| September/October 1957

Middleville, Michigan

I had intended to send in my check for renewal a month ago, but I smashed a finger with the hammer. I should have had both hands on the hammer handle and it wouldn't have happened.

I started threshing over a half-century ago & not long after that I attended the first Threshers Convention, the biggest one I ever attended was in Wichita in 1912, when three states joined together to put on what I have always understood was the biggest show of threshing machinery ever put on.

I joined the Michigan Thresher Men's Association as soon as I knew about it and served as its president from 1926 until it was discontinued. Now it wasn't a paying job in cash, but in memory it was the largest paying job I ever had. It also gave me a most valuable experience and I met and made the acquaintance of some of the finest men I ever knew. Many things took place at our conventions which were held at Lansing, Michigan, that I will never forget. The Machinery Show was always the top attraction. The Convention Hall (which usually was the large ball room of the Kerns Hotel) was a strong rival to the Machinery Show and was the first place in the evenings. Business and entertainment were the order of the day. Many fine speeches from prominent men of that day, including the Governor of Michigan, were heard on our programs. Our biggest crowd that packed the hall and reached far out of the doors, was when the famous boxer, Jack Dempsey attended the evening meeting of our 1929 convention. He told of his experiences of working with a threshing machine in the west, and said that that should qualify him as a thresherman. I remember that I introduced him as the greatest thrasher in the world and who had made more money in the shortest time of any thresherman I had ever heard tell of the big money he had made and many of them could tell them big after having refreshments at Lansing's bars, which had extra bartenders to take care of the convention trade.

A prize was offered one year to the man telling the biggest days run story. I don't recall how that came out but one thresherman said that he raised beagle hound rabbit dogs. Yes sir, said he, my best bitch had nineteen dog pups at one litter. He also told of looking out of his living room window one day when a car went by very slowly and a little boy pointed his finger to his dogs for sale sign on the house. Soon the car came back and the man came to the door. The thresherman's wife went to the door. The man said I want to buy a dog for my little boy and we would like the air dale that we saw looking out of the window when we went by. We have only hounds to sell, said the woman. What you saw looking out of the window was my husband.

While I am on the subject of story tellers and liars, I might mention that the threshermen in my time were not considered reliable when they promised the farmer that they would be on his job. Consequently our clan got the reputation of being liars. Now as I was brought up in the old fashioned way, I resented being classed as a liar. However, I found by looking in the dictionary that a liar is one who makes statements that deceive, consequently as the farmer claimed that he put no dependence in the thresher-man's promises he was not deceived- the thresherman was not a liar after all. That made me feel much better.