Hauling Hay; a lost tradition, please don't bring it back!

by Terry Hargrove

The Dad went to work at age 12, and he made a vow that his sons would never have to choose between work and education. Never. The Dad would choose for us.

June 3, 1971. My older brother and I were lounging in the yard enjoying a perfect late spring day. The Dad had promised us a surprise, and all our friends came by to help us ponder what the surprise might be. Fishing rods, perhaps, or a car of our own. So many possibilities. Glenn had just graduated from high school and I had completed my sophomore year. By 4:00, there were about 30 kids in our yard when we heard a rumbling, like distant thunder. There was dust, smoke, a wheezing diesel cough, the grinding of old gears. Our neighbor Ray looked down the length of Fourth Avenue and said:

“Hey, look. That’s a hay truck. You haul hay in a long flatbed like that. Man, that is the worst job in the world, hauling hay. Running to keep up with the truck, throwing 100-pound hay bales up, and sometimes there’s a snake or skunk caught in the twine. You get blisters on your hands that don’t heal, and when the bales are next to a creek, they can weigh up to 250 pounds. I feel sorry for whoever has to work that truck. Look at the size of it! That truck will hold 400 bales at least and… and… say, isn’t that Mr. Hargrove driving?” Continue reading

Conspiracy or ineptitude: Why do so many bad calls seem to go against the US soccer team?

Ken Gude has some thoughts on all the calls going against the US at the World Cup.

It wasn’t the first time in this game that there were odd calls – all going against the US – in and around the Slovenan box. One play Dempsey was wrestled to the ground in the box, no call. On another, he was body check as Altidore got off a snap shot. Altidore was blocked off just outside the box by the last defender that only drew a yellow card. One earlier decision saw Altidore thrown down this time near the midway line only to find the infraction whistled on the American. You might think the ref just plain didn’t like the United States. Continue reading