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Bean StoryPosted Wednesday, October 21, 2009, at 8:25 PM
It's harvest time and I see the farmers are out trying to get the corn out of the fields and the beans into the barn.
Last week an accident report came in about a big truck that rolled over on a backroad. It was hauling about $5,000 worth of beans which were dumped.
My editor asked me if they were soybeans. I didn't know - the report said beans.
Around here, we don't say, "Look, a soybean field." We just say "bean field."
I have to call people to confirm this and clarify that all the time but I really didn't want to call the deputy and ask this question at 9 a.m. after he'd been working all night.
"Yes, Mr. Deputy, wake up, your report was incomplete... Exactly what kind of beans were in that truck?"
I managed to avoid making that phone call by asking my editor if there were any other kind of beans people around here would be hauling in a big truck.
I also suggested what I thought was an appropriate headline -- Farmer Spills the Beans, but the editor opted for something a little more traditional.
The report said most of the beans were able to be recovered.
Recovered? Not a lot of information there - use your imagination. A front loader maybe? Or a guy with a shovel? Bet that took awhile.
This reminds me of a story.
Russell Bartley was a farmer who lived on Terre Haute Rd. in a big old house on the west edge of Worthington years ago. From what I've heard, he was quite the character but a hard-working man.
Russell drove a rattle-trap truck of various colors combined with rust. My dad, who was a mechanic, said the thing was held together with baling twine.
Back in the late 1940s, or maybe it was the early '50s, Russell harvested his beans, loaded them into an old wagon (it matched his truck) and headed to the elevator to sell the beans.
By the elevator, I mean the same building as the Reel & Sons Feed & Grain that was recently lost to a fire.
So Russell came into town on Terre Haute Rd, took Wabash Avenue to Main Street then putzed all the way up town and around to the elevator.
But when he arrived, someone yelled, "Hey Russell, you've sprung a leak and you've spilled your beans."
Sure enough, Russell had left a trail of beans from the west side of town to the east.
Some people might have written that trail off as a loss but those beans were far too valuable to Russell.
Mr. Bartley spent the rest of the day sweeping Main Street from one end to the other.
With a shovel and a broom, and a hard days work behind his wagon, the Bartley beans were also able to be "recovered."
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