Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 22, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, Ftbrutry 22, THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Easier farming Tracks in the snow By Fraser Hodgson LETHBRIDGE My wife and I, and Henry and Helen Unrau, went out to see what the Lethbridge Agricultural Exposition was all about. It was a pleasant surprise, and we enjoyed every step of the machine and cattle show. The new addition to the pavilion was full of machinery and other exhibits to do with farming, and also some other specialized bylines to agriculture. There were several makes of tractors, of course, but the allied equip- ment was stressed the most. There was everything in the building from Cadillac type horse trailers to honey products. While moving around from one exhibit to another, I began thinking about how different many things were done not too long ago. I don't mean back in the days of the scythe, horse drawn plow, or reaper, but just 10 or 20 years back. Things were starting to change then, but some still harvested and worked sugar beets largely by hand; haying was mighty hard work and often a fight with the weather; and corral cleaning, and grain harvesting was in addition to the many pair of rubber boots worn out while shovelling irrigation water around. Tractors and com- bines have been in general use for quite a few years, but they have been very much improv- ed since. Of course the price has improved as well, and sometimes a person wonders if the .increased use of hydraulic controls, fancy air.- conditioned cabs for driver comfort, and a bit more horsepower is really worth the money. I guess it is or they wouldn't be offering them for sale.. Irrigation farming has ad- vanced so far from ditching and flooding that it's pretty .hard to believe. Sprinkler systems put more water on per hour, in exact amounts re- quired, with no runoff or ditches tearing up the crop. Pump engines run for days without attention, due to shut- off protection switches, and priming and moving pipe can be done, fast with wheel mounted systems. I well remember rigging up a prim- ing apparatus on a pump years ago. 1 put a flapper valve just ahead of the pump, ran a copper tubing- line through a milk bottle to the engine's intake manifold, and it worked fine except for one small flaw, the engineer. If he wasn't mighty quick on the in- take shut off valve, he flood- ed the motor with water. Now an automatic valve takes care of that, and no water flooding to worry about. Haying equipment has also changed drastically. No more sweeps bringing loose hay to a stack or baler. Now it's cut and conditioned and windrow- ed in one operation, then baled with a pick-up baler, and stacked with an automatic pick-up stacker, or put up in the loft by power conveyor, untouched by human hands. Silo feeding has improved also, no more spoilage or fork- ing it out the top on a windy day, now an airtight silo is used continuously all year round. Silage is cut and chopped in the field and then blown in the silo, and dry bal- ed hay can be dampened and added on top through the winter, as silage is removed from the bottom. Another machine can pick hay out of the dried windrow, and stack it in small round coils like stooks in a field, or in rows near the feedlot. Haying has progressed a long way from pitchforks to pellets. And it's the same with every other farming operation. No more milking by hand, pitchforks are seen only in museums, sprayers, swathers, combines, lawji mowers, sugarbeet machinery, and ditch diggers are all now self propelled. They have even combined a cultivator and a rbd-weeder into one machine, and put hydraulically operated exten- tions on each end so they wouldn't have to widen the gates. With so many things done mechanically there should be nothing left for people to put a hand to, but there are a few jobs available. One we saw was cooking; another can- ning, using home grown sugar or honey; and a very interesting occupation was carding and spinning home grown wool. I know they have machines that will do all these jobs and knit the finished product, but a lot of both men and women get great satisfac- tion out of doing this by hand from beginning to end. I suppose you could still find a pitchfork and clean out the corral by hand if you wanted to. spread the manure on the garden with team and stoneboat, turn it under with a walking plow and real horsepower, harrow it with tree-traps fastened to a log, plant it with a hoe and rake, and harvest it with a shovel, but I don't think it will catch back on very well. Some may advocate getting back to nature and natural, un- processed, unadulterated foods, but few will go that far back. Book Reviews Overcoming obstacles "Learning To Live With Kelly M. Sveinson; (Clarke Irwin and Company Limited, 122 This is a very practical book about day to day living with cancer. Kelly Sveinson, who dis- covered he had Hodgkin's dis- ease in 1962, tells how he over- came some of the day to day problems of cancer; things the ordinary person wouldn't think to be problems but are big obstacles to cancer patients. Refreshing recollections "Faces Along My Way" by Vivian Marten Smith; (Western Producer Book Ser- vice, 71 A happy book, written by a true daughter of Manitoba and offered as a tribute to that province's centennial. The author felt she was privileged to teach thousands of elemen- tary school children, and hop- ing to say "Thank you" to all the faces that have passed her way, Mrs. Smith very skillful- ly weaves her reminscences into a delightful and easily read story. She takes the reader back to