Milo Yield: ‘Our farming/ranching forefathers were one tough bunch’
May 27, 2016
Our local newspaper, the Leader News, runs a weekly column about the history of Chase County. It's very interesting and I seldom miss reading it.
In a recent issue, the history column mentioned one of the great early ranches in the county was constructed of more than 20 miles of stone fences.
Folks, I've build a couple of short stone fences for Nevah's flower beds and let me tell you that just the thought of building 20 miles of stone fence makes me want to call my chiropractor, ol' Dr. Reuben Crackett.
I know from experience that building the stone fence is the easy part. The hard part is finding, gathering and hauling the rocks to the would-be fence. If I recall from earlier history, I think the going labor rate for building a stone fence back in the pioneer days wuz 25-cents a rod.
I did a little calculating and if that labor rate is correct, the big ranch got 20 miles of stone fence built for $160. (360 rods in a mile X 20 miles X 25-cents). That seems inconceivable to me.
Our farming/ranching forefathers were one tough bunch.
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I heard a supposedly true story that happened years ago in northern Minnesota.
A Swedish farmer wuz having a tough time keeping the wolves out of his sheep flock. The hungry wolf pack was decimating his sheep and they were too wise to human ways for the farmer to get close enuf to shoot them.
But, then he had an idea. He pulled his manure spreader into his sheep pasture and waited for his chance to shoot wolves.
It worked and he plunked several wolves and they pack started leaving his sheep alone.
I'd guess it wuz becuz the manure smell masked his human smell — or else he just got lucky or the wolves got unlucky.
A retired Iowa friend of mine, ol' Bargin Milch, sent me an e-mail recently and he sez he's really got a handle of his retirement. Here's what he wrote:
"Milo, my goal for 2016 was to lose 10 pounds. Only 15 to go. I ate a salad for dinner! Mostly croutons and tomatoes. Really just one big, round crouton covered with tomato sauce. And cheese. FINE, it was a pizza. I ate a WHOLE pizza. I don't mean to brag but … I finished my 14-day diet in three hours and 20 minutes.
"I've learned how to prepare Tofu. Throw it in the trash. Grill some meat.
"I just did a week's worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.
"I read a lot in retirement. I just read a recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.
"Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk nine feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.
"Senility has been a smooth transition for me. I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented … I forgot where I was going with this. Oh, and I love being over 70. I learn something new every day, and forget five others things I knew.
"In retirement, I spend a lot of time reminiscing about the past. Do you remember back when we were kids and every time it was below zero out they closed school? Me neither.
"My dentist told me I need a crown. I replied, 'I've been telling my wife that for years!'
"I just take retirement one day at a time. It helps a lot when I put I an 'Out of Order' sticker on my forehead in the morning and call it a day."
Ol' Bargin's retirement is a lot like mine, particularly the dieting part.
An old farmer and his wife went to an aggie convention in the big city and the first evening when they had some free time, they walked the downtown streets soaking in the urban ambiance.
Eventually they walked past the front door of a swanky restaurant and the wife said to hubby, "Did you get a whiff of that food they're cooking inside? It smells absolutely incredible."
Being a kind-hearted farmer, the thought flashed through his mind, "Well, if she likes it that much, I'll just treat her."
So, he pivoted, dragging his good wife with him, and they walked the other way past the restaurant's front door again — sniffing deeply with every step."
That same farm couple returned to their convention hotel and about an hour later the wife called the hotel front desk and the clerk answers, "May I help you?"
The lady says, "Yes, I'm in room 858. You need to send someone to my room immediately. I'm having an argument with my husband about eating out and he says he's going to jump out the window."
The desk clerk says, "I'm sorry ma'am, but that's a personal matter."
The wife replies, "Listen you idiot. The window won't open …. that's a maintenance matter."
On the political front, I find it interesting that the folks who tell me all the current candidates for president would be bad for America are the same folks who told me our current president would be a good one. Have a good 'un. ❖