My walk down memory lane through the pages of a 1938 Country Guide magazine (in the Feb. 7, 2017 issue of Grainews), and my deep analysis of the climate change/global warming issue (Jan. 24 issue of Grainews), drew some feedback from several readers. I figured this update would show just how this column can change peoples’ lives. (Hold on… I’m no Dr. Phil — their lives weren’t changed. I was just thrilled to hear from people who actually read it. Maybe it was just life changing for me.)
In looking at an 80-year-old issue of Country Guide which was actually a pass-along — Mrs. H.W. Baker of Canwood, Sask., was the original subscriber who paid for it — but from that issue I mentioned a few brand names and products from the past including Horse Shoe Brand horse harness from Winnipeg, and I also made mention of farmer H.B. Grant who in 1938 owned Deer Lodge Farms at Standard, Alta. H.B. used a very efficient Caterpillar D4 tractor on his farm east of Calgary.
Horse shoe coincidence
Gordon Schlamp of Thorhild, Alta. (north of Edmonton), was the first to get in touch to describe one of those weird coincidence events.
Schlamp is an auctioneer mostly, but also keeps about 100 cows and a few horses. I don’t know if he is a packrat, but he did say at auctions he’s been known to buy those boxes of odd pieces that “no-body else wants” — and that’s included a fair bit of horse harness.
The past couple winters he has spent evenings in the shop going through and cleaning some of this old harness. “The other night I just happened to be cleaning up a pair of bridles which were the Horse Shoe Brand and I was wondering at the time if anyone else alive remembers that brand of harness,” says Schlamp. “About an hour later I was sitting down in the house reading your article in Grainews where you mentioned the Horse Shoe Brand. I just thought it was a quite a coincidence.”
Schlamp says the Horse Shoe Brand is the only bridle he’s seen that uses aluminum plates for blinders. Usually bridle makers used a metal plate covered with leather, but the Horse Shoe Brand were just straight aluminum blinders. Schlamp also had an old bridle and harness made by Walsh. “My dad always remembered their slogan ‘no snaps to wear or buckles to tear.’ They used leather loops instead of snaps and buckles,” he says.
Owned the farm
Another call came from Vern Hoff from the Gleichen area, about an hour east of Calgary. What caught his attention was the name of H.B. Grant in the same column about the old Country Guide issue.
“At one time I owned the farm that H.B. Grant use to own,” says Hoff. At 85, Hoff is retired but still lives on his farm near Gleichen. Many years before, when he was starting out he owned the H.B. Grant property further north near the largely Danish community of Standard. “I was a bit of an interloper but they accepted me anyway,” he jokes.
H.B. Grant was an American from Iowa who owned the four-section farm at Standard, which he named Deer Lodge Farm. “I would say in those days it was one of the larger farms in the area,” says Hoff. He recalls he didn’t get much notice about seeding his first crop after taking over Deer Lodge Farm land.
“H.B. Grant had sold the farm to another family and then there was some mix up in that sale,” says Hoff. “I was also interested, and it seemed like all of sudden there I was on May 2 that year the proud owner of four-sections of land that needed to be seeded. But I was young and all rarin’ to go.” Hoff later left the Standard area and bought the farm near Gliechen where he is today.
“But if you ever come across the Standard community history book, there is a picture in there of H.B. Grant and his Caterpillar tractor,”says Hoff.
The sky is not falling
And after reading my Jan. 24 column with thoughts on global warming/climate change and the new carbon tax I had an email from long-time Grainews reader Bruno Wiskel, who farms and writes near Colinton in north central Alberta, north of Edmonton.
Wiskel reminded me, if readers were looking for more facts on the issue, he wrote a book on the subject The Sky is Not Falling — Putting Climate Change on Trial. He says if you are among those who doubt the motives of environmental groups and question the science “alarmists” are using, you should read his book.
The Sky is Not Falling is only 118 pages and has plenty of photos and illustrations too, so it is a relatively easy read. Wiskel, as a geologist, farmer and “expert witness” approaches the climate change issue as a detective would approach a crime.
He assembles scientific evidence in an understandable language, with a relaxed and humorous writing style. In reading the book “you get to be judge, jury and executioner,” says Wiskel. “Read it and you will never again believe that mankind is causing climate change.”
If you are looking for a copy of the book, or if you looking for a great speaker for your next conference of workshop, Wiskel is your man. Along with being a farmer, and professional geologist, Wiskel is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. I’ve known him a little bit for many years. Back in those days when he wasn’t doing geology stuff, he was a young guy growing oats and barley, had a market garden and a trout fish pond. Today, as “one man — many fields” he has an extensive tree and shrub nursery.
He is thought provoking, challenges some status-quo thinking, and is definitely entertaining. He says he can deliver a talk with “orgasmic intensity”… although that may have to be left to the eye or mind of the beholder.
For more on the book, or talk about speaking engagements visit his website: www.brunowiskel.com.