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Thread started 30 Jan 2016 (Saturday) 14:54
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Amish country

 
DubR
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Feb 18, 2016 21:56 as a reply to  @ post 17903954 |  #16

We had a mower/sickle bar that attached to the back of the tractor and ran off of the power take-off. Lots of three legged dogs in the country! Farms can be a very dangerous place.
During the summer I hired out to buck bales for a dollar an hour. Thought that was BIG money at the time. Loved every minute of it too.
Been there - done that! We didn't own a hay baler till later so yeah, I do know about haying with pitchforks. Later we would pay .10 cents a bale to someone to come in and bale ours. We would also hire a crew of boys to load the wagon and put the hay in the barn. Also know where the "starter" is on the end of a scoop shovel. :-)


One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
John 9:25

  
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Jeff_56
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Feb 18, 2016 23:01 |  #17
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I was one of those boys that hired out to put up hay for others. Dad bought a baling machine one year and he decided his crew (me and my two brothers) would make it pay for itself so we would have it as our own after that. We got paid but we worked putting up hay every day for a whole summer. Actually I got out of much of it because I was too young but I put in my time. I got to drive a truck a lot. I started doing that when I was 5. I wasn't big enough to throw around hay bales but I could work the pedals on a truck.

We lived in a hilly area too so the trip to the barn with a wagon loaded with hay could be a real adventure. We rode on top to try to keep the hay from rolling off as we traversed the hillsides. If the bales started heading off the wagon we would grab onto one and hope for the best. We always landed on other bales or we got the one we had a grip on to go under us before we hit the ground. I'm talking about a 15 foot fall or sometimes more.

Ah the life of a hillbilly. "Thar hain't nutin' liken hit." And yes I knew people who spoke like that and I had plenty of hillbilly idioms in my speech as well.




  
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DubR
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Feb 19, 2016 09:39 as a reply to  @ Jeff_56's post |  #18

Are you sure we're not the same person living in parallel universes? Reading your posts makes me recall very similar experiences. At one time we had a black GMC or Chevy pickup and I was so small that seated I couldn't see to drive so I would stand up and drive that truck through the fields. Standing up I couldn't properly brace my foot so talk about a wild, herky-jerky ride! I am amazed that I was allowed to drive it unsupervised being that young.

Yep, I was laughing last night while reading your post about riding the hay wagon. Being young, we would stack the bales as high as possible, or until someone with some sense said, "That's good"! I remember a few times that on the way back to the barn that we would cross a small ditch or rut and we would start grabbing bales or something to try to hold everything together, usually in vain.

Looking back, I was cheap labor when I lived on the farm but I loved every minute and wouldn't change it for anything in the world.


One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
John 9:25

  
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Jeff_56
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Feb 19, 2016 11:58 |  #19
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The sick part about us riding high on those hay wagons is that when we thought we could get away with it we would deliberately roll a few bales off just so we could ride them down. Dad would get mad about losing time and we would have to hustle and get the hay back on the wagon. Dad knew what we were up to but he couldn't prove it. To be honest we did far more dangerous stuff than that. Like riding grapevines that would swing out off the side of a hill where we would be 75 feet in the air. And sometimes we couldn't make it all the way back to the hill so we'd have to drop from 10-12 feet. We would just do where we would slide down the side of the hill where we dropped. Then there was the day we decided to see just how much weight our favorite grapevine would hold. It swung out over maybe a 40 foot drop but there were jagged stumps sticking up everywhere where they had been cut with an axe years earlier. It would hold 5 kids but not 6. Luckily we had this one kid who was insanely strong at the bottom of our grip and everyone just sorta landed on him after the grapevine swung out and just kept on going down instead of going up when it got to the apex. I wasn't on that ride actually. I was going to be kid number 7. It was an insane sight to see that many kids drop that far into a swamp with jagged stumps everywhere. Never hit a single stump though. The lord was watching out for a bunch of dumb hillbilly kids that day.

I have a gazillion stories like this one. Riding hogs, wild ponies that actually tried to kill us, being chased by a cow when I was 5 that had horns and bad intentions. What a life.

