LETTER


| September/October 1966


Courtesy of Mr. William T. Richards, North St., Granville, Ohio

Humor, like morality, is subject to time and place. Much that is now funny was hardly that when the event took place. Like the time my father killed the horse.

We were hulling clover for a family by the name of Pirn who still hitched, for light jobs, an old family horse.

On this occasion, the horse was hitched to a stone boat to bring the few bags of clover seed to the barn. When the hulling was finished, the engine shuffled easily back toward the huller out of its chock holes, it gave a few its head down, probably asleep. But when our McNamar started the huller out of its chock holes, it gave a few barks at which the old horse gave a startled look and fell over, dead as a mackeral. That night there was gloom at the supper table as the family reflected how meager a reward for a long and faithful life to scare this horse to death. In later years my own feeling is one of wonder that the poor creature's last earthly vision should be a McNamar engine.



Then there was the unscheduled swim in Raccoon Creek. Tom Davis, as a teenage youth, hauled water for the rig using a wooden tank, dip bucket and a team that could pull anything. Taking advantage of his good team, Tom drove the tank right into Raccoon Creek to make his dipping easy. Resultthe tank floated, lifted the front bolster and uncoupled the wagon. Tom, finding this state of affairs beyond him, ran up to the rig to get help. When the crew came in sight of the team on the bank hitched to the front wheels while the tank floated in the creek, one feeder laughed and Father paid his wages right up to date. The entire crew then went down to the creek, took off every stitch and put the pieces back together. Fortunately this preceded the Candid Camera by some years.

We had certain customers on our run that kept things from getting monotonous. One, more carpenter than farmer, built a bam with two drives through at right angles and mows in the four corners. We set one evening to thresh out of one mow and to blow the straw out back. When we unrolled the drive belt the front half of the engine would be in the barn. That night we tried to borrow a longer belt and even considered cutting the belt to splice it out longer. Finally, Father said if he was fool enough to insist on such a crazy set, we were fool enough to thresh with the engine in the barn. Next morning we loaded enough chain to connect the separator tongue to the engine front hitch, wired an old bucket loose over the stack and threshed the job without trouble. You should have seen the engine dance that old bucket since nobody was of a mind to waste time. Barn threshing is dusty but just imagine stirring in a good volume of coal smoke for good measure.