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Date:10/20/2014 4:24:14 AM
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May Mania, Part III, Plowing and Dragging
The most pressing and time consuming job in May for most countrymen north of the Mason Dixon line is getting the crops in. It runs the gambit from Punky's boyfriend Matt who must oversee a number of teams planting literally thousands of acres of corn, wheat, soybean and legumes to Eldest Brother David and I using our two Farmall A's to prepare the garden plots at La Ferme Sabloneuse.
Eldest Brother David, (as I name him in these blogs) is 66 years old, weighs about 135 lbs, and has a ceramic aorta and plastic heart valves. If you sit next to him in the quiet of St. Patrick Church before the weekday Mass you can hear his valves clack like the clapper on the smokestack of his Farmall. Well, this year he managed to do all the plowing which is something when you consider that he has no hydraulics to aid him in pulling up the single plow on the '38 Farmall. Last year he had been content to just make the first few furrows and then left it to me to finish the rest. (Believe me, it's not easy wrestling with that hand lever!) He was so dissatisfied with the straightness (or lack thereof) of my furrows that he felt compelled to do the whole job himself. David told me, "You're the only man I know who plows in a circle!"
I answered him, "Nature abhors a straight line!"
David responded, "Well, apparently, so do you!"
To placate me, I suspect, David allowed me to drag both gardens and also prevailed upon me to rototill three small patches of ground in front of his deer towers where he plans to put in pumpkins this year. Even though the '38 Farmall has the plowshare permanently bolted on, because of its superior pulling capacity compared to David's Farmall, we've attached a lengh of chain so that it can pull the drag. So I spent an hour dragging the gardens. While I was doing so, I remembered Ma used to say that our Pa always had a smile on his face when he would drag and she also used to say that she noticed that I was smiling too.
The two photos I posted tonight are of Pa behind a walk-behind plow like the type frequently used during the '40s and '50s. Only now are they making a comeback. (Hobby Farms had an article about these last year) The second is of Pa behind old John Duame's team of horses dragging. Both pics are in the field behind Grandma Truckey's which, by the way, is still being cultivated to this day. More on May Mania next time. -- Gary
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