Dairyland Driftings

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John Hanson's Mill at Lewis, Wisconsin.30-90 Russell No. 16003 and a Howell Sawmill.

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.

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