INTERCEPTED LETTER - The Turkey Walk

(11/24/2001)

Dear Editor,

After sending the following message to my older daughter, I suddenly thought that this story might be of interest to you. Should state that I have no idea who raised turkeys in the Hur area back then, 1931 or earlier.

November 22, 2001

To: Kathy and Family

Happy Thanksgiving! We now know of all the uses for turkey; result of your animated e-mail.

When sporadically watching the Macy's parade, I kept hearing about turkey. This eventually caused me to recall the following:

When I was quite small - before Dad became ill and thus I would have been seven or younger - my folks called a family in the Hur area that had a few turkeys. We arranged to buy one. On the day before Thanksgiving, Dad and I walked to the farm of this family to pick up a live turkey. We took a burlap sack with us for the purpose of containing the frisky turkey while carrying it home.

When we arrived at the "turkey" farm, the farmer caught one and proceeded to tie its feet together. Then he hung it upside down and hooked its feet to a steelyard. With the weight measurement determined and the total price established, Dad paid the man and we started back home. I well remember how heavy this turkey was when I took my turns carrying it. Of course, I wanted to help carry it but tired quickly.

My last memory is of the turkey hanging from our clothesline as the blood dripped from its neck from which the head had been removed with the blow of a sharp ax against a block of wood.

I might also mention that the walk to pick up this turkey was a long one. Very few people in that particular rural area raised turkeys.

Kathy, you have what I believe is an incomplete pair of steelyards.

Just a bit of nostalgia for this holiday.

Dad

Al Ball

EDITORS NOTE: Al Ball is the grandson of Al and Sadie Scott Ball who once resided at the junction of the right and left forks of Barnes Run, not far from from the Village of Hur. He is the son of the late Lenna and Lelah (well-remembered Calhoun schoolteacher)Ball of Grantsville.