Pickin' up bales (story)
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Pickin’ up hay the Lil Girl way
It is a bit difficult to describe this situation, but I will try. The “Earl” pickup that we had was “4 on the floor, 4 speed", meaning that it had 4 gears and thus was not an automatic. On such models, there is a clutch pedal, along with the brake pedal and the accelerator (referred to in those days as a “foot feed”). Now for a grown adult, there is no issue with reaching the pedals, but if you are a 6 year old little girl, those little legs just do not reach those pedals while still in the driver seat and maintaining visual sighting.
We had baled the southwest field of alfalfa with small square bales (Creighton’s baler). Tracy decided to haul those bales to the storage shed, but I’m not there to help, but who is?.. 6 year old Buddi. Since she had been driving tractors and vehicles since she was 8 or 9, I guess she figured that Buddi could drive the truck and she will throw the bales in the back of the pickup. Keep in mind also, that this field had a bit of a grade up hill to the south, so that when the vehicle stops, it will roll back unless you engage the brakes. They start out just fine on the north end of the hay field where the ground is level. Tracy puts it in “granny gear” or “dual low” as it was often referred to. Buddi is setting in the driver seat and driving until Tracy hollers for her to stop – then she has to hop down from the normal driving position since her short little legs are not able to reach the clutch pedal unless she does. No problem… ready to go again, drop the clutch and hop back into the driver position in order to see where you are going. Pickup lurches a bit but it is geared low and starts forward again. She is doing fine, since so far she has not had to depend on the brake pedal since we are on the level.
Now it gets tricky… starting up that slight grade and that means when you need to stop, that you have to press both the clutch and the brake in order to not only stop, but to also hold the position without rolling backwards. Then it gets even more tricky, because now when she had to go again, not only did she have to release the clutch and brake, but she also need to press the foot feed ever so slightly in order accelerate just enough to overcome the grade. Then what happens?.. she was unable to make contact with the foot feed while getting here visual bearings and the pickup dies.
Tracy was a task master (maybe because of her previous training??), and she scolds Buddi with some sharp demands. Then it happens again and this time the scolding from her older sister that she admired dearly brought tears. “Damnit!.. get to the house if you are going to whine like a little baby!”… or words to that effect as I recall the story being re-told.
Buddi may have been a teenager before she understood that her middle name was not “Damnit”, since she recalls Tracy calling her “Buddi, damnit …. ” on most jobs that they did together. NOTE: No that is not true - I just made that up.
This story has weathered the ages, but does not reflect the true relationship between these two sisters. Buddi was the little Tracy-clone that would do anything for her older sister, and often did… they were my chore girls.