| January/February 1985

Route 12, Box 331, Statesville, NC

This summer began like summers before. My dad, Don Gwaltney (of Route 3, Taylorsville, NC 28681), planted his wheat, just waiting for harvest time. Finally harvest time arrived and all of our family and friends joined together to cut the wheat with my dad's antique binder. In ninety degree temperatures we began shocking wheat.

At the Gwaltney farm everyone works very hard to complete the threshing. This year was a special year for my dad's threshing, as his only grand-daughter, my niece, announced she would like her wedding to take place at her grandfather's wheat threshing. My dad was very proud of her decision--it seemed to add a special pleasure to the event.

The wedding would take place at 12 o'clock noon on threshing day. The ceremony was to take place on the front steps of the Gwaltney home place, built by the bride's great grandfather.

On Saturday morning, July 7th, we awoke to a very foggy morning and everyone immediately began to worry. This was threshing day and also wedding day. It looked a lot like rain, but we all had work to do, so we began.

My dad started a fire in the firebox of the steam engine to get the pressure high enough to thresh. My mother, sister, aunts, cousins and myself began to prepare the noonday meal. The noon meal is a main event, for threshers are known to have very big appetites. Friends attending bring picnic baskets so as to provide enough food for the large crowd of people attending the event.