I was going to spend a morning this past week putting a new floor in our 6-by-16 hog trailer. And two-and-a-half days later, I am almost done.
This is at least the third floor this hog trailer has had. I remember putting the first floor on with my brothers and dad, finishing up one Saturday near midnight before I was a teenager.
The second floor came in high school. My brother Mark and I were called to the principal’s office and informed that my dad was carrying a load of 25 hogs to the buying station, had hit a bump on a barely-two-lane bridge in Richfield, the trailer fell apart, and my dad needed us to help him round up 25 shell-shocked hogs running amok.
Nothing says never getting another date in high school more than that....
But it was a different world in the late ’70s. Pickup trucks with gun racks holding rifles and shotguns in the school parking lot during hunting season. Almost everyone carried a pocket knife.
I have carried a pocket knife since the fourth grade, used to be a cheap Barlow knife from the farm supply store.
I remember my teacher, Mrs. Gibson, asking the class if anyone had a pocketknife to cut some string, and 5-6 of us boys pulled out our knives hoping she would use ours....
So the hog trailer has not had a new floor in 30-plus years. The first two floors were rough-cut oak, but I did not have any. I had rough-cut poplar that came out of my dad’s cattle pasture that has been stacked and stickered in our carport for four years. Poplar is not nearly as durable as oak, but I bought the lumber from my dad, it is what I have, and when that floor wears out, I will be done raising hogs.
Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield.