Chester Chatter: Silo’d in a difficult farm job

By Ruthie Douglas
©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The baled hay was all packed away in the barn loft, ready for winter. That meant that until the hay was all gone, the loft could not be used as a basketball court by Don and his pals.

It also meant that it was time to cut the corn. I had no idea that that I would have a job in that work. My  role as a farmer’s wife was new and I was trying my best to do my part.

Don and his brother George chopped the corn down and brought it to the silo’s elevator, where it was deposited into a tube that would blow the corn into the silo. I had to stand in the center of the silo, holding the other end of the blower tube. Ihad to make sure that the corn was deposited evenly within the silo. As the floor of the silo filled with corn, I would move to the top-most layer to deposit more.

It would take three days to fill up an entire silo.

At the end of each day, I would crawl out on the grain ladder.  It was a nasty job and I got it because I was the newest member of the farm family. By day’s end, I was covered in chopped corn, dust and sweat. I came to the conclusion that while I was the new hired man, I worked without a pay check.

Sometime later, farmers began using what was known as bunkers, which could be filled with corn using a bulldozer. It would have made my corn job much easier.

Scene and heard

My daughter Jean Bolaski and her family were camping at Molly Stark State Park. For more than 20 years, her grandparents managed this park after they retired from the farm.

Well, I guess I have joined those groups of senior citizens who play bingo. My friend and I have yet to win, though.

Judy Henning has been laid up a bit with surgery on her toe. Her friends are all anxious to get her up and running once again.

The American Legion is now open once again for Friday night food. This Friday, the  Auxiliary will be serving a baked ham dinner with strawberry shortcake. Take out is always available.

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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  1. Dan L. says:

    Love the column Ruth!
    On our farm we used a big trench and pored the corn in, packed it down with a dozer, and covered with black plastic and lots of tires and sawdust.

    I remember driving around with Dad and every time he saw one of those big blue corn silo’s (Harvestor I believe) he always used to say those were the best because you didn’t have be inside it doing that god awful tasks.

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