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Old 11-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #31 (permalink)
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ttarob Tourists To Alberta Rob
I grew up in a grain farming family.
One of my great life memories was (age 16) working for my 2 Uncles on their 6 section farm in Delia - building 5 quonset granaries over 10 ft I/G conical shaped cement to enable getting all the grain out w/o shovelling like hell. I'm not sure if anyone else has ever done that.
Being a big operation they were one of the last to get the crop off and some neighbours pitched in as they had finished their harvest. Great site to see 5 combines running - I was driving truck and we would unload "on the fly" and got so good we did not stop for corners - way too much fun. No easy feat with a rear steering combine, at least without dumping a couple bushels of grain on the ground.
I had worked all summer for them 16-18 hrs per day $90/mo 7 days/wk (I should resent that but I don't) - one weekend we had a break where we went to the Calgary Stampede, but I had to drive my 11 yr old niece back on Saturday night so wasn't exactly a lot of time off.
Both of my Uncle's have passed but in the 90's I volunteered to come out and work my ass off at harvest a couple of times, just for the sheer fun of it!

Aside on my "11 yr old" niece. She is now about 55 and had a breast cancer opertion yesterday - both her mom and dad (2 of my very favourite people) died in their 50's from cancer so I pray Carol has a better fate.
Oh man. You and my brother could talk for hours about driving tractor, combine, swather..... In the 70's and 80's, my Dad managed a 30,000 acre ranch in southern Alberta (between Pincher Creek and Cardston, north of Waterton Lakes Park) for Morris Palmer. My brother would come out and work the summers on the farm side of the business (he also would head to Saskatchewan in the fall to help my cousins harvest). Dad preferred the cattle side, as did I. Because we were schooled in Calgary, Mom would drive me down there almost every weekend, until I got my own license then I would go down even more often. Snow, rain, hot dry dust, it didn't matter to me as long as I was out working with dad on horseback. We also had another 10,000 acres north of Pincher Creek. And there were a few years we would summer some cow/calves and bulls at the Pincher Creek Ranches. Anyway, lots of memories with my dad.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:30 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Oh man. You and my brother could talk for hours about driving tractor, combine, swather..... In the 70's and 80's, my Dad managed a 30,000 acre ranch in southern Alberta (between Pincher Creek and Cardston, north of Waterton Lakes Park) for Morris Palmer. My brother would come out and work the summers on the farm side of the business (he also would head to Saskatchewan in the fall to help my cousins harvest). Dad preferred the cattle side, as did I. Because we were schooled in Calgary, Mom would drive me down there almost every weekend, until I got my own license then I would go down even more often. Snow, rain, hot dry dust, it didn't matter to me as long as I was out working with dad on horseback. We also had another 10,000 acres north of Pincher Creek. And there were a few years we would summer some cow/calves and bulls at the Pincher Creek Ranches. Anyway, lots of memories with my dad.
This is a lifestyle that is dying FAST !!! Very sad !!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:01 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by turnheadz View Post
Oh man. You and my brother could talk for hours about driving tractor, combine, swather..... In the 70's and 80's, my Dad managed a 30,000 acre ranch in southern Alberta (between Pincher Creek and Cardston, north of Waterton Lakes Park) for Morris Palmer. My brother would come out and work the summers on the farm side of the business (he also would head to Saskatchewan in the fall to help my cousins harvest). Dad preferred the cattle side, as did I. Because we were schooled in Calgary, Mom would drive me down there almost every weekend, until I got my own license then I would go down even more often. Snow, rain, hot dry dust, it didn't matter to me as long as I was out working with dad on horseback. We also had another 10,000 acres north of Pincher Creek. And there were a few years we would summer some cow/calves and bulls at the Pincher Creek Ranches. Anyway, lots of memories with my dad.
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This is a lifestyle that is dying FAST !!! Very sad !!
We had a much smaller operation. farming 5 quarters in Three Hills. I recall sitting in the truck 10-11 pm, waiting for Dad to bring the combine to a halt, then drive our 3 ton Dodge truck to unload the hopper. As it got later into the night the wheat swathes would get "tougher" and when he stopped earlier than expected I knew he was "plugged" and I would drive to him and help unplug the bound up swathe in the combine header. At this point we would usually have to give it up for the days work. We knew that frost was oncoming and every hour we lost of harvest time meant we may not get all the crop off, also the potential for frost damage to the wheat increased each day.
As a little kid, I would drive from the field to the homestead, back the truck up to the auger, lining it up to an 18" opening in the tail gate, start the auger, begin to raise the hydraulic lift box, run back and open the wheat chute in the tail gate, unload, then hustle back.
One of the most frightful events of my life, (I was 10 years old) I was driving a full load from the field to our granaries and from the north fields had to negotiate a hill before turning left into our homestead. This was a very heavy load and I missed a downshift into "compound" (lowest gear & tough to hit as clutch does not help). I began going backward down the hill and the brakes did not have a hope in hell. Not sure how or why, but I dropped the RF wheel into the ditch and managed to stop the truck without turning it over and losing the load.
As a kid I didn't really think about the dangers, but I knew of a farmer who had his shirt sleeve caught in an auger - he lost his arm - a neighbour that had a crank start tractor that backfired and lost a third of his face. When I was 16 I returned home from school and headed out to the field to help Dad only to find Dad with his arm almost severed at the bicep, caught up in a chain gear. The only way I could extricate him was to start the combine and run his arm through the gear to get him loose, then drive him 85 miles to Calgary hospital.
Not all fun for sure.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:29 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash View Post
We had a much smaller operation. farming 5 quarters in Three Hills. I recall sitting in the truck 10-11 pm, waiting for Dad to bring the combine to a halt, then drive our 3 ton Dodge truck to unload the hopper. As it got later into the night the wheat swathes would get "tougher" and when he stopped earlier than expected I knew he was "plugged" and I would drive to him and help unplug the bound up swathe in the combine header. At this point we would usually have to give it up for the days work. We knew that frost was oncoming and every hour we lost of harvest time meant we may not get all the crop off, also the potential for frost damage to the wheat increased each day.
As a little kid, I would drive from the field to the homestead, back the truck up to the auger, lining it up to an 18" opening in the tail gate, start the auger, begin to raise the hydraulic lift box, run back and open the wheat chute in the tail gate, unload, then hustle back.
One of the most frightful events of my life, (I was 10 years old) I was driving a full load from the field to our granaries and from the north fields had to negotiate a hill before turning left into our homestead. This was a very heavy load and I missed a downshift into "compound" (lowest gear & tough to hit as clutch does not help). I began going backward down the hill and the brakes did not have a hope in hell. Not sure how or why, but I dropped the RF wheel into the ditch and managed to stop the truck without turning it over and losing the load.
As a kid I didn't really think about the dangers, but I knew of a farmer who had his shirt sleeve caught in an auger - he lost his arm - a neighbour that had a crank start tractor that backfired and lost a third of his face. When I was 16 I returned home from school and headed out to the field to help Dad only to find Dad with his arm almost severed at the bicep, caught up in a chain gear. The only way I could extricate him was to start the combine and run his arm through the gear to get him loose, then drive him 85 miles to Calgary hospital.
Not all fun for sure.
I almost lost my Dad early on at the ranch. He was riding his favorite horse, the best horse he would ever have as it turns out, and trying to move a huge mean Charolais bull. The bull charged and lifted the horse and threw them in the air. Once Dad was on the ground the bull could have finished him off, but my brother and a friend happened to be with Dad that day helping and they did what they could to stop the dire situation at hand. The bull walked off and Dad got the help needed. He got a cast on his right leg all the way to his crotch. The horse was never able to be riden again. Scared the hell out of my brother, he'll never forget that day. That didn't stop Dad from working tho. He would slide into his truck from the passenger side and operate the pedals with his left foot.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:55 PM   #35 (permalink)
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They were made of tougher stuff"

