foreword by kenneth yeasting>

map of the rollersville area>

If you have questions about this page, please contact Website and design copyright (©) 2005 the yeasting family

Another thing, we used to hunt mushrooms a lot in the spring - morels. We didn't have very, very few on our farm, but the Null farm where I moved – well, let's see. We moved there in '29, just down the road a mile. That had one woods of forty acres virgin maple where we used to make maple syrup, and then the other woods across the other side of the farm, it was kind of second growth stuff, some kind of open marshy area at one end. And around there we used to find a lot of them. We'd go down there and pick a peck of things sometimes in the spring. I remember Walter Warriner. He used to go down there and get them.

Incidentally, this Walter Warriner, he was a bachelor, lived in an old house in Rollersville, and he worked for my Dad on and off some when we needed extra help. I remember he painted all the buildings. He took a whole summer off and painted the buildings for Dad, two coats. The whole thing, barns, houses, outhouses, chicken house, everything; smoke house, dairy barn. He was – oh, I don't know, sort of a boyhood hero in some ways, but he taught me to play tennis. In fact, he built the tennis court there at Rollersville School. Taught me how to play tennis, taught me a lot about hunting because my Dad was not particularly a hunter. In fact, the rifle, the .22 single shot that I've still got here, is one I got from him back about – oh, I would say I was around eleven, around ten, eleven, something like that. I had saved up my milk money and bought a single barrel .410 shotgun. And then I decided I wanted a rifle because we had a lot of woodchucks and stuff around that Dad wanted me to try to nail. So, anyhow, I traded my shotgun to him for that rifle, and that's the one I've still got here and I want to give to – I guess one of you fellows or probably to Ken and the shotgun to Steve, I guess the way we figured it out if I can ever get them there. [Steve now has his Grandfather’s .22 WRF rifle and Ken has his Dad’s .22 rifle.]

Oh, another thing, going back a ways. Now this goes back when I lived at Rollersville yet, so it's back prior to '29, so I was probably seven, eight, nine years old. You know, Dad had a dairy farm. In the town of Rollersville at that point was oh, probably two dozen houses, something like that, stretched over about a mile. I had a six-quart carrier. Of course, it was glass bottles in those days, so folks would bottle it up, and we had a regular route – or I did. And I would deliver milk in the morning before I went to school, and sometimes it was cold, too. And I would get a penny a quart. And I think that milk sold for a dime, and I got a penny of it. And that's how I bought that shotgun. Over the years I saved up my pennies from that milk route, and I would make – seems to me I was making as high as – now, let's see. I had two six-pack carriers and I'd make a couple trips. I'd make as much as twenty-four cents in a day, which was pretty big money for a little kid in those days.

As far as our life at home – and Ginny [Dad's sister Virginia] remembers this very well – when we moved to the Null farm, that was a two-hundred acre farm. There was one woods was forty acres of virgin maple, hard maple, and old Frank Null who owned the place had a set of siphon pans and a little shack back in the woods where they worked. So every year along about – well, starting in February going into March, sometimes April, Dad would tap upwards of a hundred trees and we would make syrup. We used the team of horses, so it was almost a mile back to the woods from the house and go through what we called the "mud boat." You'd go up and down the lane in the snow and mud, and we'd make as high as two-hundred gallons some years. I remember Dad sold it for two dollars a gallon. We just burned up some like old rail fences that were shot or cut wood, and that's what made the fuel. I remember we would get the syrup we'd gather from the trees in the ten gallon milk cans on the mud boat with the team, and then the end of the day we would take what syrup that was in the ten gallon cans and put it on the sled and take it up to the house. Then next day Mom would take that and pour it into kettles – probably held two, three gallons, I imagine – and she would put an egg in them. And it seemed to me she beat it up slightly. She'd have the syrup boiling, she'd dump the egg in, and that clarified it. That picked up any debris or anything that might be in it and clarified it. And that came to the top and you just skimmed that off. Then she would pour it through cheese cloth into the gallon tin cans that Dad had bought for the purpose. That's how we sold it. People, got on to it. They'd come from as far as Toledo and Fremont, fifteen, twenty miles away to buy our syrup. This was back in the Depression days, really. We're talking '30, '31, '32, '33, along in there. That was a lot of fun, too.

next >