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Kountry Life Memories

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Easy Does It
FOR MANY YEARS THE MAIN LIVESTOCK ENTERPRISE ON OUR FARM WAS POULTRY PRODUCTION. DAD HAD TWENTY CHICKEN HOUSES AT ONE PERIOD OF TIME. ALL WERE PORTABLE AND MOVED FROM FIELD TO FIELD. AFTER EACH BATCH OF CHICKENS WERE SOLD, THE HOUSES WERE CLEANED AND MOVED TO A NEW CLOVER FIELD SO THEY WOULD BE CLEAN FOR THE NEXT FLOCK. IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE HOUSES TO BE KEPT WARM DURING THE BABY CHICK STAGE AND COAL STOVES WERE USED TO PROVIDE THE NECESSARY HEAT DURING THE LATE THIRTIES AND EARLY FORTIES. UNCLE REX WAS HELPING MOVE HOUSES TO A NEW LOCATION USING THE FARMALL REGULAR TRACTOR. THE SEAT ON THE TRACTOR WAS SUPPORTED BY A PIECE OF SPRING STEEL WHICH CUSHIONED AND PROVIDED FLEXIBILITY TO BOTH THE SEAT AND THE DRIVER. STOVEPIPES WERE REMOVED FROM THE HOUSES BEFORE THEY WERE MOVED BY USING A LADDER TO CLIMB ON TO THE ROOF. UNCLE REX BEING YOUNG AND INVENTIVE FOUND A NEW WAY TO MOUNT THE ROOF. BACK THE OLD REGULAR TRACTOR UP TO THE HOUSE, STAND ON THE TRACTOR SEAT, JUMP UP AND DOWN A FEW TIMES AND THE ADDED SPRING FROM THE SEAT WOULD HELP FORCE YOU UP ON THE ROOF. IT HAD WORKED SEVERAL TIMES BUT THIS ONE TIME THE SEAT SUPPORT BROKE AND DOWN CAME UNCLE REX AND SEAT CRASHING TO THE GROUND. LUCKILY THE ONLY THING THAT WAS HURT ABOUT UNCLE REX WAS HIS FEELINGS AND THE WAY HE WOULD HAVE TO EXPLAIN THE SITUATION TO DAD. HE WAS TRUTHFUL, MY DAD GAVE HIM ABOUT A THREE MINUTE LECTURE AND THE SEAT WAS TAKEN TO THE WELDING SHOP THE NEXT DAY. CLEANING OUT THE CHICKEN HOUSES WAS A JOB I ALWAYS HATED. ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER MONTHS WHEN IT WAS NINETY DEGREES IN THE SHADE. CHICKEN LITTER WOULD CAKE ON THE INSIDE OF THE HOUSES REQUIRING MUCH DIFFICULT SCRAPING. THIS JOB WAS OFTEN ASSIGNED TO MY BROTHER VIRGIL AND ME WHILE MY DAD WAS HELPING SOME OTHER FARMER HARVEST WHEAT OR PUT UP HAY. JOHN ANDERSON, OUR NEIGHBOR WHO WAS A YEAR YOUNGER THEN I, WOULD STOP BY AND SAY 'LET'S GO SWIMMING.' OFF TO THE SWIMMING HOLE WE WOULD GO. THE SWIMMING HOLE WAS LOCATED IN A WOODED AREA SO THE ONLY SWIMMING APPAREL WE NEEDED WAS OUR BIRTHDAY SUITS. WHAT A FUN AFTERNOON. THINGS WERE LESS FUN WHEN WE RETURNED HOME AND HAD TO EXPLAIN TO DAD WHY THE CHICKEN HOUSES WERE NOT CLEAN. WE WERE GOOD AT MAKING EXCUSES BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO CONVINCE DAD.

Submitted By: LOREN LILLY from IN on 2000-02-03

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