the one-room rural school of 1926 and up to the modern open classroom of 1972 and snares her memories with us. It was sheer pleasure to go with her as she skipped ever so lightly over the dreary depression years, and remind- ed us that dances in those days were for fun and gaiety, pure enjoyment without any ar- tificial stimulants. The teacher of the 30s was a respected and admired member of the community. Their deportment had a definite influence on the es- teem in which they were held. This attitude could have been constricting, but it is treated with such good humor, one naturally concludes that un- derpaid as they were, unloved they were not. Mrs. Smith's descriptive passages are superb. The reader is drawn down memory lane with her, where each face, each new situation is joyfully embraced as a new and exciting challenge. One does not have to read between the lines to know that the author was a person dedicated to her profession. I would highly recommend the book as prescribed reading for anyone who is in, or aspiring to a teaching career. To add to its interest, old photographs are featured. This adds credibility to an altogether refreshing little volume. NORMA SHOLOGAN Mr. Sveinson goes into such things as how yourself eating after radiation treatments and suggests books to read to bolster a sagging spirit. He is a lecturer at the University of Manitoba in the field of behavioral science. He describes his struggle right from the beginning. The first step was to acknowledge he had the disease. At first he would only admit he had the disease to a close circle of family and friends but as time wore on he began to be more open about it. He goes into such practical things as getting to know and understand hospitals so a person doesn't feel isolated there. Mr. Sveinson tells how to get comfortable in a hospital and feel at home. This section would be for anyone who lot of time in beneficial spends a hospitals. He deals quite a bit with a person's emotional condition. He emphasizes how the will to live is essential for a cancer patient. There is also a section deal- ing with the financial aspects of living with cancer. Mr. Sveinson says in the introduction of his book: I describe techniques I have used techniques that I am convinced help me beat cancer. "Not everyone who reads this book will beat cancer. To them I extend my deepest sympathy. To all patients I say, 'Keep up the fight with all the strength you can muster, whether it be for one week, a month, a year or KEN ROBERTS Northern agriculture Problems with smuggling "Weed" by Jerry Kamstra (Fitzhenry Whiteside Limited, 267 Jerry Kamstra is an ex- perienced, knowledgeable, and convicted smuggler of marijuana. He's also a very gifted writer who uses his talents to describe the problems of those who grow and smuggle weed. The Mexico he knows is not the land usually seen by tourists. His friends are the campesinos, the weed growers, and their families. They're proud, generous and brave people, ready to kill in defence of their crops when government soldiers or ban- dits appear on the scene. To them marijuana is a crop that earns money to feed their "If they really want to help these delinquents, why don't they start little league polo families for most of the year. The smugglers range from students to senior citizens, amateurs to professionals, and include recruits from every social class and occupa- tion. Kamstra describes the many dodges used to carry marijuana across the border, how smugglers are caught, and why so many people take up smuggling. There's little danger this book will en- courage anyone to try his luck at smuggling drugs. The risks of the game, corruption of government officials, and the awesome power of big dealers are so well detailed that only a dedicated fool would want to get involved. The author took up smug- gling to earn enough money to obtain the freedom to write. I hope he sticks to his writing. His story is a skillful brew of adventure, suspense and travel that should satisfy the most demanding reader. There are 32 pages of il- lustrations plus a glossary. TERRY MORRIS "Peace Country Heritage" by E. C. Stacey, (Western Producer Book Service, 183 E. C. "Cliff Stacey was from 1924 to 1947, technical of- ficer and assistant superinten- dent and from 1948 to 1962, superintendent of the Agriculture Canada Research Station, Beaverlodge, Alber- ta. He brings to his book the wealth of knowledge gained at those positions as well as sub- sequent experience in the forage seed industry. The book is divided into two parts. The first part discusses W. D. Albright, first superintendent of the Beaverlodge Station, a noted agriculturist, journalist, and humanist of the north country. The second part is the story of northern agriculture told in the form of a history of the Beaverlodge station. As might be expected from Mr. Stacey's background, he is a booster .for northern agriculture and for the seemingly limitless possibilities that exist there. For example, acreages of potential arable land are given, totalling acres. When the cultivated acreage of the region is added, the'total is acres. In addition, acres are thought to be suitable for summer grazing by cattle. The book will be of great interest to technical agriculturists, geographers, and all those with knowledge of, or interest in, Canada's north country. W. D. Albright coined the expression, "The future of Canada lies in its breadth." Mr. Stacey has described what Albright had in mind. A. JOHNSTON THE VOICE OF ONE -By Dr. Frank S. Morley From an 18th century journal (Looking at the gloomy headlines of today's news, I thought