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Rod Beck, St. Albert, Aberta
I'm not sure but maybe it's a spelling thing with
the term"shocks" or not? The stories my
Dad and family explained to me about threshing was
that the gathering of the bundles as Ted Weisenburger
explains below was called "Stooking". The
group of seven or eight bundles once put together
was called a "Stook" not a Shock? Depending
on the size of the bundles sometime they would be
only four or five bundles. There was also a method
of stacking the bundles on the rack and the fear was
if you didn't load up properly you would lose your
load before you made it into the threshing machine.
The heads of the grain were always skyward to allow
the wheat to harden. If I understood my family correctly
the later model binders had holding devices to help
in the grouping or gathering of the bundles for stooking.
This saved some walking especially when you were going
around a 160 acre quarter. The children would also
help in this process. My Uncle Roy Beck, when he was
six years old was tied onto the binder seat by his
father. This was so he wouldn't fall into either the
reels or the canvas convey system of the binder. Everyone
was automatically physically fit and contributed to
the work force which in turn was your livelihood.
One can certainly understand when you looked at the
hands of some of these old farmer their fingers were
like miniature fence posts along with grips like a
vise. Very strong men.
I can't imagine how hard all these pioneers worked
to start what we have and enjoy today.
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