Gather 'Hound the Table

| September/October 1984

Route #1 Greenfield, Illinois 62044

A favorite memory from my childhood on a west-central Illinois farm is of summer days spent baling straw. Neighbor boys would come over to buck the bales. Being just a young girl, I had the privileged job of driving the tractor.

At noon, we'd wash up and go in to a lunch of Mom's fine country cooking. Sitting in the comfort of the air-conditioner, I could hardly wait for Dad to start telling of threshing days when he was a boy.

Charlie Thaxton (who was later to become my dad) remembers being the water boy when the threshing crews came to his home near green-field, Illinois. He and the other boys would be hanging from the picket fence when they heard the first sounds of the steel-wheeled tractors pulling the binder up the road. But they were out in the field when it came time to stack the bundles into shocks.

On threshing day, neighborhood men came in to help toss the bundles into the threshing machine. In the meantime, their wives were inside cooking up a country dinner big enough to feed an army. By the time the men answered the dinner bell, the saw-horse tables were so full of food they practically swayed in the middle. The only air-conditioner in the 'good ole days' was right next to the wash stand under the maple tree!

Dad's memories of those days are precious to him. He shares them with over 50 members of his Tri-County Antique Club (Greene, Jersey and Calhoun counties in west-central Illinois). Their organization specializes in the restoration of antique farm machinery, gas engines and a few vintage automobiles. Dad has everything from a 1918 Fordson to a 1939 McCormick Deering 20. All his tractors are authentically restored to running condition, right down to the color of the paint.