The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Harvest Season, Neckbreaken Joy, Burial of a Dear WWII Friend"

Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of the Quill, even to that large group of readers outside our area enterested in keep'n up with the news in our territory.

Harvest Season

Harvest is a pick'n up with more and more open'n up their fields ta the combine.

Fields that are be'n reported in these roundabout areas go from the low 70 bpa to 210 bpa No. 2 corn dried to 14% moisture corn over the scales. Some Aflotoxin is be'n found.

One field was measured by a professional, fer crop report'n purposes, and estimated at 70 bpa.

After it was harvested, the over the scale yield of 14% NO. 2 corn was reported at 130 bpa. That is incourage'n when ya thinks of raise'n 130 bpa born with no rain to speak of. Hopefully early harvest better than expected yields will continue.

Of course, there is a gonna be both some bad stories on yield and some surprisenly good stories. That's just the way it works.

The important thing is to have a safe harvest and not take risks because of tension, frustration, and disappointments. Health ya cain't get back one lost, but there's always another year to try fer someth'n better.

If'n ya are one of those fellers with surprisenly good yields, be careful not to break your neck when you are do'n them cartwheels fer joy!

Several farmers I've talked to are a sell'n their corn right out of the field with this early harvest. They wants to capture that $8 price per bushel whilst it is still available. They are afraid of store'n the corn in bins on the farm fer fear of Aflotoxin buildup and growth.

It would be a shame to have a bin full of corn and no market to deliver to because of Aflotoxin levels grow'n too high whilst in the bin.

Nine one one is this week and of course we all knows what that means. Have a prayer in that regard.

Me and a few of us older boys went to the funeral of a very personal friend recently who was an ole WWII vet.

He was a Sergeant in the Army under General Patton,-"Ole Blood and Guts", in North Africa and Italy and was in the tank division. He saw some mighty hard fight'n.

He never talked much about the war but he did share at different times, several things I'll never forget.

"War is hell! Don't let anyone tell ya any different! General Sherman in the Civil War had it right"! Also, "when a German officer wants to surrender ya can tell by how he's wear'n his hat whether he's got any starch left in him and whether he yet means ya great harm".

Additionally, "when they got ya zeroed in with artillery and after hide'n under yer tank fer protection fer a spell, from the bursts of artillery, there is no way to explain the weak and miserable feel'n when ya is back'n yer hide out from under the tank, butt first and a German taps ya on the butt and ya look back and sees him with his rifle yet in hand.

A great and tremendous body of relief comes to ya when ya finds out he only wants to surrender and is will'n to risk artillery to do it. His rifle was only a hedge against maybe ya want'n to kill him rather than take'n a prisoner.

That German probably figured he was safe from "shoot first and ask questions later" if'n ya can catch an American soldier butt end first. Mitch, fer a split second figured he was either captured or gonna be soon dead.

We also learned once from this ole soldier that after a German war plane has straffed ya, the blood ya see's all over your'n leg is not a wound, but the remains of your military rations ya dove into to avoid gett'n shot.

He said it should give ya some idea of how bad the C rations were or whatever it was that they was a have'n to eat was called. It turns out after all, he was only wounded in the arm by a ricochet bullet.

He told of fry'n captured eggs on the hood of a vehicle whilst in the extreme heat of North Africa and use'n your'n metal helmet fer personal body needs whilst bein shot at fer long periods of time whilst in a fox hole.

Better to risk a hand to expel emediate needs which came upon ya, than lose the hind end. They then used that metal helmet fer other cook'n needs, which I guess the occasion required. Man, can ya think of it in your'n minds eye!?

He got several medals from the service. A purple heart fer various wounds and another medal fer bravery in save'n a bunch of soldiers lives whilst on a burn'n troop ship. He stayed on board to rescue the wounded, even though the ship was loaded with munitions and ready to explode.

"Mitch" was a humble man and said it was noth'n at all and he reckoned anybody else would do the same. Least wise he hoped they would.

