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aprons, homesick cows, Kutztown, scalding hogs, barrels, Morgenland Church
A handwritten letter from Robert V. Fritz addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated March 5, 1957. Within, Fritz details a cure for homesickness in cows and describes the process he learned to scald hogs by using a barrel.
Robert V. Fritz
Alfred L. Shoemaker
Packet 700-32 to 700-35
Kutztown R2 Pa
Mar. 5, 57,
Dear Sir: -
As a regular listener to your radio program and having graduated from the common school at the same time that you were a post graduate. At least that’s the way I remember it. I should say I was raised in Weisenberg Township, Lehigh Co. In fact I believe I was on the same platform with you at Morgenland Church at our graduation exercises. Well enough of that.
Last Sunday you talked about homesick cows. Well while you were talking about it my wife said to keep a newly bought cow from getting homesick her mother always removed her apron laid it in front of the stall door so the cow had pass over the apron going in the first time.
And as to scalding hogs I helped my dad many a time scald hogs in a barrel made especially for scalding hogs. If my memory serves me right. First we put in some wood ashes. And later on lime. By that I mean we used wood ashes when I was real young then later we used lime. Somebody probably suggested lime was better. Then we heated water in the big iron kettle when it was nearly boiling we'd go over shoot and stick the hog's body. Then we'd put it into the barrel head first which was laid on a tilt then we’d pour the water over the hog. After the bristles came out we’d pull it out turn it around and scald the back end while we cleaned the front which was sticking out of the barrel. As long as I was home we never had a scalding trough.
I am not very good at drawing but I’ll give you an idea how the barrel was made. It had straight sides about 2 ft. in diameter at the bottom and wider at the top maybe 2 ½ ft. and about 4 ½ to 5 ft. long.
Hoping I’ve been of some help I remain your steady listener
Robert V. Fritz
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Fritz, Robert V., "Letter From Robert V. Fritz to Alfred L. Shoemaker, March 5, 1957" (1957). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 109.
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