Let's Thresh This Year

| September/October 1987

8308 Roland Avenue Louisville, KY 40222

Like so many activities of my childhood on the farm and at the sawmill, whether crops to be harvested or custom sawing, so much is controlled by the seasons. The activities of steam engines and the spin off activities were big events in my childhood.

One particular activity that comes to mind had its place seasonally during the month of June. My uncle and grandpa would keep a watch on the wheat as it turned from green to golden yellow. When it was ready to cut, all other activities would cease, grandpa would shut down the sawmill, farm activities were altered, all to make way for the cutting and shocking of wheat.

Grandpa with the gesture of a lumberman's hand and a few stern words would silence all talk of getting a combine this year. And through his 87 years a combine never set its wheels on his farm. Grandpa would give the word to get the binder ready, repair and put binder canvas in place, thread binder twine, and ready the team to hitch-up. When the binder was pulled with a tractor my job would be to ride the binder. The biggest responsibility was to let the bundles add up on the bundle carrier and place them for shocks across the field.

While Uncle Meredith would make the necessary preparations to carry out the command that we would cut wheat again this year, Daddy and Grandpa would shut down the sawmill and ready themselves for the many trips around the wheat field, putting the bundles into shocks. Year after year in the 1950's and 60's this is the way we harvested wheat when Grandpa was here.

The dull times between cutting and threshing were interrupted several years. Earlier contact with Mr. Blaker at Alvordion, Ohio would reveal that the wheat would not be ready to thresh at the National Threshers Show, and he would ask for a truck load from Southern Ohio. A few moments of disappointment for me when I realized that a truck load of bundles would cut way into the 8 or 10 acres of wheat we would be threshing later in July. But when I realized suddenly it was going to Blaker's steam show, my disappointment quickly turned to excitement.


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