Monday, January 16, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 16th Installment

The next thing I remember I was under a white cloth peering through the fabric at a very bright light shining down on me. It’s a good thing I didn't know the religious stories about going into ‘the light’ because I would have been afraid looking at the light. I could feel somebody pulling out my hair and others probing and poking all over my body. Later I was told the doctors were picking the gravel out of my scalp. They said my skull was cracked all over like a cracked hard boiled egg, and they had to shape my head somewhat round again. I had, apparently, fallen out the door still hanging onto the door handle and then went under the open door, because I had a huge gash on my face. The next thing I remember I was in a crib with bandages all over me, tubes taped to my hands and about two yards of cloth wrapped around my head. I could have trick–or–treated as a mummy. However, hospital trips to town were no fun, and so I chose not to count them. Oh, I guess there was a third time in the hospital: I was born as a $50 baby in 1948.

        Summer was ending and quite a bit of the farm work was done. Russ and I had the first and second crop of hay cut and raked ahead of Vernon's baler. The Ford was the tractor that I usually drove for the farm work and Russ drove the Oliver 88. For haying the 88 was attached to the ‘mower’ an implement that would cut the hay. It had about an 8 foot sickle bar device that stuck out behind and to the right of the rear tire. The sickle bar had sharp teeth like protrusions and a scissor like blade inside that was driven back and forth, very fast, by the PTO of the tractor. This mower cut the hay and it would fall back flat to the ground and Russell drove around and around the field. My job was to come along with the Ford and the side rake which was a spinning basket type device with springy teeth that would rake the hay into a windrow. The windrow was then allowed to dry a few days and at the perfect moisture content, then the hay was baled into 100 pound rectangular bales bound up with bailing wire. The bales were then ready to be hauled off and stacked for winter feed for the cattle. The Ford with the rake attached was exciting to drive because the rake was heavy enough, when you raised the 3 point hitch to raise the rake off the ground, the tractor’s nose in front was only a little heavier than the rake. The whole outfit was a little like a playground teeter–totter on the rear wheels. As you drove along and hit a bump the tractor's front wheels would soar up into the air a

500 more words tomorrow

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