Driving before teething-maybe

Grandpa always had a good number of cattle and had always put up a good deal of alfalfa to get them through the cold Ohio winters. As long as I can remember he had always baled the hay up into square bales. Only until more recent times did they begin to use the round bales. When you bale hay using the square bales, it takes a lot of man hours and a lot of hands to put up so much hay in such a short time. Well, it was on such occation that I can remember my first driving experiences. It must have been the summer before my 4th birthday.(1970) We were short handed in the hayfield that day. My father, John, set me up the tractor seat of the old Massy-Ferguson 65. Even on that small tractor, my feet dangled. Reaching the pedals was out of the question. His instructions to me were, "Just drive stright and don't run over any of those bales." Simple enough task. However, being of such short stature at that age, in all truthfulness, it is kind of difficult to see over the steering wheel. It wasn't too long after that when I heard Uncle Joe yelling, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" My attention was directed to the bale of hay that I had managed to stradle the front tires and was now lodged between the wagon toungue and the ground. I have no idea how far I had dragged that bale of hay.

Submitted by: Jeffrey
Added on Date: 04:28:33 01/19/2001


Thanks for honoring grandpa in this way. As you know grandpa retained his love for recording stories long after he was able to write them. The summer of 97, when he lived with us was one such time. He was seated in his chair in the kitchen and I was nearby sewing. He decided that he would record the catalpa incident. I got him a spiral notebook and a pencil and a sturdy cookie sheet for support. He wrote a few lines and then dozed off to sleep. He slept for maybe an hour and then startled me by yelling out, "Can't somebody get me a pen that works?". I got the new pen. He wrote a couple more words and then fell back asleep. He never finished the story. I did keep the notebook with probably his last attempt to write on it. There are no words that are discernable. It is mostly scraw and hashmarks. He had tried.

Submitted by: Aunt Peg;
Added on Date: 15:29:00 01/20/2001


I shall attempt this story. Lindy you will probably have to make some adjustments to it.
As I recall, Charlie Haines had been cutting firewood in the catalpa patch across from grandpa's house. The patch had several dead trees in it and really needed some cleaning out. When Charlie finished, there were pices of limbs that were scattered about that needed to be burned. Grandpa saw the opportune time to get some good labor free with so many little grandkids there. So he packed them up and set off to clean up the patch. Everybody worked hard and were having a great time building fires and hauling limbs to be burned. One of the fires was at the base of a hollow tree that layed over against another tree. There were probably 10 or 12 fires in the patch by suppertime. Grandpa saw that everything looked under control before we quit for supper and the night. It looked great!
About 2 am that Sat night, Rod and I were awakened by a knock at the door. It was a deputy telling us that tere was a fire in the woods across the road. I told him that we had been burning brush, that we knew about it and that all was fine. He begged to differ, saying that a fire had burned through the power line which ran above the patch and the neighbor was without electricity, Since there was a downed power line, he would have to call the fire dept to see that it was safe for Dayton Power and Light to go into the patch. Grandpa and grandma were sound asleep, so I asked if the fire dept could come without sirens since there was no real emergency. The word was absolutely not! They were required to run the sirens on any run. Oh, Brother! Rod and I got dressed and went down to await their wailing arrival. They were kind and did not turn on the sirens. One of the firefighters asked Uncle Rod if there were two fires in the place. He responded with " I think there were two". They got Pipewrenche's electricity restored and we went back to bed for what was the rest of the night. Mom and Dad and our kids slept through the whole episode.
Rod's brother-in -law, Bob, worked with the Franklin Co. sheriff's office and as a joke sent Lindy and Amy a warrent for their arrest for burning illegally. There were two shaken up gals over that one.

Submitted by: Aunt Peg;
Added on Date: 15:58:59 01/20/2001

Estes Model Rockets

I remember one summer where Dan Hacker and I had started to build Estes model rockets in Columbus. It just so happened that Mike and Uncle Joe had done the same thing, but they had built a larger rocket that took a larger engine (Class "C").

Well, Dan and I came down to grandma's with our rockets and we had bought a little plastic launch pad for just for the occasion. Here was the big chance to test off the rockets. We went out into the field between grandma's and Uncle Joe's. One cousin in particular that I remember being with us was Jeff Beam.

Dan and I launched our rockets with their class "B" engines and they went up, popped their little chutes and one floated gently down in the same cow pasture near the back where the corn field was. Another took off towards the field across Henville Road so fast that we couldn't find it.

Now it was Uncle Joe's turn. His rocket barely fit on our little launch pad, wouldn't sit straight, and we found that the aluminum "fire shield" was not even big enough for the rocket. Well, we decided to go ahead and try it anyways.

One problem was, the tiny little battery powered ignitors that Dan and I had used wouldn't light the engine. But, that was soon fixed...somebody ran into the house, grabbed a cherry bomb and pulled the fuse out of one and stuck it up the nozzle of the rocket.

Well, Uncle Joe lit the rocket off and it shot at the weirdest angle. It burned a hole through our fire shield and partially melted the legs of our little launchpad. It went way up and then changed course and started heading over towards the direction of the pond by Route 68.

Jeff Beam took off and just started running towards the alfalfa patch. After a few minutes, we still didn't see Jeffrey and we thought that was a rocket that we would never find. About five minutes later, Jeff came walking back with the rocket. He had chased the thing almost to the edge of the alfalfa patch and was still out of breath after he had gotten back, but he had retrieved that rocket.

A few weeks later, Uncle Joe was picking corn in the field behind the Catalapa Patch and found our rocket. Aunt Mary got ahold of it, and had Uncle Tom mail it from Kentucky on his next logging run along with an angry letter that was all doctored up to sound like it landed in some back yard in Louisville.