it might be interesting to look back on possible headlines of 200 years October, 1781: Lord North has declared, "It is all Cornwallis is trapped at Yorktown and must surrender his entire ar- my. The Empire is in ruins. British trade heavily hit. Walpole's predictions come true; when War was declared against Spain in 1739 he warned, "They are ringing their bells now; they will be wringing their hands soon." January, 1772: Last year 58 "slavers" sail- ed from London, 23 from Bristol, and 107 from Liverpool, transporting slaves. They carry Lancashire cotton goods to Africa, exchange them for negros, take the slaves across the Atlantic, and return with cargoes of raw cotton, tobacco, and sugar. This trade looks to be ruined and insurance rates are 30 per cent. July 22, 1777: Robert Biggen, for stealing potatoes, was this afternoon whipped thro' the streets of Cary (Somerset) by the Hangman at the end of a cart. He was whipped from the George Inn to the Angel, from thence back through the street to the Royal Oak in South Cary and so back to the George Inn. April Gave my servant Will leave to go to Norwick 10 miles by road this morning to see three Highwaymen hung there today. They were all three hung and appeared penitentt November 1756: The government participa- tion in Coram's Foundling Hospital has ended disastrously. The public is aware that Cap- tain Coram, trying to save some of the thousands of children abandoned in the streets or empty rooms by their mothers, by means of public subscriptions established a Foundling Hospital. It had great success, George II giving it a charter, Handel giving an organ, and Hogarth a picture. When the sea captain died Parliament made a grant conditional on the reception of all children who came. As a result came and only survived. May 1795: The magistrates of Berkshire are summoned to Newbury to fix a minimum wage in relation to the price of bread. Since the war with Napoleon broke out the poor have been suffering terribly from the cost of food and in many districts face sheer star- vation. Meat is a rare article of diet except for the rich. Most people live on bread, cheese, tea, and beer. November 1726: Voltaire is visiting England for the next three years. Coming from France where religious dissenters are imprisoned, tortured, and either exiled or put to death, he is full of praise for English religious liberty. He hates the church, but not the Christian religion. June 1773: Oxford and Cambridge Univer- sities arc as educational institutions a national disgrace. The Dons are dull wilted, ignorant and illiterate. No lecture has been delivered by any Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge since 1725. Fortunately no holder of the chair has been as scandalous as he who in 1768 died in a fall while riding home drunk. Oxford holds no serious ex- amination for a degree. July out of 13 people are dying from smallpox annually. It. is a pity that pre- judice against Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the remedy she brought back from Turkey known as inoculation should have prevented its use, which has been demonstrated to be able to prevent the spread of this ghastly disease. December 1762: We have just read the Discourses of Jean Jacques Rousseau and state our belief that this man is most dangerous. He is the harbinger of a new age of nonrationalism, of nationalism, of dic- tatorship, of revolution, and of permissivism in education and society. December 1772: Poland has been split up between Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Carlyle describes it well: "Poor Poland by this time sunk in pestilence, iigs and dogs devouring the dead bodies; nc: a loaf to be had for 100 ducats." No law, no government. Utter destitution. December 1775: Though John and Charles Wesley are much criticized, it becomes clearer that they will do much to mitigate the ravages of the scepticism of David Hume, will awaken the church from her torpor, will usher in a desperately needed humanitarian age, and combat the bestial immorality of the times. The greatest darkness is that which precedes the dawn! SATURDAY TALK Norman Smith' Not tonight, Josephine Inspirational author "While It Is Day" by Elton Trueblood (Harper Row, pages, distributed by Fitzhenry Whiteside The Christian community, throughout North America es: pecially, has received a great deal of inspiration over the last 30 years from Quaker Elton Trueblood who has now provided his autobiography for his appreciative con- stituency. Known most widely as the author of many short, affirmative and very readable books, he has also been an itinerant preacher and a teacher of philosophy. In this autobiography Trueblood has dealt with his life topically rather than chronologically, under the following headings: child, student, teacher, author, minister, yokefellow, father and rambler. It is remarkably free of introspection; the straightforwardness of the ac- counting seems almost to turn the subject into an object. Although this book will like- ly attract primarily church people, if it got into the hands of others it could lead them to read some of Trueblood's ex- cellent books to their profit. DOUG WALKER all you young people out there who haven't retired may think you are being consumed by pressure and deadlines. What about this old geezer? I retired 26 months and 11 days ago, and not long after that Josephine Lowman wrote in her column: "Did you know that 30 months is the average length of life for men after It's just ridiculous what I've got to do in three months and three weeks. As I didn't clean out the garage last fall I've just got to do it