Friday

One Gloomy Day

When the 1931 farm crisis hit, the government had not even started to develop the habit of jacking up the destitute farmers. Those early brave ones that traded their horses in for tractors were discriminated against. I could not get a loan because most of my loan money would have gone for tractor fuel. My neighbors with their barns full of hay for horse fuel could get small loans.

Most of the borrowed money the horse farmers received went to keeping them alive, while the tractor farmers were left to starve. Only fate saved the flat-broke horseless farmer.

One gloomy day, 56 years ago, my tractor was grounded from lack of fuel. Orlin Maurer knew about my plight, so while I was waiting for the oil company to trust me, he stopped in and said, "This morning I saw Charley Rux carrying a can of gas out to his tractor. I wonder how long he can afford that?" Then to rub things in a little deeper, Orlin continued, "My horses can work on empty stomachs. All they need is a lot of hay when they get back to the barn, Ha-Ha!"

"Farm Crisis" Kik-Back Country, p. 42

Walt Kik
Photo by Debbie Berger at 

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