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WEEU radio program, bed rope, quadruplets, snow clearing, wheat crop, wagons, Hanoverdale, Shellsville
A handwritten letter from George L. Moore addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated September 26, 1956. Within, Moore provides accounts of a Pennsylvania Dutch quadrupled birth, wagon history, and the process of using bed rope to clear snow from the top of wheat crops.
George L. Moore
Alfred L. Shoemaker
Packet 566-45 to 566-46
Palmyra Pa. R. F. D. #1. Sept. 26: 1956
Dr Alfert Shoemaker
Listening to your radio program over W.E.E.U. last Sunday I heard you say you never heard of 4 being born at one time among the Pa Dutch. Well this did happen in the vicinity of Hanoverdale when my mother was a little girl, so happened along about 1860 to 65.
She related the incident how a Mr, whose name I did not try to remember, became father of 4 at one birth; but she had no name for four but said, “Si frau hut amol fiera kot uff al mol”; and said further that while one after another was making his arrival Mr. ---- was running around the house saying, Levar Grunt, Levar Grunt, Levar Grunt, L-e-v-a-r G-r-u-n-t, varra se nimma may al; so here is proof that about anything happened to the Pa Dutch that happened to anyone else. I will add they were all born alive but none survived, for all died in infancy.
As to the names of different wagons here is something that might interest you when I was a little boy my father owned a little jolt wagon that he called an Bier-bon waga perhaps with this information you can be sure of the right name it was at that time an antique but of no value as such; father said es war all en spartzier waga, for it was used years ago to go pleasure driving filling the box with seats they would go spartzier fawra before the spring wagons or carriages became into common use.
As to that wheat harvest snow. My father often told that story and it was to have happened in the vicinity of Shellsville including the Peffly farm where he was raised. His stepfather Levi Peffly told the story to him and it happened during his father Jacob Peffly’s lifetime who was born 1789 this is all hear say but I believe it to be true so it might have happened in the beginning of the 19th century. I never heard that they used horses to take this snow off the wheat and I don’t believe that any farmer would have taken a horse out into a wheat field fur den watza nunner hummla I always heard that 2 men took a wash line (rope wash line) or en bed strick (bed rope) and a man at each end walked through the wheat thus brushing the snow off the wheat with the results that those that were too lazy to take thus care of the wheat got wheat and the others having brushed off the pollen with the snow got little or no wheat and here farmers or the Pa Dutch farmer found out what causes a poor wheat crop rain during pollen time. Yours Truly
George L Moore fun Lawn. Von dis dich nix hot don shots aw nix.
English and Pennsylvania German
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Moore, George L., "Letter From George L. Moore to Alfred L. Shoemaker, September 26, 1956" (1956). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 178.
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