Like I said dad needed all the help he could get on the ol’ Nicholson place; I remember he borrowed my uncle Ports Old 8N Ford tractor to put in a crop on some of the land SE of the barn and I helped him pick rock off the field by driving the tractor while he threw the rock in the wagon it pulled. I was too small to sit on the seat so I stood up behind the wheel and stepped down on the clutch to stop it and lift my foot to move while the old tractor was just idling and it wold move up about wagon length and he would start throwing rock again. That’s what you did if you wanted to plow up the field. Each winter it would freeze and thaw and more rock would appear. I don’t remember what if anything he planted but I remember him throwin’ that rock and hearing it hit the the wagon bed. All I did was move the wagon my job was fun and easy for a while, then the sun starts getting hot and all you can hear is the putt..putt..putt. of the motor and the rock clunkintg together in the wagon and you start thinking about the cool water in sycamore creek and catching a big fish or even a tadpole… heck I’d settle for minnow.
Two summers go by and I am about 8 years old and Dad asked old man Nicholson ( Kadar he called him) if he could put that piece of ground south of the house across Sycamore creek to use. Why he said, that ground is all growed up in brush and rock he said what ya’you going to plant. Well I thought corn I guess…..Hell corn ain’t worth much these days but if you want go to all that work go ahead keep what ever you make on it but I still need you during the day when I got work……and thy shook hands.
Dad borrowed Uncle Ports team Maude an’ Dusty (Maude’s 3 yr. old gelding) and went to work clearing the land of scrub oak and rock with my brother J.D.’s help, who was about 13 at the time. Later my part in all of this was to sit on Maudes back on a stack of gunny sacks and guide her while J.D. held up the plow. Dad took Dusty cause he was a little green and worked the ground from the other side. As usual it was fun at first but then that sun got higher in the sky and Maude satrted sweating. If you ever tried to bust new ground full of rock and tree roots you’ll know what I mean when I say work. On top of that ever so often Dusty would kick and rear up and try to make a break for it and Dad would have to drop the plow and hold on to the rains pulling Dustys head around till he stopped bucking. The man had a lot of hard bark on him for sure; There was no quit in him. About noon we stopped to go back to the house to eat and I got down off Maude to find my jeans soaked through.
After lunch we went back to the field to finish up the plowing Dad took some dry sacks for me to sit on and I don’t remember how long it took but the next day I couldn’t hardly walk. I was sore to be sure but worst of all I was galleded from all that horse sweat…. I was bright red from never you mind to my socks.
The corn came up, the weather was good and Dad had the best crop ever. he sold the corn at market and made a nice profit. He had already brought the cows around to a very good milk production and Kadar could see that this man was a good farmer. Sometime later Kadar was burnin’ up to find out how much Dad made on the corn so he finally ask him. Dad thought nothing of it and he was proud of what he had done so he told the greedy old man. He said well now Red your already makin’ more on the milk check than I thought you could and I’m payin’ you good wages to work for me so I think you should split that money. Dads neck got hot and he bit down on his chew and said now listen Kadar we made a deal and you know it, I’m done with you and this farm. Dad got an offer from a man named Henry and we packed up and moved to Kansas.