Friday, June 10, 2011

The Turkey Drive - Memory Lane Friday

Welcome to Memory Lane Friday!  A weekly blog carnival where you can blog about your memories and link up.  All are invited.  This week has no theme.

I'm going to continue with more from my grandfather's memoirs.  As always, these are his words - not mine- only lightly edited for spelling/grammar. If you'd like, you can read where I last left off HERE.

Jimmy, Alex, and I loved the large pond (at least it seemed large, when we were kids) which was only a short distance from the house and barn, down a small incline, and was not visible from the house.  We spent many happy hours during the spring and summer - fishing, swimming and boating.  In fact, we built our own boat, using scrap lumber.  It was very crude, but navigable.  It never sank and we were proud as peacocks; our little boat served us faithfully.  Later, we found another use for our boat.  We carried it up the hill, away from the pond, placed it under a big apple tree, and from that time on it became an abode for our animals which we caught in traps and later sold to fur buyers.  We constructed several compartments in our boat in order to separate the animals, in other words, we did not allow our skunks to associate with the opossums.  These were the only two animals we caught in our traps.  The opossums hides were one dollar each, and the skunks brought two dollars, and sometimes more if they had dark, beautiful fur.

Jimmy and I had our first paying job ever when we were quite young.  We drove turkeys a distance of approximately four miles from Barnett, Virginia, to Blackford, Virginia, which was a railroad town near Honaker, Virginia.  Floyd Snead, who lived just about the Taylor Farm, would purchase turkeys from farmers who lived along the old road which passed through a large section of the Stuart Farm.  Mr. Snead carried his own hand scales, weighing each turkey as he bought them.  When we arrived at the turn off to Blackford, Virginia, we were driving hundreds of turkeys.  Our biggest job was trying to keep those turkeys on the paved road and from flying into the woodlands.

Arriving at the Blackford Depot, we drove our turkeys into bins awaiting the railroad cards, which arrived later.  We received one dollar each, for this unusually day long adventure.  Over the years I have related this turkey drive to different people.  They thought such an experience almost unbelievable.  Yet it happened, and Jimmy and I were proud of our first job, especially the dollar we each received.  I did not mention that there were very few cars in those days.  On this entire trip we saw only one vehicle, an old truck loaded with gypsies, parked at an intersection near Blackford.

If you'd like to link up, add your website here: 

Please take the time to visit and comment on others' blogs.  Next week's topic is either No theme or My Dad.

20 comments:

Dianna said...

Hi! It's my first time participating in Memory Lane Friday: I'm excited!

Out of time this morning, but will come back and read your post (& previous ones) later in the day!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

A turkey drive sounds like hot tiring work. Did you have to skin the animals?

Nancy said...

I love your Grandpa's memoir posts. So full of fun and history.

Have a great weekend, Lisa!

Sonya Heilmann said...

I love reading your grandfather's memoirs. It's such a great way to get a glimpse of the past, as well as what he was like as a young man.

Katie @Pinke Post said...

Memories that will always live on. Love it. I have never heard of a turkey drive before but it is quite interesting! Especially only seeing one car along the way.

Trisha said...

I have never heard of a Turkey drive :) It sounds like a lot of work!!

texwisgirl said...

i would have never thought of 'herding' or driving turkeys... :)

Valerie said...

It's childhood memories like this that make me sad that things like computer games ever had to come along.

Your grandfather has some amazing memories-not the least of which is the turkey drive. And Floyd Snead-what a great name! In all my wild imagination I could never have come up with such a great name for a character if I'd tried.

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

Well I want to check out turkey drive! Great memories!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Years ago Mr. D worked for a turkey farm--he swears they're the dumbest birds in the whole world. And smelly, too.

Mere said...

I wonder what an opossum hide is used for...

Ginny said...

What a story! Wonder how they kept the turkeys in the truck?

Debbie @ Swampbilly Ranch said...

I imagine herding turkeys to be like herding cats. What a great story! Thanks for sharing!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Grandparents make the best memories! Selling skunks, I know they needed to

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

It's always great reading your grandpa's memories. Thanks. A couple of years ago, we had wild turkeys show up out of nowhere - on Thanksgiving Day no less - and boy are they fast. We had to run to catch a few photos of them.

Hunde Haus said...

Ohhh, how I loved reading this, and the first one. My Mum grew up similar to this. On a farm, very very few funds to buy *extra's* with, helping with the animals and gardens.

I asked her when I was in my early teens why we didn't have a garden. She related to me the toiling they did...apparently to her, it was brutal. No gardens ever for her! Thank goodness the gardening gene passed one generation! I can't imaging NOT having one!

Thanks for the smiles and memories.

Oh! I was browsing the recipes...that photo of your kids and the giant ( VERY scary ) bunny cracked me up. :))

Leontien said...

I really like this memory lane posts! I just read three of them!

Thank so much for hosting!
Leontien

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

I have never heard of a turkey drive. Sounds unique and interesting though!

Shanae Branham said...

Lisa,
Thanks for dropping by and giving me your support. I am feeling much better this week. You didn't tell me how exercise is going for you. Oh, how did you injure yourself. You said you were recovering from an injury.
Cheers,
Shanae

Sandy said...

I can't imagine herding turkeys! This was really fun to read. Makes me miss hearing my Dad's stories from when he was young.