Tuesday, August 12, 2008


"Not that I'm critical," Ivan said, "but I am confused. Kendall Nichols has both a gas and a diesel pick-up. Last Monday morning he made the statement, 'I haven't driven my diesel pick-up since harvest.' Did he mean he hadn't driven it since harvest started or since harvest was over? I'd ask him, but he gets all testy when he has to explain some of his statements."

"I found out what that bird I have is," Ivan reported. "Jack Benn described it perfectly. He said it was about a third bigger than a mourning dove. Is lighter-colored and has a ring around its neck. That's it. Jack said that is a turtle dove. It rarely shows up this far north. He said what most of us call a turtle dove is actually a mourning dove. So if you see a lighter-colored bird about a third again bigger than a mourning dove, that is the real McCoy when you are talking turtle doves."

"Judy Hall is driving her son's car this week," Ivan said. "His car wasn't running right when he was here. So he left it. Needed new plugs, one new plug wire, and of course the gas tank was nearly empty. But that's what kids are for. That's why we have em and love em. Judy called him Monday evening. He lives in Omaha. She asked him what the weather was like. He said it looks like it could rain and maybe hail. She told him to get her car under cover in a car wash or somewhere. He said, 'Driving your car carries a lot of responsibility, doesn't it?' She said, 'You're darned right it does.'"

"Once upon a time," Ivan said, or "just recently, Stan Smith baled his alfalfa. He pulled the baler with his IHC 'H' tractor. The tractor starter was in the tractor hospital getting operated on, so Stan used the crank. When he got all through baling - he was making big round bales – he discovered his crank was missing. Stan had visions of it being in one of the big round bales. When someone tried to console him by saying cattle wouldn't eat a tractor crank, he replied, 'No, but the tub grinder might try to.' So the ever resourceful Smith got his lawn mower with the five-foot cutter and started back and forth, back and forth, back and forth through his alfalfa patch. Eventually he found the crank, not in a bale but nestle in some alfalfa lying on the ground. Smith picked it up and everyone lived happily ever after. Well, maybe not ever after, but at least for a short while."

"Here is a story that, I think, started in the Garden of Eden, and is carried on still today," Ivan said. "Jack and Arlene Benn needed new outdoor furniture. Theirs was seventeen years old and was showing some signs of wear and tear. So they drove to Hastings. Stopped at Menard's. Walked in. Jack saw just what he wanted. Sat in it and it was plumb comfortable. Said, 'Let's take it.' Arlene had other plans. Women type plans. So they went to Home Depot, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and some other marts. Then they jumped in the pick-up and drove to Grand Island. Repeated the process – Home Depot, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and some other marts. Jumped into the pick-up – by this time Jack was getting tired of jumping – and drove back to Hastings. Went into Menard's and bought the very first, I mean the very first chair Jack had sat in."

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