Shelling Corn

Shelling Corn

My mother, Susie Latty Day, told me this story about a fun time during her childhood. The year was around 1918. These are her words.

One chore we always enjoyed was shelling corn to be taken to the grist mill and ground into meal. At supper, Papa would announce that we had to shell corn after supper. He would have been down at the corn crib all afternoon shucking corn. The good ears were put in one pile; those not so good in another.

We would hurry to wash dishes and clean up the kitchen. Papa would carry up several sacks of corn. Then, we would spread a clean quilt on the floor. We all sat on the floor around the quilt. We pushed our legs under the guilt and pulled it over our laps. Then, we took two ears of corn, one in our left hand and one in our right. We stood the ear in our left hand on the floor and held it while we struck it with the ear in our right hand. The grains of corn came off the cob easily most of the time. We would turn the ear in our left hand, all the while striking it with the ear in our right.

It wasn’t as hard as it sounds. We hurried to see who could shell the most. Some of the cobs we threw in the fireplace because they made such a pretty flame. Soon, they put out too much heat and we put them in piles.

Henry was too small to shell corn, so he built log houses with them. When we finished, they were put in gunny sacks and carried out to be used for kindling fires later.

When everyone had a lap full of shelled corn, we stood up, grasping the guilt by the edge. We heaped the corn to the center of the guilt.

So ended a fun time at the farmhouse in Etta Bend, northeast Oklahoma.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: