Tuesday, 17 August 2010 08:19

25 Years Ago Winter/Early Spring 1982

Written by  Maurice Telleen
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(From the general news of the day and The Draft Horse Journal and breed publications of the time.)

This information was gleaned from the pages of our first designated "Brood Mare" issue. I don't know why it took us eighteen years to figure out that the Spring issue arrived in our readers' mail boxes about the same time foals were showing up in their barns. I suppose we can plead busy-ness. That is the usual excuse–and a very serviceable one, too. So–on with the show.

Although tardy in getting into the Brood Mare issue business, we could not have launched this annual series from a better platform. I chose, as our first brood mare stop, a family in western Pennsylvania. It was entitled "Orndorff, A Name To Reckon With In Belgians."

This also provided me with an excuse to visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show at Harrisburg. I rationalized that the slickest way to skin this cat was to go out to the Farm Show and hang-out with the Orndorff clan since they were sure to be showing. It proved to be a good plan. I have never worked with a family that was more forthcoming, interesting and helpful than the Orndorffs were in providing me with the material for that article.


Charley Orndorff with two of his grandchildren, Christina and Corbly and Orndorff's Highland Dream, 1st prize 3-year-old, Senior and Reserve Grand Champion mare, and Orndorff's Con Ginger, the yearling who was Junior and Grand Champion mare at Harrisburg in '82. Both were daughters of Congolaise and out of Conqueror's Rosette and Orndorff's Highland Lassie … both former Grand Champions at Harrisburg.

I don't think Lynn has any of those Spring '82 Journals left to sell, but if I were a Belgian breeder, I'd want one. Rather than rehash that article, I'm going to do it mostly with pictures; Orndorffs had a great picture file.

Turning to the next article was a case of going from the sublime to the ridiculous and the main cog in that story is another one of my favorite people–Ed Belzer from Nova Scotia, Canada. The title of the second article was "Yamaha-ha, The Day The Ferris Wheel Stood Still." I like this whimsical thing so much that I'm going to reprint it in its entirety. I think that is the only way to recapture my friend Ed Belzer's day in the sun–when he and Alonzo made the ferris wheel stand still. Such power! Such majesty!

For the balance of this 25 Years Ago, I'm going to repeat another short article about our "Carry-All," which was built by the late Cliff Sours from Nashua, Iowa, about 27 or 28 years ago. We were raising, shocking and feeding quite a bit of sorghum cane at the time and moving a few Oxford sheep from one place to another. So we had this idea for a low gravity vehicle that nobody was making. Cliff was one of those people who could build anything. We laid out the specs for Cliff and he built it–and it worked for our purposes beautifully. We are no longer very ambitious so the carry-all (also great for cleaning up downed tree limbs, etc.) now resides with our daughter and her husband, Jay Franzen, down at Indianola. And the carry-all carries on.

With three reprints from that issue, I'd say that national and world news got crowded out. If you missed anything real big on the national political scene or some war broke out someplace or another, we may include it in the next installment of 25 Years Ago. But I figure these three articles were worth repeating.

See you next issue with a more normal 25 Years Ago. –MT
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