By Don Tataryn – Scarborough, Ont.
I was 17 years of age in 1951 when I was working at the Bill Kooistar farm about five miles north of Durban, Man.
It was harvesttime. Swathers, binders, and combines were all moving. Bill was stook threshing. He had about 250 acres of grain bindered. I and another man named Walter were stooking about a week.
Next was the threshing. Well, they had these big racks about 10-feet wide and about 20-feet long with low wide wheels and they were pulled with a small D2 Caterpillar.
There were about five men loading the rack and as it got about three-quarters full they’d send me to build the load.
You had to work fast as the sheaves were being fed in by the four men on the ground. When it was full they’d take the load to the threshing machine, then return with the other big rack to be loaded.
It was about two weeks of work. Bill ran a mixed farm with pigs, cattle, a team of horses, and grain. His mare had a colt so I asked him if I could take the colt for my wages and he agreed. The price was $35 and I think I had about $10 left.
Bill delivered the colt to me after the harvest was over. That horse turned out to be one fine animal. He behaved very well when I rode him and he was a good workhorse.
When I quit farming in 1966, I sold him for 50 bushels of No. 4 wheat to my cousin.
I believe 1951 was the year that lots of farmers had their crops snowed in. I remember I helped Mr. Senchuck combine in the spring of 1952.
Spring was very early and dry and the yield was pretty good after the winter in the swaths.