|One of my favorite tasks was helping Grandpa load the pickup bed with eared corn to take to the elevator to be ground up for feed. As soon as I was big enough to handle the aluminum scoop, Grandpa would let me do most of the loading until I got tired. We usually loaded the pickup bed from the double crib where Grandpa stored the pickup. He would pull out the truck, and I would open the side crib door and he would back the pickup as close to the side door as possible. We would commence with shoveling. It usually took an hour to load the pickup.|
We then headed into Losantville, IN to the grain elevator, which still stands to this day. We would pull onto the large scale and then climb out of the truck and proceed inside the elevator office. It was a large room with a large desk with the scale assembly built in. There was a potbelly stove in the middle of the room with about a half a dozen farmers sitting around telling stories and cutting up. I being a city kid was picked on all the time but we had a lot of fun. In one corner of the office was an old Coca Cola machine. Grandpa would give me a nickel for a 6 ˝ ounce bottle of Coca Cola. You would insert the nickel, then turn a crank. The bottles sat on a turn table that was immersed in cold water. As soon as a bottle appeared in the hole I would grab and drink my reward.
When the pickup was finally pulled into the elevator building, Grandpa and I would go out to watch them unload. There was a lift to raise the pickup about 20 degrees. The eared corn would drop down into the dumping pit. I can still hear the very loud whirr that the electric motor and the grinders would make. We would watch the corn get shelled then watch it move on a conveyor assembly into the main grinder. There was a large round metal bin at the back of the elevator where the ground corn was dumped. It had a mixer and Grandpa usually had a supplement added to the corn. There was a funnel assembly where the Old John would load the cloth feed sacks. I remember Grandpa had sacks with the Master Mix logo painted on them. After Old John loaded the 20 or so sacks onto the pickup we would depart.
Usually Grandpa would take me into town and visit his mom, Chochy Grandma. She usually had milk and cookies ready when we arrived. I would play with Chochy’s little dog for awhile before we returned to the farm. Sometimes we would stop at a small building next to the bank and visit with Grandpa’s brother, Uncle Verle. Grandpa and his brother would pick on each other while I was there. They had a lot of fun together. When we returned to the farm, I would help Grandpa unload the sacks into the feed room in the barn.
If we got back to the farm before 10;00 AM, Grandpa and I would usually load up another load of eared corn and head back to the elevator. Grandma would remind us to be back at the farmhouse PROMPTLY before noon for dinner. When we would return to the farmhouse I was ready to scarf down dinner. Grandma usually had fried steak, mash potatoes, green beans and rolls. I usually had 2 portions of everything before having a piece of Grandma’s blackberry pie. Boy that was great eating! After dinner Grandpa and I would sit on the porch swing while he read the mail. I usually played around the farm in the afternoons.
Grandpa kept up this tradition every time I visited the farm. As I got older, I would maneuver the pickup at the crib. Once I got my driver’s license, Grandpa would have me drive to the elevator. Since we usually had the truck bed very full, we would only drive 40 mph. Sometimes Grandpa would give me money and I would drive a load of corn to the elevator myself. This tradition continued until I entered the USAF in 1974. Grandpa quit raising pigs that year and soon after quit raising beef cattle due to his age. I will always remember those great times hauling corn to the elevator.
The Red, John Fritz, from IN, entered 2000-01-14