Sunday, May 02, 2010

50 Years Old

My wife showed me last week the place to dig a hole so she could plant a rose bush. The tool I used for the task is a posthole digger I bought 50 years ago when I was age 13.

A posthole digger was an unusual purchase for a teenager in 1960. I think it would be unheard of in 2010.

I bought this manual digging tool because an area farmer, Clyde Fulk, hired me to dig 30 fence post holes for a total pay of $30.00. I paid Brown-Rogers hardware store less than $15.00 for the tool and have kept and used it since 1960. The new fence was the final section to enclose pasture land for cattle and was installed along the property line of Mr Fulk's farm and the house lots of Jack Stafford and Howard Mabe at 6180 and 6190 Tobaccoville-Bethania Rd.

I dug the holes through clay topsoil and into hard subsoil. As I worked after school many days, it took almost a month for my young hands and arms to repeatedly lift and pound the metal jaws into the dirt to reach the bottom of each hole. Notice the black lines on the handles in the picture below which I marked as the target for the depth of the 30 holes.

Today the wire fence Mr. Fulk installed and wood posts I planted have long ago been removed after the farm land was converted to a housing development called Wide Country Estates. The hardware store in Winston-Salem where I bought the tool closed many years ago, and the road name where I lived as a boy has been changed to Doral Drive. The half-century old post hole digger tool leans against my basement wall waiting for me and the next project.

Have a good week!


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