costing me around six dollars extra, and several additional notes of inquiry, I soon realized the right-hand didn't know what the left-hand was doing and neither did the computer. First one young lady would answer the phone with the usual promises, but no results. Next time another young lady would answer and still no results. The third time another answered only to admit that they no longer handled the record discs and admitting my money should be returned.

I replied, 'If you don't handle the record discs, why did they cash my check back on July third and keep promising to send them? They could've told me then that they no longer handled the discs - and I could've been getting them elsewhere.'

Even then, after all the promises, neither did the record discs come - nor was my money returned. Finally it required a firm, stiff note to demand that my money be refunded.

Never had my orders previously been so delayed, or had I ever been treated so shoddily at ALLIED before. All this confusion and delay - now that the offices are no doubt computerized to expedite delivery and eliminate confusion !

Meantime I've been gradually catching up with the back orders for the steam engine records which are not mass-produced like Bing Crosby records, but made one at a time on order.

However, while waiting on the record discs, I've been doing a little thinking. One can't help but wonder what's gone wrong with the Russian space program? What has happened to the ten year lead the Soviet space program had over ours, when in 1957 they sneaked the first little sputnik up into orbit around the earth during the International Geophysical Year - leaving us quite apprehensive and frightened at the portent of Russian technology?

Then Yuri Gagarin made the first sub-orbital space flight, announcing, 'I didn't see God up there.'

Finally up went the first U. S. satellite to orbit its beeps around the earth. Then sub-orbital and orbital flights by our space men, in a frantic effort to catch up. But the horizon of the future didn't seem to bode very bright or promising for the United States space programs, with Jean Dixon and the usual cohorts of prophets and sooth-sayers predicting that Russia would get the first man on the Moon.

Finally the time arrived when the United States announced it was sending its first men to walk on the surface of the Moon. Everyone was tense as the Russians announced a space vehicle heading for the Moon at the same time. Would Russia actually land a man on the Moon before our men arrived there? Every eye and ear was glued to the living room TV's throughout our nation and the world - wondering who might win this human race to the surface of the Moon. While our men were methodically going through each step to orbit around the Moon, then to detach the LEM and descend to the lunar surface, the Russian vehicle mysteriously encircled the Moon. Then all of a sudden the report came out that it must have aborted by crashing onto the surface of the Moon.

While Neil Armstrong was taking his first infant steps on the lunar surface -' one small step for man, one giant stride for mankind' - Buzz Aldrin was silently taking communion in the LEM before be stepped down onto the Moon to join him. It was the first time human beings had ever set foot on the Moon. And the nation that accomplished this daring feat was one that still honors God, on its coins and in the thousands of churches that enjoy freedom of worship any where in the United States. The nation whose first astronaut bragged, 'I didn't see God up there,' didn't beat us to the Moon. But one wonders whether there might have been a Soviet cosmonaut in that ill-fated lunik that crashed onto the Moon's surface, in what might have been Russia's desperate attempt to beat us with a man to the Moon. They never reveal to the world what they are doing, and when they fail they say it ''has accomplished its mission as planned,' while our space ventures are televised in minute detail to the watching world.

The love of God is the beginning of wisdom. From the very first, our forefathers established the villages and hamlets of America with a school and a church for religious worship as the nucleus of every community. As our nation grew and expanded, this same pattern went right along with our community planning, even to the sprawling cities of today.

Some may say this is only wishful thinking. But if it's the kind of thinking that erases ten-year leads in space programs between our nation and our greatest atheistic rival I'm for it. And that it has! A little religion can make the difference between apes and men.

This week we made a Halloween visit to cousins who live on Mud Pike up Celina, Ohio-way. The cousins don't venture much to the modern supermarkets. They prefer to stay home and do their cooking and baking on the old wood range which makes the kitchen so comfy on these Fallish days.

Onilee Miller prefers to even make their own grape nuts cereal rather than buy them at the store. She mixes up a certain amount of blackstrap molasses with some whole wheat flour, some very dark brown sugar and a little sour milk, then stirs and puts it in the oven. The result is the best tasting grape nuts cereal I ever ate. She gave me a small jar to bring home and was it mighty good for breakfast.

'What a wonderful way to get all those health foods together in one package blackstrap molasses, dark brown sugar, whole wheat flour, sour milk and to be able to eat them with a little milk and sweetening as a cereal and like it 'real good.' With that kind of breakfast one ought to get over much that ails the human race. Why not try it yourselves sometime.

Mom, it will perk up that husband of yours and give him an extra yank in his throttle-jerking arm, and send the kids off happy and healthy to school.