For the last few days of harvest, we picked the berries into barrels for juice. This necessitated a nightly delivery to the juice receiving station on the Loomis Trail road. The route took us past Berthusen Park where, for the first days of August, the Threshing Bee was held.
Or The Shing Bee, as we often call it.
That misnomer dates back to the early days of this event, and the first banner that was made to announce the upcoming dates. The banner hung across Front Street for everyone to see.
Unfortunately, the maker of the banner misspelled Threshing Bee…a sad omission of the letter ‘r’ turned the proclamation into Theshing Bee.
And the Ivan Likkel Fam turned it into The Shing Bee.
We’ve been word snobs since our youth.
Anyway, the banner was still hung high because it was too late to get another, and likely no money for the correction. The next year, the banner was repaired with a doctored in ‘r’ – but we still could only see The Shing Bee.
But I digress…
This year, I went on the juice delivery ride just to observe, and wax nostalgic.
Good memories of our little family of five squishing ourselves into The Beasel, our first little old berry truck, and later, The Orange Bomb, to see the sights of the old tractors, engines, and sawmill on the way to bring the barrels in. The Farmer would drive slowly so the kids, craning their necks, could observe the goings-on. Oh, they loved it!
It was a happy time…the end of harvest approaching, the satisfaction of a good year, money in the bank, and vacation in the offing…
And already a long time ago…Now, it is just The Farmer and I craning our necks on the ride past the park…but remembering as we do it those blessed, blessed times.