With the Weather Eye firmly entrenched in their weather forecasting arsenal, the scurs have been right more often than not. They still have a hard time with predicting precip a week out. Maybe need to add the windshield washer bag from the Studebaker. Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Thursday, mostly sunny becoming partly cloudy with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Mostly sunny Friday with a slight chance of daytime showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Saturday, partly sunny with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Partly sunny on Sunday with an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows around 60. Monday, mostly sunny with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms by evening. Highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the low 50’s. Partly cloudy and cooler for Tuesday with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. The normal high for September 7th is 76 and the normal low is 54. The scurs will be having one last Pronto Pup to celebrate the end of another Great Minnesota Get Together. Fat lives matter!!!!
After a cooler week last week, Mother Nature turned summer back on to a sticky and uncomfortable setting. Heavy dews at the ranch have resulted in accumulations in the official rain gauge each night of around one hundredth of an inch. This is the kind of weather that is conducive to all kinds of leaf diseases. However, with the crop moving to maturity as quickly as it is, damage caused by late developing leaf disease should be minimal. Corn is R5 and already showing a milkline across much of the area. Early planted, early maturing soybeans on fast ground are showing R7 maturity, meaning that there is one normal sized pod on the main stem that is mature color already. Some of those will likely be ready to combine in a few weeks. Rainfall this past week was general and fell slowly, allowing it to soak in. There is plenty of soil moisture to finish the crop out and any leftover will go toward fall recharge, something we haven’t talked about over the past several years.
Another State Fair is in the books for us at the ranch. The Cheviots competed, but perhaps not at the level we would’ve liked. We managed a reserve champion, which is still something, although when one remembers some of the dominant groups we once brought to the show, it’s a little disappointing. It’s still the same amount of work raising them if not more now and the level of competition isn’t what it once was. Still, that’s not why we raise them and like everything else, success in the show ring is cyclical and can be fleeting. A wise shepherd once told me you have to raise what you like. Indeed, if one looks at the breed type on our flock, there are very few really ugly specimens.
We seem to be perpetually mowing lawn at the ranch just like everybody else. There was another large hatch of toads again this year, though so I’ve tried to be as careful as possible not to hit the small amphibians as they struggle to get out of the long grass ahead of me. I’ll stop the mower and get off if I have to in order to move them to safety. These are the “good guys” when it comes to controlling things like flies and mosquitoes and I appreciate their efforts. Without them and other natural control agents we would be up to our necks in flying insects.
In the limited time I seem to have to drive it, discovering the subtle nuances of the Silver Hawk has become a favorite pastime. Having exposure to only one other Studebaker prior to this, it is an adventure each and every time out. I recently discovered how to operate the overdrive in the Silver Hawk more by accident than by design. The factory build sheet said it came equipped with overdrive, but there was no overdrive handle in evidence under the dash. I was uncertain if the overdrive was operational, if someone had disabled it or worse yet, totally removed it. The kind gentleman I had purchased the car from had no idea how it worked so I was on my own. Overdrives were popular options, especially on Ford and Studebaker automobiles and trucks. On the ’59 Silver Hawks, it was standard on the 3-speed transmission models. Quick shifting the car from 2nd to 3rd, it goes into 3rd regular drive. There is a technique to getting them into 3rd overdrive. One night coming home after a car club function, I happened to wind the car up in 2nd, let off on the gas allowing the RPMs to fall to idle then dropped it into 3rd. Letting the clutch out, the engine was instantly pulling hard and by the time I got it wound up to the speed limit, it was basically running at a fast idle with lots of gas pedal to spare! This was good news as checking the mileage recently, it was a less-than-stellar 12, about the same as my 4-wheel-drive pickup.
Putting the car up on a hoist confirmed that the overdrive was still intact. The Borg-Warner unit was on the tail shaft of the T-96 transmission with the solenoid on one side and the governor on the other just like in the pictures I’d seen. The lockout cable was also still attached to the switch on the side of the unit and the switch was pushed back in the engaged position. The cable did not however go through the firewall to the bracket under the dash and there was no chrome plated handle in sight. Not totally surprising. The cables were prone to corrosion so many just left their cars in overdrive. This is OK except for one thing: Being able to lock it out of overdrive is advantageous under steep or hilly terrain. If you have the overdrive engaged and try to use the engine to help brake the car by shifting down, it freewheels until the engine catches up with the ground speed. In other words, you are relying totally on the brakes to slow the vehicle. The brakes are OK, but they are a far cry from what’s on today’s machines. Restoring that cable to its original function is probably a good idea from a safety standpoint, not to mention it returns the vehicle to its original condition. Unless of course I really want to live on the edge. At my age I find that’s becoming less of an option. Living to nap another day sounds like a better plan.
See you next week…real good then.