Jim O’Hearn recalls summertime being the busiest time of the year. In the summer, at home we had chores to do and stooking grain. For fun brother Mike and I would hunt for golf balls at the golf course 2-3 times a day…in the evening you get even more. Then we’d sell them back to the golfers from 5-25₡ a piece. Mike remembers he and his brother Jim using some of the golf balls with sticks to play a little golf themselves. “We’d always play around the second hole so we wouldn’t get spotted by the clubhouse.” At 25₡ a ball, you could get a 10oz pop for a dime, ice-cream cones for a nickel and candies 3 for a penny. If Gus Gross or June Seaten were working, they’d always give us a real big serving of ice-cream. We’d eat our treats on our way home. Jim remembers hiding in the grain stooks to guzzle it down before going home. Sometimes we might find a rabbit in one of the grain stooks and we would run after it and chase it …for more than a mile. We also remember the summer days we would sit out on our Grandmothers’ porch and count cars…like how many Fords and Chryslers drove by, or simply count the different colours of cars. A relaxing way to spend some of our sunny summer afternoons! With 9 kids in our family, we also recall having many games of scrub baseball with our siblings. We’d spend some of our spare time tossing a ball over the chicken coop playing “Anti Anti Over”. Lots of homemade summer fun was to be had at the O’Hearn homestead.
Jim Hunter also remembers throwing balls against the barn for fun. We’d get 2 or 3 days of vacation time to spend at my Grandmothers place in Ingersoll. I’d cut her grass and she’d take me to town to get things. The majority of my summer was spent at home with family chores or harvesting. I’d be catching sheaves off the binder onto a carrier, 8-10 sheaves at a time. There was always the daily chores of milking, feeding calves and every other day cleaning out the pig pens. I’d help Dad get the thrashing machine greased and ready to go. We’d also fix up the wagons with flat racks in preparation for the harvest time. I also helped my Dad do a bit of custom work thrashing for the neighbours. I’d get to either drive the tractor or run the team of horses. Whenever the grainery got too full it was my job to shovel it into bins. This was a very dusty old job. You’d be blackened with dust and a fresh cup of water sure tasted good about then. When I was about 16 I had my first job off the farm cutting grass for the Rutledge School. It was about 1 ½ acres of grass to keep cut. My friend and I used to drag our mowers up to the school and it would take us about 3 days to get everything all cut. We were each paid $50 a season to keep the grass trimmed during the months of July and August. The old hand-pump with a tin cup hanging from it got its share of use while we were up there mowing grass at the school. We always had something to do…even if it was work and it passed away our summer days.
WE DIDN’T KNOW WE WERE MAKING MEMORIES, WE JUST KNEW WE WERE HAVING FUN!
Submitted by: Jim O’Hearn, Mike O’Hearn and Jim Hunter