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Combine and me

Story ID:5863
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1942
Person:Chelsea Kansas Grease Monkey Kid
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Combine and me

Yesterday so long ago ----- Chad

My Dad was from the old school and believed that as long as he was furnishing the room and food that you didn't get a salary. At the start of summer, he would buy me a new Straw hat and a new pair of leather gloves.

No shoes were needed because I went barefooted and shirtless and If I were not afraid of being called a sissy I would have been wearing walking shorts.

The planting and harvesting was always done in the hottest and driest of summer. I still don't why I didn't die from heat stroke.

That old combine needed fuel, water and oil for the motor the same as the tractor did and that was my job. I had to grease the machinery and the combine had 100 places to grease and that had to be done twice a day.

Twice a day Dad could find something to do, so I would do the whole job by myself. Climbing all over the combine looking for the grease fittings and if I missed one he could find it in an instant and would say "missed one" and would show me where it was.

The fuel was in five-gallon cans and they were heavy but I crawled up on the combine and poured the gas in through a funnel into the tanks.

When we moved the combine from one field to another, we had to break the machine down. We would take the fifty-pound counter weights off the Header, pull the pin, and insert the trucks under the header and then it was ready to move down the road or to another field.


Two trips were needed because you had to move the combine also, then you put it together again so you could start the harvesting.

The reason that you had to break it down and move it in two pieces was the thing was 25 foot wide and it would not fit on the road.

When the combining was done Dad would take one day off and then we would start the plowing. We had a 40 acre field on the east and 120 acre field on the south and a 360 acre plot that we rented from a banker in Topeka, all in all 520 acres.

The plowing lasted about a week and a half. Then we would start harrowing or disking.

Each of these took about three days each because the Disk was 14 feet wide and the harrow was about twenty-foot wide so you could cover more territory in one swath. You could plow or do the disking until about nine p.m. in the evening because it stayed light longer.

We only plowed once at night, and the hired hand went to sleep and was hurt when he fell on the plow hitch and hurt his back. Luckily, he didn't fall in front of the plow it would have been all over.

The planting was started when the ground was prepared and this was a walk in the park. It was usually in the late part of summer and the weather wasn't so hot.

The two drills were hooked side by side. They were 15 foot wide each so, it took a lot less time to get the planting done and then we were through for the summer.

WHEE! The Start of the harvest was always on the fourth of July and I didn't get to go the rodeo up the road on Wilbur Countryman's ranch.

When the harvesting, the plowing, the disking, and the harrowing and the sowing were done it was time for school to start.