Summer is fast slipping into the past. The days are getting shorter in spite of daylite saving. Birds are flocking south and ere too long the frost was on the pumpkin and the fodder in the shock. It has indeed been a busy and eventful summer and we are grateful for the many visitors that stopped in while merrily on their way to or from some definite destination. Heading back from Canada were Mr. and Mrs. ALVA HULBERT from Sterling I11. and with them were Mr. and Mrs. HAROLD CLARK from Chillicothe, I11. They are affiliated with North I11. Steam Power Club near Kings.
LEROY LEVINE and his wife KATHLEEN from Dekalb, I11. dropped by. With them was Mrs. ALICE McNAMARA (Kathleen's mother) from Liverpool, England. This time two Alices really hit it off, since both were interested in sewing and fancy work. Kathleen is Secretary-Treasurer of the Northern I11. Steam Power Club.
CHARLEY and LEO WELLNER from Stanley, Wis. were enroute to Little Falls, Minn. Here was a man who could talk steam to no end, and believe you me I am all ears. They have a 20-75N-Sdbl. and a 22 A-R, besides 3 oil pulls, and 816 Int. and numerous gas engines and threshers. Kinda got a kick out of his love for steam, says he put up a big pole building to house the machinery but sorta hates to close up the last side 'cause now when he walks to or from the house he can see them steamers in there'. I get it Leo. He even had a 1962 load of oats in there; he got going to steam meets so hadn't set up to thresh it yet up to July 1963.
With the aid of 'steam directories' the WM. MEISTERS from Indianapolis, Ind. planned their trip to contact numerous steam fans and fortunately included 'the Johnsons'. His collection of some 200 colored pictures of 'bygone power' interested me and to think they were taken with an inexpensive box camera, thats quite a challenge for us.
Just read some place, 'one reason you can't take it with you is that you don't have any left when you're ready to go'.
RONALD GJERNING, a young enthusiast from our neighborhood came over while we were cutting grain, and after a bit of tinkering we were trying out the old 816 Int. on the binder and made a few rounds with the M-H 4 WD. When you can have fun and still accomplish something then farming has a lure. Its always amazed me, or should I say perplexed me, doing exercise to accomplish something for pay is work, exerting the same amount of energy at some pastime despite an obligation is considered recreation. Will we see the day when some characters will pay to let them milk a cow or pitch some hay?
Two interesting gals in a Rambler were heading home ward from 'that now popular circle trip' around Lake Superior. They were Mrs. ROLLAND MAXWELL from Huntington, Ind. and her mother Mrs. EDITH S. RIFE from Mechanicsburg, Pa. Edith was telling about canning home grown peaches from August into October. Now I know Pennsylvania is the land of peaches. Earlene, I think we're heading East.
Was over to AUGUST PETERSONS at Shell Lake to help with the threshing. STANLEY PETERSON belted his 10-20 Titan to his 22' JD thresher to do up part of the oat crop. It sure made that old IHC 'mad' and before we finished up we used his 18-36 Hart Parr in the belt. With Stanley, a two cylinder, is still 'the thing'.
Got our threshing done in our normal steam-powered manner. When the old 20 bar Case starts rolling, the stooks disappear from the fields and many a visitor had the chance to again toss bundles into the machine. This years oat crop was a bit light due to heat and lack of moisture, yet some 'fabulous' yields were reported from combining. The day we threshed, BOB McLAREN, wife and daughter from Manilla, Ia. happened along, and in the confabbing procedures, while rawhide lacing a belt, I said 'a feller just told me he combined 100 bushels of oats per acre'. Bob said, 'Shucks in Iowa we start at 100 bushels'. Believe you me in Iowa there's a lot of tall stuff besides corn. 'By gosh', says August Peterson, 'That Iowa man must be a fisherman'. We used Louis' (my father-in-law) F-100 pickup to haul the sacked oats to my old Reliable elevator. He worked with HARRY SCHACHT to handle the grain while AUGUST PETERSON manned the bagger. Louis farmed for over 50 years and that done right. When we finished threshing he sized up the bin and says, 'Well you must have about 500 bushels'. Yes I says 'thats what the bin says but by weight the tally reads 358'. Now I see why nobody would do custom combining at a thresh machine price. I ain't licked yet, think next year I'll use my little wood 24' Huber. It's still got tally box with measuring buckets. The total bushels may be the same but it would enhance my yield per acre.
Made a visit to the DENNIE MAGNUSON'S near Center City, Minn. In the shade of a tree sat Dennie's brother HERBERT. Says he, to me 'I think I just hit on an invention, a short stick of wood with a match on one end and a tooth pick on the other'. (Lets go see a patent attorney, Herb.)
So now I'm a rock-hound' _ Well not quite, but I can see where that movement is contagious, a pastime with a pay off, maybe. That is the hobby of Mrs. ALVIN MILLER of Sandwich, I11. Having known Alvin 'Fats' Miller since the early 50's when I sold a 50 Case to his brother-in-law A. C. Otto, who is a top-rate model builder. Was glad they stopped to renew old acquaintance.
Was to an auction with its usual run of junk. Talking with a fellow he mentioned an incident, where a wife was always nagging her husband to haul away their accumulated junk, and the husband finally had to tell her 'in case we ever have an auction it will always bring something'.
Its now time to hit for some remote reunions. JERRY ERICKSON now an implement dealer at Wells, Minn. was telling me he got a sleeping-bag at Christmas. He says he calls it a 'Mt. Pleasant Special' and hopes to initiate right soon.
The teacher was checking her students' knowledge of proverbs, 'Cleanliness is next to what?' A small boy replied with feeling: Impossible!' Gil