BTW the first day I drove the truck to haul hay it was a manual which meant at 5 years old I had to figure out the clutch. The thing was if I let the clutch out and let the truck idle it would go too fast because the idle was set too high. My crazy uncle would beef at me for going too fast and if I tried to work the clutch when we got to hay bales I was going too slow. But I figured out that if I held the clutch just the right way the truck would go the right speed. My uncle Elwood stopped complaining until he got in the truck and discovered the clutch was burnt out. He started screaming but as usual my dad was there to rescue me from him telling him that he was the one that made me do it. He said I didn't know it would burn up the clutch. I just knew I was going the right speed.

Hillbillies. What a life. I still laugh about my uncle having to get a new clutch because he complained at me so much. And he's been dead for 25 years.




  
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DubR
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Feb 19, 2016 15:04 |  #20

Yep, I'm sure of it now. Somewhere in the family stuff is an old black and white, 8mm movie of me swinging from a hillside on a grapevine! One small difference is I have a machete that is almost as long as I was tall strapped on. I'm pretty positive that there wasn't a fatal fall into a jagged stump pit though.

Kinda sounds like you're trying to steer us down the perilous road of juvenile lunacy of which I at one time was a shoo-in for the county idiot. My older brother claimed until his dying day that our Momma had dropped me on my head when I was a baby. I argued that point vehemently for years fueling many fights between my brother and me. Now that I am much older and a little wiser, I'm thinking there may be some truth to the story.

Case in point: I'm not sure if we got our first refrigerator, or a new one, but I couldn't help but notice that the cardboard box that it was shipped in had a wooden, reinforcing, framework and to my young, inventive mind, one side of it could possibly be used as a wing...oh, how glorious it will be flying over and around the farm on my cardboard wing, swooping down, teasing the cows, laughing at my jealous friends. These thoughts raced through my mind as I feverishly fabricated a harness out of bailing twine and strapped my wing to my back. There was a brisk breeze blowing that day and knowing that I needed a high point to provide a launch point, I had been eyeing a grain auger parked out back of the barn. Let me tell you, it's not easy climbing up something on a windy day with a six foot cardboard "wing" strapped to your back, but I was not to be denied. When I reached the top of what was a fifteen to twenty foot drop, I won't lie and say that I wasn't a little bit concerned but facing into the wind, with thoughts of glory, I launched myself...think of a falling leaf maneuver with a wing-over to port followed by a face plant into thankfully tilled dirt.

And this was not, by far, the dumbest thing I have done in my life!

"Lucky"


One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
John 9:25

  
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Jeff_56
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Jeff_56.
     
Feb 19, 2016 15:58 |  #21
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It was parachutes that got us going. There was a club that jumped in a field where we could see them if we climbed to the top of our hill. My cousin got the bright idea of using garbage bags and baling twine to create what would surely be a foolproof method for jumping from the top of the barn. It was "only" 50 foot high or so. I managed to talk him out of that one until he tested it on a somewhat heavy object. It sank like a rock was tied to it of course because a rock was tied to it.

Maybe the most fun we had though (until someone set our pants on fire) was when my brother decided the new post hole diggers dad bought should be put to good use. He dug all day long and then pulled a piece of plywood around that was just big enough to cover the 30" wide hole he had dug. It was maybe 4' deep BTW. He said (of course), "Get in and I'll tell mom I buried you alive. I'll cover the plywood with dirt. Don't worry, I'll leave a crack on the back side where the plywood will be propped up and you can breathe. Mom won't notice that when she hears you scream for help." Sure, why not. At first mom thought he was crazy claiming he had buried me alive. Then he said, "No, just listen to him scream." And right on cue I let out a yelp that would have scared bigfoot. It sure as heck scared mom. I remember lots of screaming after that and a switch was involved. It was funny as heck to a couple of kids about 8 and 10 years old though. I was perfectly fine in that hole but not so much when I got out.

Hillbillies have to make their own fun.  :p




  
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Jeff_56
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Jeff_56.
     
Feb 21, 2016 08:05 |  #22
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I shot this yesterday. The weather was nice and everyone was outside (including me obviously given it was a Saturday too) . Tried not to let them see me shooting so it was from behind.

IMAGE: http://www.a-framevideo.com/Amish%20wagon%201-3.jpg



  
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Amish country
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