May 30, 2012

Today is the traditional day for Memorial Day, or “Decoration Day” as my mom used to call it.  I plan to visit the cemetery in Wheatland, Indiana, today to visit the graves of my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.  I recall the days when Memorial Day always fell on the 30th, rather than the last Monday of May.  One particular Memorial Day I remember was in 1962, when I was helping my dad plant soybeans.  It was my job to get the soybeans transferred from big, old burlap sacks to peck-sized buckets.  So I spent the day working in the back of the pickup wallowing (yes, wallowing) those hefty bags around, moving the beans into those buckets.   The bags were often so big they held 2 bushels of beans, so dad wanted them moved into the smaller buckets, making it easier for him to carry the beans to the planter seed boxes.  About every half-hour, he would require a fill-up.  During my work in the pickup that day, I kept a transistor radio (the pickup had no radio) tuned into Sid Collins, the ‘voice of the 500’.    Even then, we were all fans of the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’, the one and only Indy 500!

If you’ll watch a short YouTube video I found, you can see a planter, an International #56,  similar to the one I was supporting that day in 1962.  The boxes for the seed are the four smaller ones on the back.  The two bigger boxes on the front of the planter are for fertilizer, but we did not use those when planting soybeans, only seed.  The tractor in the video is much more modern than the IH-Farmall 450 dad drove at the time.  Notice the marker arm on the left side of the planter, making a mark to guide the driver for the next pass.  No GPS and auto-guidance in those days!  It just hit me that this was 50 years ago today!  Oh my!

A good news event for our community occurred last evening.  Our local high school softball team won the regional championship.   In Indiana, the state tournament consists of 4 levels of competition, beginning with the sectional, which the girls won last Saturday.  They move on now to the semi-state, a four-team event on Saturday the 2nd, and hopefully they will win two games there.  After that, is a one-game state final.  Right now, it feels good for them to be in the ‘elite eight’.  In fact, this is the first softball regional champion team in the school’s 45-year history.  There was a big crowd at the game last night, and I would expect a large group to travel to Forest Park High School in Ferdinand for Saturday’s 1 pm game.  Go Spartans!

Today, we continue to prepare for wheat harvest.

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