the salt of the earth (video)

One of the events that I have come to really enjoy being a part of is the Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters, Inc. convention. It isn’t the warmest location in the world to vacation in December BUT it certainly brings together a lot of great people. And…it shouldn’t surprise you. Custom harvesters (regardless of the country they call home) are a different breed of people – some of the best you’ll ever meet and good to surround yourself with.

Jim and I left for Lethbridge, Alberta on Tuesday morning. I waited until the last-minute to pack (like I always seem to do) and Jim set the alarm for 3:00 a.m. The flight left at 6:00 a.m. I went to bed at 1:30. “Good, this will give me an hour and a half to catch some sleep”, or so I thought. I woke up at 2:00 and felt like I had been sleeping for hours. Who knows why I woke up – maybe I was afraid we were going to sleep through the alarm? Tuesday felt like it lasted an entire week. I would catch myself wondering, “did this really just happen this morning”?

The meeting is much smaller than they were anticipating. Unfortunately, the weather decided to take a turn for the worse and a blizzard moved into Lethbridge late Monday afternoon/evening. People were actually surprised that we made it in. Our flight was even 20 minutes earlier than it was supposed to be. So, by the time we got to our final destination, most of the snow removal had already started. This morning, the “feels like” temperature was -46 degrees Farenheit. Jim was mad at himself for not stepping outside to experience the extreme cold. I told him to go for it. (he didn’t, though)

Yesterday, Shannon Gross was one of the guest speakers. Her grandfather, Ted Quaschnick, was part of the 1949 caravan of Canadian custom harvesters who came to the American farmer’s rescue after World War II. She shared with us the following video. I found it telling the same story of today’s custom harvester. Oh…the equipment has changed and the living quarters are a little better. If you watch it, you’ll see what I mean. Thank you, Shannon, for sharing this rare view into our industry’s beginnings.

543819_448931578494274_1864423293_nMy Grandpa, Elvin Hancock, in 1951. What I wouldn’t give to be able to see him walking and talking in a video such as the one Shannon shared with us.

The one thing I found most interesting was the fanfare and celebration the caravan received once they reached their destination in Texas.  Please take 15 minutes and watch – I think you’ll be glad you did!

We will be heading home again on Sunday morning. It’s been great to be a part of our Northern counterpart’s annual gathering. And we won’t see most of them again until we come back next year. But, as with our own convention and annual gathering, we may be competition but when we’re together, we’re friends because we’re custom harvesters – the salt of the earth!

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10 comments on “the salt of the earth (video)

  1. Charlotte says:

    I enjoyed this, thank you for sharing!

  2. Larry Hancock says:

    Great post, loved the video and picture of dad

  3. Harry and Sharon Drake says:

    Harry and I live in south central Kansas. We were raised on farms. Wheat harvest was always a happy, but busy time, because there was also alfalfa hay to put up . Dad always baled the wheat straw. Then there was oats to cut and bale. The oats was soo itchy of it all.
    Seemed there was always someone in need of help during the summer. Usually got sick or hurt and all the farmers would gather at the farm and get harvest done and sometimes it was the plowing that needed done. The women would fix meals every day until the work was done and keep things going at home .

    Thank you for the video. Liked the sign that said “that’s all folks”.
    Dad told of working on Thrashing crew all day and then go home to do milking and such for them selves. Sugar was in short supply and Mom would send a jar with him to share at the meals, because she knew the lady doing the meal would have very little for the meal for tea.
    Thanks again for the video and your time in Canada. Sharon Drake. Dec. 7, 2013

  4. katebortell says:

    Hey there! Congratulations! You’ve been nominated for The Shauny Award for Excellence in Blogging! Please see my blog for instructions. 😃

  5. Brett says:

    Truly enjoyed this post and video — thanks for posting it!

  6. Michael Whelan says:

    Great film of yesteryear from a Aussie grain farmer.

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