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Story ID:8737
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:Town of Root New York USA
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By Fred Wickert

In late February 1953, I had dropped out of college and returned home. My sister Ruth and her husband Walt suggested I come work for them on the farm. They could use some help. I thought it was a good idea so I went to their farm. Ruth was in her seventh month of pregnancy.

I had only been there for two or three days when Ruth suddenly fell down the stairs. Walt rushed her to the Cobleskill Hospital to get her checked over and make sure both she and the baby were okay. I was left at home to take care of my nephew Tom, an infant of about two years of age. I loved Tom. He was as adorable as they come and it was a pleasure to take care of him.

Ruth's fall had occurred right after lunch and before Walt and I could go back outside to work. Time wore on and there was no word from Walt. There was a herd of cows in the barn that were soon going to be in need of feeding and milking. Walt had not returned and it was getting late. I had to do something.

I dressed Tom in his snow suit. I got on my own outside clothes and went outside with Tom. I sat Tom down somewhere safe and hooked the tractor to the new manure spreader. The front of the tongue on the manure spreader had been held up from the ground by a jack stand. In my urgency I completely forgot to raise the jack stand. I backed the tractor and manure spreader in the hop house, destroying the jack stand on the door sill of the hop house in the process. Then unhooked the manure spreader and drove the tractor over to where I had left Tom.

I got Tom and took him with me up on the tractor. It was snowing hard and heavy as I drove the tractor out the driveway. I drove to the next farm and explained the circumstances to the woman at the farm house. The farm had been purchased from her and Ruth and Walt had become good friends with her. I left Tom in her care and drove the tractor back to the farm.

I parked the tractor and went in the barn. It was still snowing hard and it was it was well after dark. I went to the barn, turned on the lights and began feeding the cows. I was almost finished and planning to get the milking machines ready when Walt came in the barn.

I asked how Ruth was. Walt told me she was okay but was going to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. Then he told me when she came home she was going to be bringing a new baby girl named Sheila. The fall down the stairs had caused her to give birth early and God blessed them with a daughter, Sheila Weaver.

Sheila celebrates her 60th birthday this week. She has two daughters of her own. One is a mother herself and the younger of the two is planning her wedding.

Happy birthday Sheila. Not many enter as dramatically as you.

Please visit my website at www.fredsstoryroom.com