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Shade Tree Stories

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Preface My memories of baling hay during Iowa’s hot and humid summertime of the 1950s. Shade Tree Stories The cool shade of a big tree brings joy to young and old.  The shade was a joyous location after a humid afternoon of baling hay in the hot Iowa summertime.  I hold fond memories of those days in my youth; days …

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Fritz’s Youth

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Fritz’s Youth This story was written in 1995 by my father, Galen “Fritz” Stratton.  It was typed on his typewriter.  After high school, Dad worked as a typist for Donnally’s in Nevada, Iowa for a while before he started farming with his dad.  Dad thought it was the end of the world when they quit making typewriter ribbons.  My daughter …

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Light, Dammit, Light

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Preface: Tending livestock on an Iowa farm during the winters of the 1950s was an arduous and monotonous task.  These are my memories of tending to water tank heaters for the hogs and cattle.   Light, Dammit, Light I was a farm kid in central Iowa during the 1950s; the ‘50s when we had real winter. Snow so deep it was up to …

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Farm Aromas and Sounds

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Preface: The aromas and sounds experienced by farm kids in our youth of the 1950s and 1960s will live in our memories forever.  With work, a few can still be found but many have faded into history.  This story will energize your memories of the greatest time in our lives. Farm Aromas and Sounds  During my youth, the aromas and …

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The Crib

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Preface: This is a story about my father’s family improvising, adapting, and overcoming a situation on the farm.  It is not untypical of the people of their generation.  Their work ethic, family values, and the ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome are the traits that gave them the distinction of the Greatest Generation and they passed that heritage to my …

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Stitches and Gett’n Even

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Preface: In our youth, the squabbles between my brother and I resulted in lots of bumps, bruises, mercurochrome, and a bandaid.  Things got more serious when barbed wire fences and pitch forks were involved with our squabbles.  Originally, these were two separate stories but in 2016 I have combined them into one story for the web world. Stitches and Gett’n …

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The Olden Days

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Preface: When my dad, Galen (Fritz), my Aunt Garnett, and my Uncle Art were in their eighties they wrote stories about growing up in the 1920s, ’30s, and World War II.  The three of them, and their youngest sister Jeanne, were all born on a farm in Richland Township of Story County, Iowa between 1916 and 1927.  They are all deceased.  Their stories …

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The Walking Cast

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Preface: My father saw no reason my broken ankle should allow me to quit working around the farm.  Things changed when the doctor had to replace my cast. The Walking Cast  I played football in Junior High and High School.  I played in eight grade, my freshman year, my junior and senior year.  My senior year was the only year …

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The Weed Wars

In Farm Storiesby Gary

Introduction: Walking beans and pulling weeds was part of life on an Iowa farm.  It wasn’t a fun time but my brother and I had our diversions.  Those diversions weren’t supported by our father and he earned every gray hair in his head.  The story also looks at the difference between a farmer’s kids walking beans and his grandkids walking beans. …

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The Bucket

In Farm Storiesby Gary

The outside of the bucket was a dull and faded yellow.  The cracked paint made it look old and crusty.  The inside was clean as a whistle.  It hung on two nails in the wash house on the farm where I grew up.  Sixty years later it’s a memory of who I am and where I came from. I was …