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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Crank it to Houstin and Hammer Down

I sort of promised my neighbor I would stack for her this evening. I just can't bring myself to do it. I don't have the energy.
Here is how it all started.
It was  Friday morning. I was putting diesel in my transfer tank in my pickup. I had just got a call from a customer who needed me stack for him. He expected to have some 3,000 bales on Saturday for me to pick up.
The neighbor girl called me. She is neither a girl nor is she my neighbor any longer but she used to be and so will be forever young and riding her three wheeler which for some reason she named "Herbie."
She runs the baling crew on the her father's farm and she takes it all pretty seriously.
Her father is getting up in years and does not track quite as straight as he used to.
The story was that her father was at her house on the fourth. They had a bonfire and watched the local fireworks. Somehow he ran over her foot.
She tends to talk really fast and I can't quite follow what she says on the phone but it would seem he backed up on the lawn so he would not have to walk so far.
She was guiding him out so he would not run into any other cars.
She got him lined up and said, "Pa, hold it to Houston and back up, but You know Pa, he is always hammer down and I didn't get out of the way in time."
I think it was "hold it to Houston" but it might of been hang it to Houston and Hammer down," or crank it to Houston.
I don't really understand the expression. Which direction is Houston? Wouldn't it change if you are on the East Coast or West Coast? I did a search and came up with nothing. Perhaps I will inquire further on this issue.
The bottom line is that she has thousands of bales on the ground and an untrained stacker operator.
I was committed to a job on Saturday which turned out to be 3600 bales of Timothy hay. I started at 9:30 a.m. and finished up at 9:30 p.m. I had a quick supper and then picked up another 800 bales for her after dark.
I would have done more but the bales didn't want to go up the bale chute and it went pretty slow. I quit at 12:30 a.m.
At 7:30 am we heard a diesel pickup outside the house. I went out on the porch and was greeted by her niece. My wife had found her pads for her crutches and she had given my wife the wrong amount of money for the pads. Not wanting to owe anyone she brought us the difference at 7:30 a.m.
I walked back in the house and my wife said, "She gave us $5 too much..."
I did not call her back...
Today I did not answer my phone, I suppose tomorrow will give me plenty to do.


  1. 'Hold it to Houston and hammer down' has a nice 'Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead' kind of ring to it. Admiral Farragut method of farming never worked for me. Something always broke.

  2. Fadrragut farming has certainly been successful for my neighbor. The problem is you didn't carry it far enough. One day my neighbor got fed up with his Massey 760. He was at the tail end of a line of combines going somewhere to work. He pulled into the IH dealer and drove out with a new Case-IH 1680 combine and got back in line...
    No more combine problems...

    1. I got my combine model numbers wrong. But, the gist of the story was, old combine gone, new combine, same day... I got to go stack. I'm still a little blurry this morning.


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