This locality has been over-blessed with moisture, which is both good and bad lots of pasture, but the 'quick' grass is giving some corn fields a rough race. Haying is hampered, grain looks good. My boss back in '34 at Stacy, Minnesota, said he'd rather have it too dry than too wet -- and, I'll admit, at times I think he was right. You can cultivate, put up hay, raise emergency crops if need be. In a few words, you could plan your work and work your plan.
Speaking of hot weather I recall some early day ads stating as how a tractor could work thru the heat and wouldn't run away if you hit a bees' nest mowing hay (but, as for my dad, he wouldn't be sold on a tractor nohow). When we got the tame hay put up and the grain stacked, we really hit for the 'bees'. Dad owned some 20 acres three miles to the north of our home which had a creek running thru and boasted sompin' like 8 acres meadow hay, too boggy to even think of using horses. Us boys looked forward to the 'picnic' dinners but the rest of the day spelled work. We cut that hay with 'Armstrong Mowers' (scythes) cocked it up, carried it together on two poles to make about 8 or 9 round stacks of hay on the high ground, then in the winter hauled it home on sleds.
This meadow was litterly contaminated with bumble bees and hornets we called them 'yellow-jackets' and 'black-jackets'. You rarely knew of the nests till you jabbed it with the scythe, then it was take to the timber lickety-cut and swinging your hat in hopes to keep the bees from stinging your head. A hilarious sight, but not a bit funny when it was the 'first person' involved. After somehow snatching the hay away from the nests it seemed by the next day or soon after the crows or skunks made a feast of those pugnacious insects, honey and all!
A guy returned from his vacation, complained of the continuous rainy weather, was told 'couldn't been so bad - look at the tan you got' 'tan nothing!' retorted the vacationer, 'that's rust!'
When Ray Lockman got his last ALBUM he finally diagnosed his case when he read in there the symptoms 'his get up and go - got up and went' could fit any of us over '39'. By the way, Gordon, Wisconsin, is celebrating its 100th anniversary and going all out. Men with beards, women in long dresses, a stockade and Ray will see to it there'll be steam, too!
Archie Stevens from Millville, Minn., stayed over here enroute on a business trip. He was booking engagements at County Pairs with his model steamer and thresher. He hauls the models with him and had booked about a dozen fairs so far that's making a good fair better, Archie! We run some 'old-tractor' movies and talked steam. His show 'The Peaceful Valley Reunion' will be October 1 and 2. It's not the biggest - doesn't boast the best - but sompin' different than the rest! Lots of steam in action and old tractors, including the illusive Townsend!
Seems late in fall comes the annual Teachers' Institute, too. Tommy (8 years) came home, rushed in the door and said, 'Mommy, no school next two days, the teachers are going on an 'innocent toot''
We swung over to Pine City, Minn., a short time ago. This was about the first spring Joe Pangerl didn't saw any logs after some 40 years sawing and threshing and sticking close to steam for power. He keeps busy hammering and working on mill saws; has a deal on to move a house with his 28 hp Minneapolis Engine No.8052 and he's just the boy that can do it. Stopped in to see some of Karl Marquardt's collection of gas engines and old tractors. He's always got a big smile when he talks about 'Old Iron'. He must a adopted that term when he got his 45 Mogul NO.X1678. I was told the flywheel weighs as much as a Fordson tractor, and I'll wager if either one fell on your toes you couldn't tell the difference. I kinda like that term 'Old Iron' it's a far cry from scrap and yet very inclusive.
A woman was fishing with her husband. She sez 'Dear, have you got another cork ? - this one keeps sinking!'
'What you know, George?' 'I know it takes a big dog to weigh a ton!'
A few years ago I made a deal with James Sylling of Spring Grove, Minn., whereby I traded a 20' Case hand feed thresher for a 6' Deering grain binder which is still good. Last year my father-in-law and his neighbor bought an 8' P.T.O. binder so he gave me his old 6' McCormick grain binder (for helping him thresh) that's been in the family since new in 1901 and in very good repair. So I tells Alice with all these tractors we can now pull 2 binders at once. The problem is not which tractor to use but how to make up the hitch you see, one is a right-hand binder and the other a left. Maybe I can get Gilman Soberg to help me on that -- he's a binder man (at least pro tem). That leads me to further question . . . I've seen several left hand plows and I have a side rake (Dain) that rakes hay to the right . . . but has anybody ever known of a mower with a left-hand cutting bar to match such a rake?
Saw Joe Larson at a farm auction, (I was there to bid on a gas engine), sez to him 'You had an old gas engine didn't you?' 'Yes, you bet I did and I made good use of it when I built the porch on the house I dumped it in for fill!' Egad! Now there's a challenge about as tough as the A.T. engine on the mountain!!!
Everybody is talking vacations seems a prim, dignified school teacher's swanky roadster broke down in the Ozarks. Stopping at a farmhouse she was invited to 'set up' for supper. Nothing was served but dry cornbread and salt pork. Being thirsty enough before - she asked politely for a glass of milk. 'Sorry, Miss, but we ain't had no milk round here since our dog died,' replied the mountaineer. 'Since your DOG died' gasped the horrified guest, 'what's that got to do with it?' 'Well who do you reckon 'ud fetch the cow up now,' was the aggrieved reply.
George Christian gave me his copy of 'The Steam Automobile' Vol.2 No.3 and now there's an up and coming angle on steam that may well interest the largest number of people those who drive cars, that is patience, persistence and proof may still put a steam car on the roads. For simplicity, silence, speed and service are all virtues of steam power. I well recall my first steam-car ride (belonging to Clifford Larson, Deer Park, Wisconsin). He just turned on a valve and you seemed to just float along! 'The Steam Automobile' is published quarterly by and for The Steam Automobile Club of America, Inc., A. W. Landry, Editor, 12 Greenwood Road, Yonkers2, New York.
... Anybody can count the number of seeds in an apple but nobody can count the number of apples in a seed! - GIL