A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
One of the most popular photos I have ever posted was the photo "Turning Back the Clock: Photos from Yesteryear: Flappers from the 1920s." Here is a second photo of two of the "flappers" in the original photo: My wife's mother is on the right, her aunt is on the left.
Photo of a horse-dawn grain binder. The grain was cut with a moving sickle on the left, laid flat on a canvas, then moved up the slant on the right and tied with binder twine. Then the grain would be "shocked" into standing shocks to keep the grain off the ground and keep it dry. Finally, the grain would be pitched with pitchforks onto a wagon and hauled to a stackyard where the grain shocks were piled in high circular piles until it was each farm's turn for the threshing machine to come and thresh the grain. This procedure is exactly how we harvested grain until the last year or so I was home in the late 1940s when we hired a neighbor with a grain combine, which cut and threshed the grain and moved the shelled grain into a truck moving alongside the combine. I spent many hours shocking fields of wheat, more hours pitching grain bundles onto wagons. Once, we found a rattlesnake under a shock of grain. This photo was probably taken in the 1930s or so.
Virtually every farm kitchen had a cream separator in it. We had one just inside the kitchen door. It was my job to carry the full milk pails from the milking barn to the house when I helped Dad milk in the evenings. The milk was poured through a strainer to remove interesting tidbits you probably wouldn't want to know about. I don't remember if our separator was hand crank or electric, but it was probably hand crank. The cream came out the top spout and the skim milk out the bottom. The cream was emptied into cream cans where it soured. Once a week we took the sour cream to the dairy in town to be used for making butter. This cream was often the only source of a few dollars of cash income and was used for groceries and other expenses. The skim milk was used to feed the calves and the hogs. My dad always told me that drinking skim milk would make you bloated like a bloated calf. Not until years later did we ever realize that skim milk is the milk of choice. We had an endless supply of cold whole milk poured into two-quart bottles and an endless supply of fresh whole cream, which I hated. In any event, we never had any problems from drinking unpasteurized milk, but Dad was extremely cautious to check the milk from each cow before it was brought into the house.
As you can see, school buses came a long way in a decade, though some were very primitive--wood frames built over a truck chassis. This school building was built in, I think, 1919 (?) and was demolished several years after I graduated in 1949. The windows on the right on the first story are windows to the original band room. I was in the band through five years, one year of baritone, and four years of tuba. The front windows to the left are where I took algebra from Mr. Mac, who could spit a chaw with dead aim at the can by the radiator, and geometry as a senior, which I regrettably never got around to learning. The three upper story windows on the right are where I tortured Miss Harkins in 12th grade English, where I should have behaved myself. Many of these school bus drivers drove for many years. How they stood it, I don't know. They must have needed what little money they got paid.