Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Past

The above picture was taken in the fall of 1958 or 59. Early in the spring of that year, one of my older brothers came home from college with 5 baby turkeys. He worked part time in a hatchery. The other 4 birds met their demise one at a time over the year from one malady or another, but this one survived.
All turkeys have one breast feather that hangs down out of place. My brother pulled that feather and this turkey took exception to that. As a matter of fact if turkeys fly thru the air and hit the windshield of a parked car, with you in it, you can be assured the bird doesn't like you. This bird hated my brother.
We had the bird, uh, prepared for the table. A big problem arose. He was 44 pounds, dressed, and wouldn't fit in the oven. Well the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were always huge, but not big enough to eat the ham Mom always fixed plus the big turkey. We cut him in half and had two, 22 pound birds. One at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas.
Note: this pic was taken just north of our house. The red corncribs, on the left were taken down to make room for grain bins. The red shed in the background is still there, but needs taken down. The two hog sheds were just temporarily sitting there. My Dad pulled them around the farm as needed.

15 comments:

Jerry said...

That is one big mean turkey. Great story, Cliff.

poopie said...

Yikes! I don't want Thanksgiving dinner chasing me before I eat it!! Believe it or not, I've got some buildings on my farm that still look just like that. Gives the place character, ya know?

Anonymous said...

Cliff,
Would the brother in question be my dad? Just curious...

Jon Morrow

Cliff Morrow said...

Hi Jon, no, it was your Uncle Ed. Your Dad would certainly have been here thru this period. He graduated in 63.
Any chance of getting to see you guys over the holidays?????

Mike ( ex scientia, veritas ) said...

Geeeeeez- a- lou. THAT is a turkey to stand aside from!!

Rachel said...

What a beautiful turkey. Too bad he had to end up being 2 dinners, but then I guess he was put to good use after all!

I'm sure your brother was glad when he was no longer around.

Jamie Dawn said...

That's a LOT of bird! I hope he tasted good both times.

Jim said...

The farm looked nice then, homey like. With the buildings gone it looks a bit sterile.
What is that big thing behind the wagon and beside the tree? It would be a larger tree. You might say a few words about it.

Cliff Morrow said...

Yes Jim there are two trees there. One is very large. The small grain bin in the pic is still here on the place. But it's been moved onto a concrete foundation.

Dan said...

So,,,for Christmas, would that make him half as good as he was the first time.

terah said...

You could have gotten one of those giant smokers and cooked it all at once. Of course, then you would have to eat it all at once!

At the risk of starting something, John & his dad recently purchased a slide scanner and it does a great job.

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Say, Cliff, were there any leftovers?
Ralph

Paul said...

Cliff, this is very interesting. I was recently looking up some Thanksgiving trivia for a newsletter and ran across the note that the largest turkey ever baked was 35 pounds. And yours was 44#.

Then you went and cut it in half. Aww. You could have been in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest turkey--I mean, owner of the biggest turkey.

Cliff Morrow said...

Paul, The folks had a forty inch range in those days. Big oven. They had to cut the leg off of the half turkey to make it fit in the oven. This was a big boy.

Cliff Morrow said...

Paul, the University of Illinois Extension Department says,(and I'll paste here) The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
You can find at
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/turkey/facts.html