By 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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