The next time we went down, Uncle Joe built a launch pad for his rocket. It was comprised of a sheet of 1/2" plywood and and a brazing rod that he had fixed at a right angle to guide the rocket.

Submitted by: Joel;
Added on Date: 21:36:51 01/31/2001

Grandma Beam's Knees

Well, sooner or later you know it would wind up here. So, I figured, why not be the first one to put it up. This may not have been after 1986, but it is a story and a family song that needs to be recorded. Anyone remember those famous words to the song that grandma would bounce us on her knees with...Mabye this is what led to the hip surgery late in '97.

I am a travelin' monkey, just only two years old.
They took me when a baby and sold me for some gold.
My master's an Italian, he's very cruel to me.
He turns his barrel organ and makes me dance you see...

With a tra la la
and a fa la la and
a tra la la la la

(Repeat song until grandma's knee gets tired)

If anyone remembers those words differently, please let me know, because, this is one that we have to get right :)

Submitted by: Joel;
Added on Date: 14:32:43 02/15/2001

Buck, Buck

I can't really say that I have ever been part of this tradition, directly so I was really waiting on some good bucker or buckee to write this one. I think the tradition predates the grandkid generation and all started with that Roger and Donnie and Uncle John generation. As I recall, I think Uncle Joe was the origional buckee. Buck, buck seems to occur when the ringleader gives some secret signal that it is time to pile on the poor innocent victim who instantly finds himself under the pile of cousins. They say that the person on the bottom really isn't smashed, but that is always the story of one of the upper layer of cousins. Apparently this is so for rarely did the one on the bottom come up crying.

Submitted by: Aunt Peg;
Added on Date: 20:02:32 02/22/2001

What a Ride!

Saturday, June 19, 1971. I well remember the day because it was exactly one week before our wedding. Jill was 5 days old and Jeff and Jim were helping us bale hay at the Buckwalter farm. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon when a load was ready to be hauled to John’s barn and I was the designated driver. I loaded Jim (two years old) and Queenie into the cab of the red F-8 Ford truck and we headed down Hussey Pike for the barn. Our trip was uneventful as we crossed 68 and then stopped at Maple Corner to turn onto Winchester Road. As we approached the T at Springvalley-Paintersville Road, I pressed the brake pedal… but there were no brakes! The brake pedal pushed all the way to the floor and the load of hay was pushing us down the incline toward the intersection. My heart panicked as I looked to see if there was oncoming traffic in the intersection. My life literally flashed before my eyes in those intervening seconds… wondering if I would make it to my wedding the next week. We sped through the stop sign, crossed the intersection, bounced through the ditch, clipped off the driver’s-side mirror with a too-close telephone pole, and finally came to rest several yards out in the Crazy Field. With my knees trembling, I climbed out of the cab and gathered Jim and Queenie. There was such a kind gentleman and his wife following us who came to see if we were all right. Had they been in front of us, we would certainly have run over them. They took us to John’s house where Jim told his mom he was never going to ride with Aunt Mary again! Later Joe told me that he forgot to tell me they had been having a little trouble with the brakes on that truck. Another picture for the disaster reel.

Submitted by: Aunt Mary;
Added on Date: 15:47:57 02/24/2001

Cooking Fire

This is really part of the next 60.It concerns Robert and Rodney.
Each summer for who knows how long it has been the tradition to celebrate Mom and Dad's August birthdays with a weiner roast on the hill at Grandma's. Everybody looks forward to this event of family fun. There is always all the hot dogs that one can eat a nice big fat watermellon, Lori's great deviled eggs and then all the marshmallows that you can stuff yourself with and Aunt Mary's pretty birthday cake. After the gifts had been opened this year, everyone sort of settled down to hold their stomachs and to have some good catching up with each other. Robert and Rodney were setting by the now died down fire stirring the coals with long sticks. When asked what they were doing, one of them piped up,"Oh we're just cooking fire". It will probably live to haunt them, cause we will never let them forget it.

Submitted by: Aunt Peg;
Added on Date: 10:47:43 03/24/2001

Grampa's wheels

To cut down on the amount of walking to get to one building to anotheron the farm Grampa started riding a bicycle.It was a bike that we had ridden as kids.It had been acompanied by "sissybars", a banana seat and a paint jobLater on, Grampa added a basket for carrying tools.This bicycle got him around the farm for many years.
Then one day we got a call from Mona's mom saying she had seen a golf cartin a garage sale and asked if we were interested in buying it.Grampa didn't have to think for very long on that one.After getting it home we took off the golf bag holders and made a platform to carry things.It was electric and gave many hours of service between charges.
Many of the grankids learned to drive and perfected their driving skills on that cart.It proved to be such a useful vehicle and Grampa needed help in his mobility, several other carts have been put to use on the farm since then, they have been very handy on the farm.

Submitted by: Uncle Joe;
Added on Date: 06:34:21 04/08/2001

Delayed Reaction

This story isn't too long, but it is probably one of my favorite memories of Grandpa. I really can't put a date on it because it happened many times to us all.
Like the rest of us, Grandpa especially liked a good joke. There he would be, sitting in his orange chair in the office in his overalls, flannel shirt, and vinyl slippers paying very close attention to the joke as to not miss any details. Then the punchline....and everyone would laugh. Grandpa would sit there quietly looking into the distance for a few minutes, seeming to process everything. Then he would turn toward you with a sparkle in his eye and start to laugh in his raspy laugh that only he could make, and you knew the joke was finally a success!

Submitted by: Uncle Amy;
Added on Date: 19:51:17 09/09/2001