Threshing Days

| November/December 1990

3988 Mason Dixon Drive, Chantilly, VA 22021 sent us the following article. It was written a few years ago by his late aunt, Gladys Johnson (1906-1990). Gladys grew up with her 12 brothers and sisters on a large farm in southeastern Minnesota.

On the prairies of North Dakota, you can still see the threshing separators silhouetted against the skyline to remind you of yesteryear. I saw quite a number of the weary relics while traveling through the countryside.

My first memories of threshing days meant waking up in the wee morning hours to the sound of a rooster crowing and the chugging of an approaching engine as it came closer and closer. With a feeling of excitement, I knew the threshing rig was pulling into our barnyard.

In those days, the crew stayed right at your place until the work was done, sometimes it would take weeks.

Preparations for feeding the threshers were begun days in advance. Morning and afternoon, lunch plus three big meals were the order of the day. Potatoes, meat, gravy, pickles, vegetables, pies, cakes, donuts, Jello, and cookies were on the main menu daily. No salads, however, as I recall.

I always thought the threshing crew must be the happiest people in the whole world, always laughing, joking, and eating (often all at one time).


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