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I Hate Birthdays

13 Sep

I hate birthdays.  It’s not because I’m getting older.  I can’t ever recall particularly caring for them.  Nothing about the day excites me. Memories associated with that day just aren’t outstanding.

Perhaps I hate birthdays because for 57 years on my birthday, my father said, “Today was Kasarek’s sale.  I couldn’t go because you were born.  They sold that 150 acres, and the buyer got the wheat crop that had already been planted.  The wheat crop paid for that 150 acres.” He never said that I was responsible for him not buying this neighbor’s land, but the message was clear.

clarence-funk-with-king-and-duke-1197

I confronted my father two months before he died.  I was simply tired of hearing about the Kasarek sale and how he could have acquired another 150 acres for free.  He said, “That’s just how I remember your birthday.”

Well, I finally looked it up.  Father, you lied.  According to the county land records, the land was sold before my birthday.  It was too early to plant wheat; therefore, the new owner planted wheat after my birthday.  A sale did occur on the Kasarek’s property on my birthday.  Household goods and farm equipment went under the gavel.  You could have attended.  I arrived at 8:12 a.m. You had sufficient time to get to the sale if you really wanted to be there.

My father has been dead for nearly twenty years. I still hear him tell about Kasarek’s sale every year. I still hate birthdays.

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JC’s First Drive

13 Mar

Green Cab Over  My father had a truck similar to this one.  It had sideboards for hauling grain.  It also had a stock rack that fit over the sideboards for hauling livestock.

I remember sitting in the truck with my mother while father ran the combine.  She used to crochet while waiting for the truck to be loaded so that she could deliver the grain – wheat, oats, soybeans, and corn — to McComb Farmers Co-op (Hancock Station, Shawtown, or McComb) or the grain elevator in Hoytville.  How many afghans and bed spreads did she crochet while waiting in that truck?  I distinctly remember the orange and brown afghan that I still have as well as a white bedspread with red roses that disappeared long ago.

I also remember that the truck was hard to start.  It had a kickstarter under the driver’s right heel back by the seat.  You’d depress the clutch or confirm that the transmission was in neutral, set the choke if it was cold, turn the ignition switch on, and commence to kicking.  (It was quite a challenge if you were on a hill.)  I can’t remember it ever taking less than five kicks to get it started, and then there were times that it seemed to require an infinite number.

There’s a family story of which I have no present sense recollection but have heard it hundreds of time during my life.

Apparently this occurred about the first day of pheasant hunting season (early November) when I was two or thereabouts.

My father had purchased a Holstein bull.   My father had the stock rack on the truck, and I rode along when he went to pick it up.  It was somewhere along the Rader Road (Pleasant Township Road 126) not far from McComb.  I stayed in the cab and out of the way while the bull was loaded.

We returned home, and father backed up to the feedlot to unload the bull.  Again I stayed in the cab and out of the way.  For my protection, I locked the doors of the cab.  After the bull was unloaded, I switched the key on, put the gear shift in the lowest gear, and pushed on the starter with both hands.  (According to my father, this is the only time that this truck started on the first try and while in gear without the clutch depressed.)  The truck started and slowly began moving towards Pleasant Township Road 123 in front of our house and the drainage ditch beyond.

After the initial shock of hearing the truck start, my father tried to get into the cab.  With the doors locked, that avenue was frustrated.  My father then commenced to push against the truck trying to get it to stall.  Fortunately, some pheasant hunters came by and helped my father by pushing against the truck until the motor stalled.

Since, as I’ve stated before, I have no present sense recollection of this incident, I have no idea how long it took to get me out of the cab nor whatever punishment followed.

Reference

Kustom’s by Kent. (2015). 1950 Chevrolet COE Flatbed Truck. Retrieved from Kustom’s by Kent: http://kustomsbykent.com/vehicles/1950-chevrolet-coe-flatbed-truck/