Letters to the Editor

Listen up while I tell about a Jayhawk that’s been long
converted to a Cornhusker, since back when I was coming on to 5
years old. I remember considerable harvests in southwest Kansas
where you wander about, wondering what happens if the wind
quits.

I remember when some oats were shocked by moonlight because it
was so hot during the day. Of course, all this machinery was
enormous to a 4- or 5-year-old, but these were my friends. They
wouldn’t hurt me.

What really impressed me, even then, was a tractor man who
pulled into a new field with his big tractor pulling the separator.
He pulled over to the indicated spot and stopped. Somebody pulled
the hitch pin. He drove just so far forward, backed up and turned
just right. He pulled ahead almost to the separator again and
backed up just so. You could put on the belt and start
threshing.

Dad moved the grain wagons with a team of big Percherons. He
could back the wagon wherever it was wanted while he stood up on
the machine and told ’em what to do. The machines were pulled away
and lined up to be hooked together and pulled to town with a big
tractor that probably moved all of three or maybe four miles per
hour.

Harvest was usually well underway by the Fourth of July and it
was hoped to be done by Thanksgiving. My dad got the bundle men to
pitch bundles into the machine head first and it sped things up
noticeably. That’s when they began to use the center board in the
feeder.

Then we migrated to southwest Nebraska. We had more
diversification but we still had small grain, and I bought my rack
on the crew when I was still in high school. It was the only wagon
with rubber tires, built low and wide and oh how the spike pitchers
liked to help me. The separator man climbed on my rack and told me
I didn’t have to keep up with that Dutchman on the other side of
the feeder. He had a small rack. He used a five-tine barley fork
and when he jabbed into a shock, most of the shock came. There I
was with a little three-tine fork with the points ground off for
safety. He was big and strong and funny, but I carried a lot more
grain to the machine than he did. By then we were using trucks to
haul most of the grain.

We went back to Kansas for a visit and they were pulling a
combine with a 24-horse hitch. One man on the combine did nothing
but run the engine. Two men sacked the grain and slid the sacks
down a chute to stand until a crew came along with a wagon to pick
them up. Now, one man runs a quarter-million dollar machine that
fills a semi in minutes, not hours. Remembering was fun.

Bob Buddenberg
1215 Lake Ave.
Gothenburg, NE 69138

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment