The way we put up hay in those days in much different than the way it is done now. It was all done with horses instead of trucks and tractors. We would mow the hay with a horse mower and rake it into windows with a horse-drawn dump rake. Then we would go through and pile it by hand with pitch forks so it would dry out goods. It was then loaded on horse drawn wagons or slips and taken to the stack where it was unloaded with a derrick fork or net. A derrick fork is a large 4 to 6 tines fork about 4 or 5 feet wide. We would push the fork down through the load and have a horse pull it up with the derrick and dump it on top of the stack. There the stacker men would place it where it was needed.
Later we began to use the buck rake and stacker. The buck rake would pick the hay up out of the wind rows or piles and push it onto the stacker which would dump it on top of the stack and then again it would be stacked by a man on top of the haystack who would pile it right and shape the stack. Now it is much different and is all done with tractors and bailed in the field and then hauled in with trucks and tractors.
All things are so much different than they were in my generations when we grew up. Now I don’t suppose there would be many of the young people who would know how to handle horses. One of the first things to know is that one should always work on the left side of the horse so he would always be on your right hand side. This is important both to you and the horse. He’d always be handy to you and he would know what to expect and be prepared to accept the harness, saddle or whatever you were using on him. Horses have been one of the greatest blessings man has ever had out of the entire animal kingdom.
While we were living on the Colgrove place the folks were piling their coal out in the snow. There was an old garage type building setting out in the pasture. The horses would get into it to try to get away from flies and mosquitos and were kicking it apart. So one day when the folks were gone I harnessed a team and went to put some timbers under the garage. I pulled it up to the yard for a coal house. I put it just behind the kitchen door do it would keep the snow out of the coal. The folks were really surprised and happy when they got home on that day!
When I was with my folks in Harlem during the spring and summer of 1926 I attended a dance and was introduced to a girl by a mutual friend, Bert Murphy. Bert later married my sister and became my brother-in-law. The girl’s name was Lillian Alcorn. It is interesting to note that after the dance I told my brother, Emerson, that I had met the girl I was going to marry.
I had wanted to go on a mission for the Church before I got married, but I knew Dad couldn’t send me. In fact he seemed to need most of what I earned for taxes and things. Besides I was too shy to ask to go on a mission, so I didn’t get to go. This has been an ache in my heart ever since.
It was getting cold in the fall of 1926 and I didn’t have any winter clothes. I needed a coat very badly. A neighbor, Sam Taylor needed to go to Idaho to see his sick mother and he asked me to take care of his family, stock and chores while he was away. He paid me $5.00 and I could buy a coat for that, but I also owed that much in tithing. After a small struggle with myself I paid my tithing. A couple of weeks later, Sam’s mother died so I had the opportunity of doing his chores again. He paid me another $5.00 and I bought my coat. Whenever we do the right thing the Lord always helps us to get what we really need.
To be continued…