The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings ta ever one in Western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill".

It shore has warmed up around these parts lately with crop show'n signs of need'n a good drink. Some of the lighter soils are curl'n tight and sand ground is fire'n in some areas.

Over heard some folk talk'n recently, they hoped the recent hurricane might send some rain up the river our way. It looks as tho that might not happen as it seems to be shut'n down a bit.

It is 94 outdoors as I write this column. It brings back memories of make'n hay years ago with these type temperatures and walk'n or hoe'n beans as well. The older I get, the better it seems I was. But we often had temperatures warmer than this when we were do'n those jobs include'n cultivate'n row crops on tractors with no cabs. A breeze was a welcome friend on those days, but it did little good if'n you was in the barn close ta a tin roof.

Work'n hard all day in that hot weather made ya plenty tired and worn out. Youth was on our side and helped a lot. But if'n a feller found the temps and humidity high with no breeze, a feller seldom got restful sleep needed.

Air conditioners have changed much of that, thank goodness. Whilst there are no air conditioners in the barn today fer small square bales, most folk put their hay and even what straw they use, in large round bales and large square bales. The job is performed along with mow'n the hay from the seat of an air conditioned cab. This is a good thing especially if'n your body no longer has youth on its side.

Occasionally I wonder however if'n the air conditioner does't allow our bodies ta adjust ta the heat and humidity. When we do have ta go out into it, it affects us more adversely. None the less, I'm not give'n up my air conditioners.

As a young feller I remember threshing oats and wheat, picke'n up bundles of each by hand, load'n bundles on a hay rack with a pitch fork, and put up hay with a loose hay loader-pitchfork'n it by hand both on the rack and in the barn. Those were all labor intensive jobs combined through out the day with cultivate'n and walke'n beans.

A goodly number of those old timers wore long sleeve shirts and straw hats. Some even wore long underwear. Their theory was what kept ya warm in the winter would keep ya cool in the summer.

I tried that idea as a young feller and it didn't work fer me. Late March we would shuck off our shirts and that was it fer the summer. No short britches were worn back then no matter how hot it got! We never heard of the sun causen skin cancer.

What we did learn, however, was it was a serious mistake ta creosote a newly built hay rack for preservation from the weather, with no shirt on and walk'n beans in the sun later. The fire from that creosote on the no shirt body was indescribably painful.

It causes me today ta wonder about the fellas spray'n chemicals on crops in their short britches. Whilst they do wear shirts, they are expose'n their vunerable flesh ta some fairly nasty stuff. It may not show up on the health fer years ta come, but the University of Illinois extension service has always advised ta protect as much of yer flesh as possible from exposure whilst apply'n chemicals, even ta wear long sleeve shirts. Whilst we young boys found out shortly of the danger of apply'n chemicals (creosote) even that day, those spray'n crops in short britches and short sleeve shirts might not find out till years later and then wonder what caused the health problem. With air condition'n today, there's no need ta take them risks.

It's somewhat like smoke'n, in that some are will'n ta take the cancer, emphysema or lung problem risks even tho they are adequately warned ahead of time. Short term macho pleasure fer risk of longer term loss seems foolish to me. Good advice if'n ya choose ta take that path is ta keep up some good insurance policies, if'n fer no other reason than if you choose ta have a family and don't want ta leave them with a bundle of health care costs and concerns.

Grammar Lesson

Is it "complete", "finished" or "completely finished"???

No english dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between these two words - "Complete" or "Finished"

In recent linguistic competition held in London and attended by, supposedly, the best in the world, Samdar Balgobin, a Guyanese man, was the clear winner with a standing ovation which lasted over 5 minutes.

The final question was: " How do you explain the difference between complete and finished in a way that is easy to understand? Some people say there is no difference between complete and finished.'

Here is his astute answer:

"When you marry the right woman, you are complete. When you marry the wrong woman, you are finished. And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are:

Completely Finished!"

He won a trip around the world and a case of 25 year old Scotch!

There ya have it then-thats all fer this weeks column. Hope ya enjoyed it a bit.

Plan on attend'n the church of yer choice with yer family this week.

Remember where ever ya are, what ever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!"

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke