Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Birds & the Beans

Grandma Katie's old transistor radio, a tube top, and short-shorts: my entertainment and attire for walking the soy bean field when Dad put me to work to pull weeds by hand.

Yes, I walked it.

And there were birds. Our farmland had lots of low places where water would reside and for some reason, birds like to nest there. And everyone knows how birds protect their young.

So this was another place contributing to my fear of the flying beasts--which to me, are flying mice!

Most of the time, I did not even know they were swooping at me since I was bent over yanking at weeds, but then came their screeching.

I could only handle that for about an hour at a time. Besides, I wanted to watch the Iran-Contra Affair hearings with Oliver North on television. Yes, I was a political junky even back then. Receiving decent reception on only two channels with one of them broadcasting it made for a captive audience.

Dad says now that he cannot believe he made me walk the soy bean fields, but I really did not mind. It was better than laying out to get a tan. At the end of the summer, I had a nice stripe on my lower back from that tube top pulling up.

And what about those birds? I was college-aged so the wash house days and hog house painting had toughened me up a bit. I would simply employ my "get out of here you birds" routine and keep working.

And speaking of soy bean fields, I did help with weedy beans at my brother-in-law Rick’s farm one summer. But he had a bean buggy, a tractor rigged with three to four raised seats fitted with a wand and a spray tank.

Now that farmers use more sophisticated ways of combating weeds, the thing is in storage. The tube top was burned, and my short-short sent to Good Will, but that transistor radio--I think it still works!

My sister Priscilla hunted down the bean buggy to snap this picture for me.

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