Setting on the seat of the John Deere 4360 tractor with the corn trailer in tow I had to be smiling from ear to ear. Coming from Denver to Tekamah, a Nebraska farming community, for the corn harvest was, at least to me, a fun way to spend a week’s vacation. Keep in mind, there is a difference between ‘play’ farming for a week and making it a way of life. As a farmer, I most certainly would starve.
Setting on the tractor, I was thinking of Cliff, who has been a farmer most, if not all his life. I was appreciative of the fact that he agreed to let me ‘help’ with the harvest. While I ran the tractor, Cliff was running the semi-truck and auger feeding the corn into the bins. Clark, Cliff’s brother, was running the combine.
It sounded easy enough and, for the most part, it was. All I had to do was drive the tractor with the corn trailer next to the combine and Clark would fill it. When the corn trailer was full, I was to dump it in the semi-truck. Nobody said anything but I knew I was slowing things down. Several times Clark had to wait at the combine for the corn trailer to get back and Cliff kept a keen eye on the semi-truck when I approached. Both of them were easy going and patient with the ‘city guy’.
After unloading a trailer full of corn, I decided the semi-truck was to close for me to back up. Pulling ahead, I saw an opening just past the barn with plenty of room to turn around. Heading back to the combine, I spotted Cliff in the mirror. Cliff walked up behind the corn trailer, stopped, bent down, and then just turned around and slowly headed back to the auger. “Is everything okay?” I yelled. “Yeah, it’s fine. Say, where did you turn around?” he asked holding a strand of wire in his hand. I told him. Cliff nodded and said I had just driven through an electrical fence.
With a little embellishment, the story made the rounds. Cliff gave me the nickname, Hotwire. Clark said in Tekamah that might make me a legend. A city guy, a tractor, and an electrical fence
I can live with the nickname, but I am not sure about that legend thing.