Amusing Incidents Of My Threshing Days


| September/October 1961



12 hp Russell engine

12 hp Russell engine serial No. 14566. Reconditioned by Clinton Spencer of 1721 Plumb St., Newton, Kansas. Owner of the 1897 Model Case Agitator. Clinton on the engine. Picture taken at the threshing bee at Newton, September, 1960.

Route 3, Muncy, Pennsylvania

What to do, Dad didn't know. Dick was prancing and dancing with his ears sticking up like pins. He knew he couldn't turn around and go back, and he wouldn't dare tie him and walk back even if there was a hitching post near because the engine was still bearing down on them. Finally he saw a small boy coming on the run with the hat and, after rewarding him for his good deed, Dick and Dad sped swiftly on, the hat jammed down to his ears so there would be no repeat performance. The following day the 'Big Heathen' stood proudly alongside of his own engine while threshing in the field, as cool-headed and brotherly as ever.

Dad was one of those determined, self-willed men who would take no warning or advice from anyone, not even himself. He had been warned many times never to touch a sparkplug while the engine was running. To him such advice was mere chaff! One day just as I started the engine he very deliberately took hold of the nut on top of the plug to see if it was tight, and instantly he gave a terrific jump, almost swallowing his tobacco. He looked around wildly and wanted to know where that -dog was that bit him in both heels just now.

He was almost ready to remove his shoes and socks to show the teeth marks - but what was the use - HE knew they were there. However, he never touched another spark-plug while the engine was running.

One summer day we were doing a big job of threshing on a farm where the barnyard had been scraped and cleaned for the straw-stack. Only the night before a heavy downpour of rain had filled all the holes and depressions with water, some places six or seven inches deep. The forenoon's threshing had covered the pools over with dust and chaff so that the yard looked dry and level.

After dinner the farmer asked Dad to take a look at his stack and see if he had it big enough and started right. Fingering a chew of tobacco from his pouch, Dad started to walk around the stack, looking it over, when suddenly he went H-m-m-m, lifting his feet high and wide, and walked right through the deepest of the pools to get to dry ground amid loud gaw - faws of laughter from the men. He walked out of the barnyard saying not a word about how the stack was being built - good, bad or indifferent.