Harvest awhile ago..

Harvest time is very stressful for all concerned. Your whole year as a farmer depends on the Harvest. This is true now, but when my folks were farming in the late 40’s thru theĀ  1960’s it was especially stressful. The yields and the prices were never that much and they couldn’t afford insurance to shield them from loss of a crop. My Dad hardly ever slept more than 4 hours during harvest time which just added to the stress. My ma bless her heart worked like a man in the fields and made sure we had something to eat too.

I started moving trucks around the field at 4 or 5, I had to sit on a pillow so I could see between the top of the steering wheel and the top of the dash when I started. I drove a loaded grain truck to town by the time I was 8 and was a combine operator by 10 or 11.

Russ Crites the Fordson tractor operator

Me on the old Fordson tractor

By the time I was 16 I thought I was the finest combine operator in all of Northern Montana. That particular fall we had purchased a new used combine which was equipped with a 18 foot header. It had a larger header on it before we bought it so it came with an auger that was alot longer than normal. Now a header is what cuts the grain in front and an auger is what unloads the grain out of the combine into the truck.

Harvest was long that particular year about 3 weeks or more and by the time we were done this over confident prideful 16 year old combine operator was hurrying too fast driving in the yard by our old farm house. My ma appeared in the yard waving her arms off. I was sure she was very glad to see me so I just waved back at her. She was trying to tell me that the too long auger was about to hit the roof of the old farm house. Yes it did and yes I tore a section of the roof right off and bent the end of the too long auger. So much for a successful finish to harvest.. They say Pride goes before the Fall.. surely that’s the way it happened.

Crites Homestead, Gildford, Montana

If you look closely at the left corner of the house the roof is missing…

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  1. Nikki Alaee says:

    I can just picture you waving!!!

    • Slim says:

      Yep all I did was wave, wasn’t awake…

  2. Mary Bolta says:

    I can see mom FRANTIC and Russ just having a great time waving.

    One time George put Cory in the old Lincoln and went down to the post office. It was very cold so he left Cory in the car while he ran in. (yes we did that all the time in a safer time). When he got back to the car, all the doors were locked. George was frantic and kept pointing to the lock and making an up motion with his hand even telling cory what to do. Cory thought it was wonderful. The tunes were on as loud as they would go and he kept smiling and waiving at Grandpa. George had to go back in the post office and borrow the phone (no cell phones yet) and call me. I was not real happy since the only thing I had to drive was the old Jeep, which was hard enough to drive in the summer on dry roads. I made it and delivered a set of keys successfully to the boys in distress.’

    • Slim says:

      Great story Mary.. Thank you for sharing..

  3. Helene Stone says:

    Love your stories. I enjoy reading about long ago. Looking forward to more! Thanks!

  4. Slim says:

    Thanks for coming by Helene, there are more…

  5. Michelle says:

    Your story gave me a chuckle! Thanks again so much for sharing! I love your stories!

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