The Holiday Season comes upon me with sorta mixed emotions. Ya, there's the Yule-tide with all its trimmins - the sweets, the lutefisk, the church programs the Christmas cards reviving old friendships. All that, and a week after, figuring the income tax report, social security and pay local taxes with money that not left over. T'was ever thus and takes us to task in adjusting ourselves.
This spending urge knows no bounds: just heard on radio the 'Golden Gophers' football team are going to the Rosebowl and putting a float in the parade costing $8500. Egad! - that the President-elect ordered his inauguration suit for a modest $300. Speaking of voting: in our Democracy it's not only a privilege but an individual responsibility. Take George Christian for instance, who has voted in four different states, yet has cast his presidential vote 15 consecutive times, from 1904 on through 1960.
With the current worldly tensions, no doubt the incoming chief-executive will be watched closer than any heretofore. Even down to our local scene - farmers are ever expanding their enterprise, often a matter of spending ahead of their means, then seeking government aid through price supports, grants and soil banking. Perhaps farm organizations don't change the picture too much but account for a lot of pressure on Capitol Hill. Farmers are victims of 'sales talk' too; high-priced machinery, commercial feeding programs, fertilizers, a must if you are to produce maximum yields. Well, I'm in harmony with Ed Vogel, Buhl, Idaho. He was telling the average yield of sugar-beets in that locality is about 19 ton per acre. Vogel uses no commercial fertilizer whatsoever and often produced up to 30 tons per acre. That tells me humus is perhaps more important in soil structure than expensive fertilizers.
Anyhow one thing that keeps America on the move is the lack of parking space!
Some years ago the late Lyle Timberlake ('Timber' for short) stopped at Art Flacks to go along on a steam engine hunt. Art: 'Gosh, I can't go now, I promised to cultivate a patch of sweet corn near town.' 'Well, get going' when Art got there he remarked something about losing a cultivator shovel on the way 'Like heck you did' says Timber, 'you lost that last year.'
Ed Peacock got into Chicago and went into a respectable hotel for a room. Not being 'dressed fit to kill' was asked if he could pay for the room. 'Well,' says Ed to the desk clerk, 'you call the Manager, see if this Ed Peacock from Fulton, Mo., is O.K.' - 'Heck, yes,' was the reply, 'give him the 'Bridal Suite' if he wants it - he owns this place.'
Had a nice fall here - got in on some steam powered sawmilling last week in October. John Hanson, near Lewis, Wis., had his 30-90 Russell No. 16003 doing some custom hardwood sawing. John has been in the sawing game more or less all his life and he's back to steam-power for keeps.
The week prior, we witnessed Joe Pangerl, Pine City, Minnesota, moving a log dwelling house for his son-in-law, Merle Nordeen, using Joe's 28 Minneapolis. We got some good slides and movies of this project.
I see in the September issue of 'Steam Engines ' magazine Ye Editor and a Harry Fisher have been swap ping movie films. Well, that's what Marvin Green of Boydon, Iowa and us have done for several years. We can soon start all over again. The older ones are 'new' by now, kinda like old thresher magazines as interesting as ever.
During my 'Teens' I looked forward to visiting my Uncle Arvid Fribergs. I'd sift through their mail piled up in the woodshed in search of 'American Thresherman' and Thresher catalogs. A cousin, Bernard Carlson, also pursued the same haunts and when we got together we'd compare and trade loot. Recall he had to keep his copies in a box under his bed or else - his folks were rather reluctant to his tattered accumulations.
Back in the 'twenties', my dad bought our first car, a 1922 Model T Touring with demountable rims and battery for about $485 cash. Got it just in time for the big 4th of July celebration.
Prior to that we had a dandy Surrey no fringe on top but equipped with kerosene lights and side curtains. Of course a car was a 'luxury' so always shedded and set on blocks for the duration of the winter months. '24 thru '281 drove a horse and buggy or cutter 6 miles to high school such roads, upset the cutter many a time in effort to scale the drifts leaving home at 7:30 a.m. Typical of those times, George Christian tells me in the year 1924 (he had a 1918 Dodge then) he lived 7 miles from Grantsburg - made 108 trips to town; 8 with the car, 100 with the team of horses, hauling spuds, grain, cattle, wood and hay.
Speaking of cars ... John Bergman, a semi-retired farmer with seemingly ample means was approached by his brother-in-law who was a Chevrolet dealer; sorta prodded John, 'might as well drive a new Chevrolet instead of that old Plymouth you can't take your money with you anyhow' John, after a sober thought, responded, 'What makes you think I could take the car along?'
Alice and I had the pleasure to attend a meeting of the 'Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Ass'n' in a school house near Center City, Minn., December 6th. John Achey, President, conducted the meeting and informed us the sad news he had taken Danny Magnason to St. Johns Hospital at St. Paul. It was decided to send Danny a gift from the group and all to send get-well cards.
Conrad Tritten of Minneapolis showed some interesting slides and lunch was furnished by Alma Doan of St. Paul, a very enjoyable evening indeed.
Was having a cup of coffee and pie-with Ralph S. in the Finnley Methodist tent when he came up with this one. A couple school marms driving down a country road noted a bull in the pasture acting a bit peculiar, his head down, eyes shut, just standing there. As a friendly gesture, they decided to call the farmer's attention to the ill-fated beast. Farmer sez, sez he - 'He's O.K., he's just bull-dozing. '
Helped my father-in-law thresh last fall using a 28' Minneapolis separator and '77' Oliver Tractor. Threshed out 1485 bushels Ajax oats from 14 acres. Incidentally, 14 acres is what was seeded, too!
Eddie Johnson's son-in-law is a music teacher in Chicago quite unfamiliar with farming - at any rate he volunteered to 'set-up' the 'what-you-may-call-ems ' bundles of grain while Eddie cut with the binder. His endeavors seemed a bit fruitless when Eddie told him the bundles should have been set with the 'heads ' up instead of either way.
Eddie had a well drilled recently, 4 feet of dirt then down 212 feet in solid trap rock before striking water, and then, sad to say, so salty it was hardly fit to use. That's the job Dan Boothe from Ellsworth was contemplating at one time - anyhow, a good place to eat, Dan.
McLain was a road contractor -had the job to gravel Hwy. 35 back in '29, using a 10 ton Holt (with the single front wheel) to power the rock crusher. Cold fall weather set in necessitating draining the radiator over night. The crew were kidding the 'grease monkey' whose job was filling the radiator held about 35 gallons - that he should use spring water cause it wouldn't freeze. The young fellow noted that the spring didn't freeze over, so one morning he did put in spring water - this would simplify his assignment. Well, the next morning that old motor block was cracked wide open - the 'flunky' got Ms walking-papers and the Holt had run its last.
D'ja hear about the fellow who bought anti-freeze for his car? ... before long his car froze up and 'busted the motor' . . . Ya, y'see he had water in the radiator and the anti-freeze in the trunk.
Mrs. Henry Dahl is not exactly against television, but her grandson, age 4, when told a man in the neighborhood had died, promptly inquired, 'Who shot him?'
Instead of trying to love your enemies, be just a little kinder to your friends.