The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. Nice rain we have been a have'n. My gauge showed near 2.2 inches. Some folk to the west, nearby on the other side of the river, showed over 3 inches. Sometimes it's a wonder how rainfall amounts can vary from one close area to the other.
Some folk, according to Bill Jones, just got their gullies and washouts filled in from last springs heavy rains.
As he recalled, they had just repaired the winter washouts caused by rains before the frost was all gone. Some had even planted when came heavy rains again. Two bad washouts within a short spell last spring was quite frustrat'n. Even the no-till ground had heavy erosion.
It was strange how it washed out badly where you never thought it should, least wise it never had before. And, sometimes where you expected erosion-there was little to no damage.
Now, complains Cornelius, some folk recommend you take pictures to prove your erosion for the conservation policemen, that is if'n you feel the need to dress up the soil's weather wounds. He wonders what this world has come to. Nobody trusts anyone or at least the government doesn't appear to trust the farmer any longer. However, the government does expect the farmer to trust the government.
A book could be written on that one, especially if'n it were to be authored by the American Indian. The government "trusted" the Indian, accord'n to Cornelius, out of everything worthwhile he ever had. He sez the American farmer eventually won't fare any better than the Indian if'n he trusts the government too far!
That rain we had this past weekend came mighty hard for a spell. Ole Bill Jones sez he saw Mr. Short Britches with his cap turned backwards putt'n his camera to a different use.
It appeared to Bill he was a take'n pictures of various neighbors' land erosion. As time passed along Bill saw Mr. Short Britches at those various neighbor's landlord's house, pictures in hand.
It probably would be a stretch to wonder if'n Mr. Short Britches was attempt'n to expand his massive estate with a few more rental acres. In all likelihood he was ask'n permission to use those erosion pictures in some photo contest somewheres.
That heavy rain reminded me of an event that happened, well nigh over 90 years ago by now. The story was told to me, as a young lad, by those who experienced it first hand and were old timers when it was shared to me, but were young men when the event occurred.
It seems it was beastly hot in an August afternoon and the men folk was a finish'n up hay'n. Those in the huge old Gambrel roofed 3 storied barn up against it's tin roof, those out pitch'n onto a rack loose hay behind a hay loader, even the young lad delivern warm water in a western stoneware jug, was a swett'n like a Turk.
How does a Turk sweat, you ask. Why he swelters like that red-blooded farmer in August putt'n up red clover hay inside the hayloft of a 3 storied barn near the tin roof with the hot sun scorch'n down on it. You can't wipe the perspiration off fast enough to avoid rewetting the hay.
Anyways, up comes one of those quick and heavy severe thundershowers, a real duck drownder and coldeer than "Billy be Gone!"
Those in the field, like grease lightnin', propelled their horses for the barn, a hoot'n and a holler'n all the way- "Yeeeeah! Wahoo!" It dog-gone near shook the hay loader to pieces!
Those in the loft scurried to the ground level a tumbl'n and roll'n all the way.
It was rain'n so hard you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Those stout young men looked at each other briefly and without a word peeled off all their clothes, britches, shoes and all.
They ran to the nearest downspout and had themselves a right nice cold refresh'n shower. A yell'n, wahoo'n, whoop'n, and a spoof'n along their pathway.
That was in the days before homes had inside runn'n water. Boy, did they enjoy it.
In my mind eyes I can see them ole buzzards now. Not so high and mighty that they couldn't enjoy a sport of fun. Know'n full well their woman folk, a wait'n lunch, was not about to come thru all that rain to see what all that noise and hollerin' was about.
I wish I had been around with a camera back then.
Shore enough do feel I might have won a photo contest of my own somewhere's along the line. I'm sure they wouldn't have lost their farm to the likes of Mr. Short Britches over it either.
Well, they is all beneath the sod now, a push'n up posies. Ever last one of "em.
But, they left behind some mighty good memories and quite a good heritage. I shore do miss "em but I guess in a way they is still around, even if'n that barn isn't, least wise in my memory they still hold a special place. One day I spect I'll be a join'n em. In the meantime I aim to enjoy their special kind of fun on the farm in those simple ways. Keep your camera handy when you are about my parts!
Keep on Smilen
Catch ya Later