Cold, snowy morning conversations |

Cold, snowy morning conversations

Monty Hopkins
Harrisburg, Neb.

About every morning there are eight or ten locals in the cafe in La Grange, Wyo., for breakfast or coffee. Unless someone extra shows up to change things, everyone, not only sets at the same table, but usually on the same chair. It’s just like an unwritten law, Dean’s chair, Bob’s chair or Dixie’s chair. They will nearly always be in the same spot every morning.

This morning, Mark who drives the propane truck, told be he had found Kenny’s hayhook yesterday. I didn’t know that Kenny had lost a hayhook or that he was even looking for it. Then Mark continued, “in my outside dual.”

Right away I questioned that. You never find anything in an outside dual, it is always the inside dual that is flat. I didn’t think you could puncture an outside dual. Well, that started the stories.

Seems ol’ Max had bought a new 4440 and the dealer had delivered it first thing in the morning. They had hooked up a chisel, and were going to try it out. Made it about a hundred yards down the field, and all of a sudden one side of the tractor just dropped. That new 18.4 x 38 radial was flat. Had an old shovel sticking out the side of the tire. There was an old oil well site in this field from 40 or 50 years back. Hadn’t been a problem before.

Which brought up the story of Lloyd’s new combine. Lloyd had an old combine that was pretty well worn out. Had been for several years. Rarely was there a day it didn’t breakdown, and more likely a couple times.

Lloyd was harvesting wheat. A neighbor was helping with his machine, and Lloyd’s machine broke down. Headed to town for parts when he drove past the dealer that had a new machine on the lot, and ready to go.

About the time he should have been back with parts to fix the old combine here came Lloyd driving the new one. The grin was about wider than the 14 foot header. Pulled into the field, engaged the machine drive and started across the end of the field harvesting wheat. Made it about halfway across the end of the field before he hit the REA pole with the bin auger. It was later remarked, ” I thought we were going to see a grown man cry.”

REA poles are amazing things. I have often wondered how something set in the ground about 5 feet can suddenly move two or three feet almost instantly and always toward a piece of machinery, never away from it. For years I have wondered why REA poles that run along a county road are always two to three closer to the shoulder of the road than the width of the piece of equipment you are pulling.

Getting away from REA poles, and back to tires. Generally it is the inside dual that goes flat. Just like it’s more often the rear tire on the stock trailer that’s flat. The one you can’t see in the mirrors, and don’t know that’s flat until chunks of it start flying.

Just a lot of questions which have been around for years and we still haven’t answered. Like, why does a flat tire on a grain truck generally tear off the mud flap?

But it was cold and snowy this morning and none of us were really wanting to go outside, much less drive on the highway. Coffee is always good along with Patty’s pancakes.

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