Open Session: What Readers Think


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Shovel made good sled - I've been reading my January CAPPER'S. The stories in the Heart of the Home section about scoop shovel sleds ('Children secretly used shovel' and 'Dad's scoop shovels made best sleds') took me back to the early '40s. In those days, we walked a half mile to get our mail - though gas was cheap (25 to 30 cents a gallon).

My son wanted to walk with me. He was small, and I knew he'd never be able to do that round trip of a mile. Snow was on the ground. His dad got the scoop shovel for him to ride. He sat on the mail going back. It was a fun trip for both of us. He was our first child, and he did get a sled later.

Esta Cashmer
Cornell, Ill.


Bull takes a ride - I read the Open Session letter about butchering a hog that ended up in the haymow ('When pigs fly,' February). It was a very interesting letter, and I suppose many people got a good laugh out of it. It made me think of a bull that a farmer wanted to load on a truck to send to market years ago.

Today, trucks have low trailers that allow animals to take only one step to load them. In those days, animals had to ride in high flatbeds with side panels - you had to let down a ramp and put side panels against it. Some trucks were open with no roof.

The old barns had what they called turkey fans from the very top of the roof, where they pulled their hay up into the haymow.

A farmer was having such a hard time loading a bull that he decided to fix a belt around its belly, lift it up a little and back the truck underneath it. He hooked a rope to a team of horses, and told a man driving the team to go forward a little. When the bull's feet left the ground, it let out a loud bellow, which scared the horses. That is when things began to happen!

The team took off - which carried the bull way up to the haymow. Then the trolley tripped, which dropped the bull in the haymow on about 6 feet of loose hay! He was fine, but there was no way to get him out. Two weeks later, the farmer met the trucker, who asked, 'Anyway, whatever happened to the bull in the haymow?' The farmer said, 'We got him out … but in four quarters!'

Ervin R. Byler
Middlefield, Ohio


A PAIR OF SMILES: Don Recker holds his daughter, Ava.

Soldier reunites with daughter - Our son-in-law, Don Recker, is serving in the National Guard in Iraq, and this photo was taken when he was home on a two-week leave last summer. He left a year ago and spent five months at Camp Shelby in Mississippi before being deployed to Iraq last March. His daughter, Ava, then 18 months old, was a little leery when she first saw him, but as you can see, she then broke into a big smile. Ava and her little sister, Ariana - whom he has only seen once since she was born a month after he left for Iraq - will be waiting to get reacquainted with him when he returns home early next year.

Erma Brown
Columbia, Mo.



LET'S GO: Abbey the kitten is ready to go wherever owner JoAnn Parker goes.

Kitten chose hiding spot well - My kitten, Abbey, knows when I get my purse, I'm leaving. One day, when I was ready to go to work, this is what I found inside.

JoAnn Parker
Cozad, Neb.







Open Session

We welcome letters from readers. If you have an opinion or comment on an article you saw in CAPPER'S that you'd like to share, send it to Open Session, CAPPER'S, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.