before the end of April; There's no way both the dentist and my eye doctor can work me in, and it'll be nip and tuck whether I can get the income tax in before they close the lid (theirs or And think of my lap? A German, Liliane Guidice, wrote in a book on retirement: "Everything you have spent your lifetime un- able to do is dropped in your lap like a dis- concerting present." Can you just imagine the things strewn about my lap: how to put in a new typewriter ribbon without swearing, how to remember to look in my diary to see what things I've forgotten, how to understand everything Trudeau and Sharp have said before, during and after the MPs salary extravaganza! The memory bit alone is a fascinating pastime. You get so you try to outfox yourself by asking yourself every time you leave a room whether you've left anything and on be- ing satisfied you've left nothing you find yourself in the next room or up the stairs and wondering why you came there. Josephine Lowman is obviously a very young woman. She said in that piece that loss of memory is often due to not being interested in what is being said. Fiddlesticks! I can forget what I was going to say in the middle of saying it and nothing interests me more than what I am saying. But, getting back to the stuff on my lap. There's the waterpump I brought down from ttie lake early November. I've kept it going these last two summers by breathing on its sore places, sucking its rusty joints, learning just where it likes its rubber hose wiggled a bit to induce a burp, and understanding that the relationship between a footvalve covered with slime and a pump with the heaves is a thing for awe. Now I'm fixing on fixing it this winter, but just for the moment I've forgotten the bit of mystery I was going to do with it, and what with February having only 28 days and April only 30, I've a problem. Mind you, there are two ways around Josy Lowman's 30-month deadline and still getting done what you want to do. You can be firm in your priorities, like Alice Dexter who said the other day, not with a sigh of defeat but decisive serenity: "I'm not going to even try to learn about Celsius; I've memorized my zip code and that's enough." That's one way, a reduction of chores. But it calls for a certain orderliness of mind, which I seem to have mislaid for a moment. I'm afraid I'd find myself spending a lot of time looking for the notes I'd made as to which things I'm going to do arid which not. The other way is simply to be imperious about Josephine and ask her who the hell she thinks she is to declare you redundant in 30 months and a darned American, too. I prefer this way for a rather personal reason. It doesn't oblige me to make a decision as to when I'm leaving. You take in Toronto now: I no sooner get there than I start thinking will I go back by train that night, or plane early morning, or bus at noon. Shakespeare found parting to be such sweet sorrow, but with me the planning of anything is sheer hell. So, not tonight, Josephine, nor 109 nights from tonight. We'll just have to wait and see. Now that the rush is off, things look better already. It's like Alan Gibbons' preference for the reversal of Murphy's law, which becomes: "If nothing can go right it will." That being translated means I can go on worrying only about the small things. For in- stance that bloody post office which doesn't make clear on its boxes when mail is collected and what happens on Saturday and Sunday, and whose cell block on Alta Vista has nary a word or sign on it to indicate what it is, and whose stamps are so ill perforated the Queen's face gets torn into more often than hot, which is surely treason as well as not nice. Knowing that I don't have to start packing up means I can continue to think about clean- ing out my files. Actually I do this quite often and it's a very laudable thought. I'm part way through the C's now, which at so many metres per Celsius should leave me withjots to occupy my time when I get old. This decision not to evacuate on E day also gives me more opportunity to develop a liking for retirement. As of two paragraphs ago I've scrapped seyen New Year's resolutions about how I was going to keep fit and busy and healthy and happy and wise, and good to my dog and wife (the order is purely Now my object, all sublime and all inclusive, is to hang around, to not get in my way or people's way, and to explore and develop a hunch I've discovered lately that there's a lot to be said for irrespon- sibility. No, you strapping young people who are making the. world go 'round, (are you don't knock old age. And don't be frightened if a year from some Tuesday you apply for membership lots of people do. Between you and me, the only thing that really irks me is that when I ask the bus driver for the old age tickets he hands >m right over with no sign of surprise. The convert By Doug Walker The prime minister found me ripe for the plucking when he made his stirring speech at the opening of the Canada Winter Games in the Sportsplex about the need for getting off our, uh, chairs and doing something to keep fit. Anyone who leads the kind of sedentary ex- istence I do, hunched over a typewriter dur- ing the day and holed up with a book at night, is bound to be in poor shape. It is obvious, even if unacknowledged, that the battle of the bulge is being won by the enemy. In my vulnerable state the PM got to me. I didn't have the opportunity to make a public commitment to the cause but privately I resolved to do my part: as soon as I can I'll get golfing again! And not even the revilings of friends and acquaintances can turn me from the course.