Barry Schrader’s excellent column, Friday, Aug. 10, about the Steam Power Show, brought back memories for me.

What we elders now recall as the “good old days,” were anything but that for our parents. As children, we often were unaware of the hardships they faced during the Depression.

I remember the fun at threshing time as some of my good old days.

My father bought a threshing machine before I was born, but I do remember having seen the machine. Mainly, I remember the long belt that ran the length of it. I was always cautioned to keep my distance from it.

It’s been said, many of us don’t remember as much as we think we do – that it’s from hearing our elders speak about them. I believe this is true.

It was customary for neighboring farmers to help each other at threshing times. Wives and children also joined in and it was a festive time for us children.

Doesn’t it sound like a picnic? That was how we looked at it.

I remember the pain when we walked barefoot on the stubble-filled fields when we took lunch out to the men in the field to save time for them having to come to the farmhouse. We children helped carry the lunch and some of the paraphernalia necessary, while someone drove a pickup truck to transport the heavier items. A huge metal dishpan was lined with kitchen towels and filled it with sandwiches. Home-made lemonade made from real lemons and a huge pot of coffee, etc., were met with great enthusiasm by the workers. Sometimes home-made pies with apples grown by the host farmer were provided.

Most people associate the Depression with the Wall Street crash of 1929, but a severe drought had caused hard times for many farmers before that and also wiped out my father’s business when there were no crops to harvest.

After lunch was consumed, the wives and children would head back to the farmhouse to clean up the detritus and begin planning supper.

The evening meal (supper) was a much bigger spread made with pork or beef from animals raised right there. Corn on the cob and potatoes from the garden, etc.

When did the vernacular change to dinner? Don’t we still have supper clubs?

Looking back with my rose-tinted glasses, I now realize it was not the good old days for most.

 

Advertisements