It happened again. Mary and I were loading up the truck with junk, I mean sculptures, and someone stopped and bought a piece right out of the truck. There’s just something about seeing a load of whatever, getting ready to move out, that prompts people to buy before the goodies disappear. Mary and I interpreted this odd sale as a good omen. It was.
We were headed for Morris Park, north of Stockport, where we would set up our art. It was Van Buren County’s Scenic Fall Drive, always a festive event and, this year, because of the beautiful fall weather, exceptional.
The hickory nuts were falling off the trees as Mary and I set up. A lady came along with a sack collecting nature’s bounty. She explained that you separate out the wormy nuts by throwing the whole batch into a tub of water. The ones that float are the wormy ones because of air pockets — always a good bit of country wisdom to possess.
No sooner had we finished setting up, but a whole string of Model T’s came roaring by in a cloud of dust, internal-combustion explosions, and aooga horns. They parked right behind us which, of course, drew a nice crowd of onlookers. In front of us, was the stop where passengers were being picked up and left off from horse-drawn wagon rides. And across the road was a grand demonstration of old-time farm equipment. They were baling straw, squeezing the juice out of sorghum, and generally having a good time running all this old, belt-driven equipment. I saw a contraption in operation that I have never heard of before. It’s called a Shredder-Shucker. Whole corn stalks, with the ears still attached, are fed in one end. From two other ends came the shredded stalk, and the shucked ears of corn, all golden yellow in the fall sunlight. I asked if I could buy some ears for my squirrels. “Sure! Help yourself.”