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Sometimes You Just Get Lucky
It’s July, hot in August and I am sitting here in Cotton McCarty’s filling station and café while Cotton fixes my flat tire. Also, here drinking coffee and chatting about weather and world affairs are the areas elders and retired farmers. To Include: Ollie Smith, John Knack, Albert Diekman, Heavy Woodcock, Bill Gonnerman, Olen Baker, Chester Sykes, and Kyle Cooper.
Cotton sticks his head in the door and says, “Bill I got you going.” As I am walking out Ollie Smith catches up to me and says, “Oh Bill would you be interested in combining that patch of red clover south of my house?” Well I had noticed that patch of about 11 acres of clover and remembered it to be about the best I had ever seen. Without hesitation I said, “Well sure Ollie, I’ll bring my combine in the afternoon.
I ask Cecyle to make me a sandwich and fill my thermos while I gassed my little 420 John Deere and greased my old 60 Allis Chalmers Combine.
I was pulling into Ollie’s field at 1 o’clock. WOW This is the thickest red clover I had ever seen. I’ll cut the patch in half first so I start thru the field in low gear, you know the crop is heavy when the combine cylinder hums. It also means the crop is ripe. Every once in a while, the governors kick in. Everything is working well. God, it looks like a lot of seed pouring out of that hopper spout more like wheat than seed. An hour and a half later I stop and look in the hopper. I cannot believe my eyes, it’s full, this is too good to be true.
Ollie backs up to the combine and we start sacking seed in Bemis bags. I kicked up only two nests of bumble bees. How can this clover be so productive with so few bees? Lucky me there is not a rock in the field, nor a weed. We are about to unload the second hopper when Ollie uncaps an ice-cold bottle of Pepsi…never tasted one so good.
I thought I would cut the patch easily before sunset but I’m beginning to wonder. The clover is so heavy the governors kick in pretty often. I’m a little concerned about my gas supply. I take a quick look, hmm well maybe. I thought I would see several rabbits, but only saw two as I remember. Then, how lucky can you get, I did not pick up a single rock.
Wow, this is too good to be true, a pickup load of red clover. Ollie asked, Did I want a check for half from the seed house or should he write me a check for half. I said just get two checks from Ruby and we’re done with it. I lifted the header and I headed for home. The sun was setting when I drove up my drive. A bath never felt so good. Clover dust is very itchy. I saw Ollie about 10:00 the next morning at Cotton’s Cafe. He handed me a check for $308.00. I could hardly believe it! Ollie said, “probably one of your better afternoons, Eh Bill?” 300 dollars in 1966 was quite a chunk of change.
Contributed by Bill Lewis