Rt. 13, Box 331, Statesville, North Carolina 28677
Along about the second week of July the local newspaper and a country music station issue an invitation to the Don Gwaltney wheat threshing. Everyone is invited to attend. In 1981 it was held July 11.
On threshing day my Dad gets up very early and starts a fire in the firebox of the engine to build up steam to power the engine. The steam engine is a skid type Farquhar no. 14994. The thresher is a Turner no. 347 and was made by the Turner Manufacturing Company of Statesville, North Carolina, about the year 1928 or 1930.
About 9:00 trailers loaded with wheat, are brought to the field from the barn where the wheat has been stored to keep it dry. By now a crowd has begun together.
Meanwhile, back at the farmhouse the ladies are setting up tables, preparing gallons of lemonade and cooking a huge meal.
Back up at the field my Dad decides the steam is right so the threshing begins.
A huge crowd has gathered. It is a very hot day, temperature is in the high 90s. A water bucket is passed continuously through the crowd and everyone drinks from the same dipper. There are always several (youngsters) about 70 or 90 years old, who recall how it was in the old days. It is a thrill to hear stories of former wheat threshings, and how when the day was finished they spent the night at the farm they were threshing on and were ready to begin where they left off the day before.
People are still coming, some are stopping to watch, others heading for the shade at the farmhouse.
About 12:00 they stop for lunch. There is fried chicken (southern style), chicken-n-dumplings, potato salad, cakes and pies, and gallons of lemonade. It is served in the shade of huge oak trees.
After lunch the threshers return to the field, and bluegrass music is provided by neighbors for those staying in the shade.
We have not been rained out a single time during the years we have been having the threshing.
Mr. Don Gwaltney and family invite everyone reading this article to join us in 1982.
The farm is located five miles east of Taylorsville, North Carolina, just off Highway 90, on the Paul Payne Road.