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Brad Nelson

In Tales of a Hay Hauler, Brad Nelson shares his unique perspective of the forage industry through his hay-hauling experiences, skillfully woven through storytelling and humor.

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Ever sit down and list those things that could have made you a million bucks if only - - - ? Think of some of the statements made on t-shirts, for example. Early on in our marriage, my wife actually wore a sweatshirt I got for her that had lettered on the front, “Eat your heart out. I’m married!” My son has a t-shirt that says, “VOTE FOR PEDRO.” He has no idea who Pedro is or what he was trying to get elected to, but the t-shirt was cheap. The one I have never seen that I think would sell well would read, “SMASHES SPIDERS BAREFOOT.” One of my antics that my wife wishes I would grow out of is, when meeting someone with a shirt or jacket that has the logo, “B.U.M.” on it, is to ask them why their mother named them “Bum?”

Which brings to mind the boy who came home after a week at Boy Scout camp and was a little upset with his mother. She had dutifully attached or written his name to all of his clothing except his undershorts. Seems that some of the boys had been calling him “Fruit of the Loom,” which was the only name on his shorts, all week.

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In 1953 Henry Ford’s outfit built a marvelous Mercury automobile. It was the last year of the famous flathead V-8 engine, and in the Mercury it had 255 cubic inches; in comparison, its cheaper Ford cousin only had 239 cubic inches.

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I used to have a chainsaw that ran really well. I still have it, but it has not functioned for some time now. I took it in for an estimate and they told me it was an odd brand (Sachs-Dolmar), and they did not have any idea where to get the parts. They also told me that the piston and cylinder were scored. Then they wanted me to pay them for the time they spent deciding that the guys who made my chainsaw were smarter than they were.

In its glory days the old Sachs-Dolmar would make short work out of any kind of a woodcutting project. As long as I kept the chain sharp. My brother Lyle told me of going on a firewood gathering project with some fellows from his church. After the first hour or so, the party changed from cutting wood and bragging on the merits of the various brands of chainsaws to a group participation act of trying to help one another make any chainsaw present cut wood.

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The first hay wagon I drove had four rubber tires under it and it was propelled by a VAC model Case tractor. I was three years old. Dad aimed it between the shocks of hay and tied the steering wheel in place with a rope.

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As I remember it from the short story in the paper, an individual received a call from someone who told him that there might be a burglary in progress at his home.

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Life for me has been all too interesting since I underwent surgery for total joint replacement on both knees. Since no one reading this is getting any younger, perhaps my experiences will be useful to someone else.

Several people have asked if they added to my height when they put in the new knees. The doc claims not. But I can now stand with my legs fully straight, a thing I could not do before, so I may well appear to be taller. The other regular question is why in the world I would have both knees done at the same time. The doctor recommended I do both at once. He said physical condition of the patient and whether one knee was noticeably worse than the other were the pertinent factors in this decision.

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