Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dad and Mom

My parents are 95 years, going on 96.  They live happily in their home, get out to the Sr Center, to Church, to play bridge, and entertain at card parties.  We visited there yesterday.  It is so much fun to listen to Dad reminisce about the past. The time frame we like to listen to is the early 1930's, which for him, is over 80 years ago.  He talked about his first corn picking job.  He was paid 1 3/4 cents a bushel, and yes, you read that right.  This was hand picking, walking along side the wagon, picking 2 rows at a time.  Horses, of course, pulled the wagon, no driver.  The man picking controlled the horses with voice commands.  The picker furnished his own gloves, one of which had a hook on it for catching the corn.  The husk also got pulled off before being thrown into the wagon. He described how you catch the ear with one hand, how you break and pull the husk before throwing into the wagon, which had bang boards to catch the high flying ears.  Roger asked him if he overthrew the wagon, if he had to go around and pick up the ear, but he said that did not happen. :)
He also talks about his High School years, when he worked out.  That means he worked for his room and board, milking cows and doing chores before leaving for school.  He hitched up a team, and drove the "school bus" to pick up students for school.  Patten was a big school in the countryside, where both grade and high school students attended.  He delivered students home after school, and back to do his chores for the evening.  He had some adventures with bad weather, and with a singletree breaking during a storm on the way home, and other snags along the way.   (Singletree--a wooden bar swung at the center from a hitch on a wagon and hooked at either end to the traces of a horse's harness) ...  For his Senior year, he changed High Schools, also working for room and board, and walking 1 1/2 miles to town to school.

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