Once I was working at Toms Lake grubbing, for a dollar and a half a day – not like now! One boy was a cowboy, breaking horses – lots of horses there. He was about my age. I was young at that time . . . . . in 1920.
This fellow said, “There’s going to be a dance tonight, up Dead Creek. If you want to go, I’ll lend you a horse. I said, “All right. I’ll go.” So we went to the dance, this man and I. When we got there – oh! There were lots of people – a big house. But the fiddler couldn’t play at all. A fellow was sitting there who used to know me pretty well at Beaverlodge. I used to play at all the dances at Beaverlodge.
“What’s wrong with this fiddle?”, I says. The fiddler says, “I don’t know.” “Bring it to me”, I says. Well, the bridge is too low, but the fiddle looks pretty good, so I took a couple of dimes and put them each under the strings and I tuned it up. It was a dam” good fiddle. Then I started to play. I was pretty good at that time. I kept on playing ’til suppertime. So Jerry said, “We’re going to collect some money for this fiddler. He goes around – and I got ninety-three dollars and fifty cents! Then the man said, to the other man. “You better play now so this man can dance.” I danced, but every once in a while I had to take the fiddle. I played good at that time, not like now.
One old-timer, Mr. George Robinson, was very particular about his dried meat. He maintained that the very best flavor was obtained by laying the thick bark of aged cottonwoods on red coals, and adding the bark-chips on little by little. This smoked the meat deliciously without generating too much heat.)
Mrs. G: I would like to tell you how my father made hay with a scythe. My grandfather used to make hay forks with willows. And a rake with sticks – just like a garden rake. He used dry willows.
Sid G: They made hay forks with a couple of sticks – long ones. They just shoved those under. Then two men would carry that where he wanted it to go and just pull his poles back, and there would be a haycock.