1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Ward Parker  October 2, 2010

The horses I grew up working with were a team of bays called Doc and Dan. They were really old. Gramp sold them when they were 27 years old. As soon as I was big enough to do it I have used them to run a mowing machine, rake hay, pull the wagon, skid poles and plow corn. I never broke sod with them so all my ribs stayed unbroken. Of course Jimmy and I played cowboys on the poor old things. I was currying Doc in the barn one day and he reached around and clamped down on my leg, picked me up and shook me, then turned loose and dropped me in the horse manure. My thigh turned colors an artist would have been proud of, and I limped for a week. The summer I was 15, Pop let me cut and sell locust posts. Gramp had an old brown horse named Fred, and he must have been well trained in a logging camp. I would hang that big old heavy Clinton D-41 power saw on one side of the hames and a gallon can each of oil and gas on the other side. I could bring the first load off the hill and after that he would bring them down by himself to the skid yard, where mom would unhook him, hang the singletree off the breeching and he would come back to me by himself. He would actually turn his head and look and if the end of poles or logs were not within a couple of feet of others he would pull a little more to even them up. The posts were cut of locust 7 ft 6 in and had to be at least 6 inches in diameter on the smaller end. I could put about 25 on the old 54 Chevy pickup and I would sell and deliver them to either Charlie Crawford out the Blue Sulphur Rd or up to Mr. Hedrick at Ft. Spring. They brought the then princely sum of .75 each, and all I had to pay for was the gas, so I made pretty good money. Can you imagine a 15 year old today working like that? Gramp traded that good old horse to Wallace Knapp for a big white horse named Jim, longer legged and much harder to handle. I will bet Wallace laughed the rest of his life about that trade. It would have been in February of 61, I think when I rode him over to the church to meet Mr. Arnold Harris, the mailman and pick up a couple bags of groceries for Gramp and Granny. They were down in Sugar Camp making maple syrup. I stopped that nag at the water hole for him to get a drink and when I leaned over for something, he went out from under me. The old rotten saddle cinch broke dumped me and the groceries in a couple feet of very cold water....I can still remember the shock! and how cold I was when I finally got down to the fire in Sugar Camp. Another time I rode him over to meet Mr. Harris to get a few things including Gramps chewing tobacco, tied them in two flour sacks and draped them over his shoulders. I stopped at my home to drop something off to mom and tied him to the yard fence. When I came back out of the house he had gotten the sacks off his shoulders and torn open. He ate most of the chewing tobacco, carton and all. Farm kids sure had a lot of fun growing up!