"Mitch" told of an order they had concern'n runn'n a tank down a path that was mined on both sides. That path was the only thing cleared of mines.

If ya came onto an Arab with a camel along that path and had to choose betwixt runn'n over the camel or the Arab-run over the Arab, ya had to pay fer runn'n over the camel but no payment was required fer runn'n over the Arab!

Them was hard times, but fortunately "Mitch" never ran over any Arabs. Not sure on the camels.

Also, once on that mind field pathway the artillery on higher distant ground had him in their sights and had zeroed in on him and his tank. He drove down to a lane with a huge tent at it's end to turn around and get outa range of the enemy artillery. He made the turn and got the H...?* outa range.

He looked back and observed direct hits on that tent, destroy'n it and its occupants. He found out later it was a Red Cross tent fer wounded soldiers and all was lost.

He did not know that tent was what it was or he would have risked his own hide to avoid it. He really never got over the hurt fell'ns and sad thoughts of that incident. As said earlier, "War is Hell".

Mitch came back from the war and never expected special treatment, and as I said before, never really talked about it much unless there was a special need to do so.

He would visit badly injured folk in the hospital and share a story or two to shore up the injured to let them know, as bad as things might seem at the moment, they can and will get better. I was one of them folk, I'll never forget it! It was intended to cheer the wounded up a bit and always things got better.

Mitch had a box full of letters to and from his girl friend and fiancee dure'n the war years, and they tell a story all their own. After the war they was married, which lasted 53 years, until Ruth died in 2000 from cancer.

He became a mechanic, and a dog gone good one at that, went on to be a machinery salesman fer farm equipment and into his 80's repaired small engines and lawn mowers. He always enjoyed fix'n things and tinker'n. In his 80's he got hooked up deliver'n expensive cars for some outfit that put him in regular contact with movie stars, politicians, and many so called important high falute'n folk.

Once asked how enterest'n that must be, meet'n and know'n them kind of high level fellers, his reply was "they ain't any better than the common folk I knows and not near as important to me."

Yes, he was quite a man-that friend of ours and WWII vet that just passed on, and them fellers is a thin'n out all to quickly, in my opinion.

They never asked fer any glory, even though they deserved it, they never belly ached about their sacrifices and hardship dure'n the war. They did no exalted bragg'n and they served their country well, both dure'n and after the war, to make this great nation of ours the best ever in the world. No words were even spoken by them fellers of "fairness" and "whether life was or was not fair or whether he got what was deserved or entitled!" If'n life were about "fairness" we'd die in the order we was born. Abortion of unborn chidlren would not be legal and them innocents would be given a fair chance at life.

He leaves behind four (4) live'n children, 2 boys and 2 girls, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren to carry on his legacy and service to our country.

Not bad fer a feller that was abandoned by both parents at 7 years old never to see em agin and raised in an orphanage. Them was hard times. He never used that as an excuse fer pity or that anybody owed him anything. The "Great Depression" of the 30's made him not a "freeloader". He made the best of his situation and provided a good example fer us all to foller, friend and family alike.

They gave ole "Mitch" a mighty nice funeral-simple and plain. It was explained what a share'n person he was and how he allowed fer care'n fer others. We all moved our heads in agreement.

He would give ya his shirt off'n his back if'n ya had need. Maybe that was the result of his orphanage days, I don't know fer sure. He was not a "gold chaser" or a "glory hound". Just a plan feller who rose to the occasion and sacrificed as the need required. Fair or not fair was not one of his measurements fer pity or anything else. He believed in justice!

Old soldiers properly uniformed gave him a 21 gun salute at the cemetery and played taps that left not a dry eye in the group. So long Sarge, you was "one of the best" along with the others of your era. You're gonna be sorely missed. Your memory, along with folk like Jack Brokaw and all VFW and American Legion folk those memories represents, is held passionately in our minds. THANK YOU!

Wherever ya are, what ever ya are a do'n, Be a Good One!"

Don't' forget church next weekend.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke