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Thanksgiving 1960
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New-Gen    Posted 11-23-2004 at 10:07:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ask a person about their Thanksgiving memories from their childhood and most of the time you get the typical answers. The smell of turkey cooking, the food laden tables, watching parades and football games on TV, visiting relatives, all kinds of {hopefully} happy memories. I was fortunate enough to have all these memories from my growing up years, but the Thanksgiving that stands out in my mind was when I was 6 years old.

The fall was late that year, as I recall we had barely finished harvesting the crops a few days before Thanksgiving. We were in the middle of a streak of good weather, and Dad decided to go out after our turkey dinner {back then we ate breakfast, dinner and supper in that order}, and get a little plowing done. He also decided to mix a little pleasure with business and take advantage of pheasant season.
He was no stranger to field hunting, he even had makeshift "gunracks" installed in the heat housers on all his tractors.

A heat houser is a canvas covering on a framework which surrounds the operator of the tractor and extends along the sides of the engine. The fan blows engine heat back to the driver. They worked great under perfect conditions, however perfect conditions seldom exist in the field. On a still day, they worked great. With a side wind they weren't too bad. Tail winds and head winds were a different story. With a head wind you got an overabundance of heat, and a tail wind blew cold air, dirt and corn shucks on your back with a vengence. They came with an optional plexiglass windshield which tended to make the direction of airflow an even bigger issue. Dad had just intalled a windshield on this particular one that fall. They were the closest thing to an enclosed cab we could get back then.

I watched as he turned into the furrow, advanced the throttle to wide open position and dropped the plow in the ground in one practiced motion. The 2 cylinder John Deere had a sound all it's own, and this one was no exception. As it headed down the furrow you could listen to it and know when he was out of the light high ground and into the heavy low ground by the sound of the exhaust. I listened to the real one as I imitated the sound with my toy one as I plowed the "south forty" in my sandbox. There was no better music to my ears {with the possible exception of Johnny Horton} "popopopopPOPOPOPOP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POPOPOPpopopop as Dad put that gallant old double bucket through it's paces.

On this day my sandbox agricultural operation was in full swing. My "farm" was all sandy soil, so I didn't have to work my 1/16 scale Ertl made John Deere as hard as Dad did its Waterloo produced big brother. I produced my poppopopop sound as I listened to the POPPOPPOP. Then it happened. The symphony out in the field suddenly changed when I heard POPOPOP *BANG* popopopopopop.I looked out in the field and saw my father get off the tractor and pick up something, then stare at it for a moment before he got back on, opened the throttle and engaged the clutch to come back to the house. The exhaust seemed to have a much louder bark now, and as he approached the yard {doing his best to look nonchallant} we found out why. He had stood up to take his shot at a pheasant and, not being used to the windshield being there, had managed to shoot the muffler off the tractor!

This ended his plowing/hunting expedition and he spent the rest of the day watching TV in a somewhat subdued mood. The next morning he sent my mother to the dealer 2 towns away, rather than go himself to the local one where he had purchased the tractor. He knew if he went there he would be pressed for details as to why he needed a muffler for a tractor that was less than 2 years old. Unfortunatly the first person she saw at the other dealership was an old family friend with an antagonizing sense of humor, and, since she hadn't been specificaly sworn to secrecy, she told him what had happened, starting an "urban legend" which followed him for the rest of his life! Since Dad, the family friend and the tractor are all gone now, I just somehow feel compelled to keep the story alive!

Texas    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:01:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good memories and stories are priceless NewGen. Thanks for sharing!

seahag    Posted 11-23-2004 at 14:06:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh my that was too funny I could actually hear that tractor...kinda like the story about my kitchen window. We have a massive quantity of squirels behind us in the woods and a hickory tree right next to our deck. The squirels would take those nuts and pelt my dogs on the head with them until I was afraid that they would kill one of my rat terriers with them. Well the old man took to popping those squirels with his pellet gun, as powerful as a 22 and slowly culling the herd and he was getting much pleasure from it too. I was at work and the phone rang,"Dear...someone shot out our kitchen window with a bb gun..I cant understand why someone would do that." Ok so I called the glass people and asked them if they would come out and fix it..we have triple pane glass in our windows, so it is a special order. I came home and told him I wanted to look at the window, he kept me busy so I couldnt get a look at it, but finally I said ,"I got to see the window." I took a gander at it and over the hole was a piece of clear tape...mmmm wonder why he put tape on it.... not shattered in any way, just a little hole and a whole lot of glass between the three panes..pulling off the tape I ran my hand on the glass,,,,yep you guessed it the shot came from inside the house not outside....

"Honey, I know you think Im dumb and just to inform you in case you dont know or remember, the blonde comes from a bottle, its not genetic...just what the he** happened here?"
It seems in his hunting mode he opened the screen and forgot he shut the window...
"I had em in my sights, that dirty tree rat and I thought I had opened the window.....but I didnt. I killed it, its laying in the back yard."

I couldnt stop laughing I had to call his best friend that he hunts with and retell the mighty hunters I decided to make him live with it for 2 years..
I called the glass company told them the story, they dropped the phone laughing and passed it around the office cause they didnt believe me...
I cancelled the order and said I would call back at a later date to have them fix the window..
This past August I had the window fixed and took down the sign that said OPEN WINDOW BEFORE YOU SHOOT>>>>

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