My dad was born in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in 1888. When he was 14 he left home and began "breaking" horses for his living. When he was 18, a cow turned in front of his horse, the horse ran over the cow, fell and rolled over my dad, sticking his shiny saddle horn thru his leg just above the knee. The horse got up and "ran away" with my dad hanging upside down on the saddle horn. He pulled himself up, got his leg off the saddle horn, turned loose, fell to the ground from the running horse, tied his leg off with his belt and crawled five miles to the ranch house.

His uncle loaded him in a wagon and carried him 18 miles to Comanche, Ok, the closest doctor. His uncle stood over him with a shotgun to keep the doctor from cutting his leg off, said he would rather see him dead than one legged. Two weeks later my dad took the rifle scabbard from his saddle and cut the bottom off so his crutch would fit in it. And climbed on his horse using the crutch for support. He used that crutch for five years.

Much tougher than his son.

Jack
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:15 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Love reading your stories!!!

I used to ski at Banff and Lake Louise in the winter, then "tour, hike, camp" in the incredibly gorgeous wilderness areas around Jasper in the summertime as well !! The Canadian Rockies are some of the world's most beautiful mountains - - I still remember every downhill run with my ski partner who was a member of the two-man Canadian Bob Sled Olympic Team, competing in two Olympic Games!! Awesome country, breathtakingly beautiful for sure! I was at the Banff Springs Hotel when Alan Ladd was filming the movie "Saskatchewan" on the Bow River..... In ALBERTA!!! The funny part is that I CAN STILL REMEMBER!!!!

I figure I must be part Canadian as I also crewed on the majestic sailboat, Spirit, out of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club for many years and was instrumental in opening Whistler up to Helicopter skiing in it's early days!!!

HMMMMMMMM..... An SSR Rally in Alberta!!! What a treat!!!!


Sue

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:39 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I drove across Manitoba/Alberta at night, on Labor Day(US) weekend, three years in a row. They were burning off the fields each time, which was surreal. Every once in a while I'd see a pickup parked, usually a junction of a side road, but other than that just miles and miles of fire.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:09 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I drove across Manitoba/Alberta at night, on Labor Day(US) weekend, three years in a row. They were burning off the fields each time, which was surreal. Every once in a while I'd see a pickup parked, usually a junction of a side road, but other than that just miles and miles of fire.
It's been tooo windy in Alberta in the past few years!!
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Interesting "Dad" stories.
My Dad was born 1912, as Dad would say - "at the Scott & Smith horse ranch on the banks of Beaver Creek" in N Dakota. He was the last of nine children and I guess G'Pa Silas (US Certificate of Naturalization 1914 - 2 yrs after Dad was born) was tired of going into the nearest town of Ray where he registered births because the 1st eight I found on a census but no sign of Dad. At one time I was considering applying for dual citizenship as I was contemplating building a house in Semiahmoo Resort WA. Unfortunately Dad passed away and I just forgot about continuing with it.
So I am Canadian for sure but have some family history south of the border.
Funny that Sue mentioned Alan Ladd (one of my all time fav's) as I had thought of him while thinking of the wheat fields and the custom harvesting. I couldn't find it in his movie bio but I thought he ran a custom harvest operation in S America (movie Santiago came to mind).
We have Fanatic jandhharvesting who does custom harvesting. I spent a couple hours on the phone with Mark - hugely interesting!
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