To the editor:
I enjoyed the article in the Great Bend Tribune: “ Old-fashioned fun: Tired Iron Show celebrates the past” (Oct. 10 issue). It was nice to read about the old time farming plows and methods of ag operations, celebrated at Larned’s Santa Fe Trail Center.
Today, it’s mostly enthusiasts of Draft Horse Clubs and Mule Clubs that keep such traditions alive. I know my late grandfather, John Marples who died in 1934, some years before I was even born, could say to his mules “Gee” and they would turn right. If he would say “haw” they’d turn left. And “Whoa” meant “whoa or stop”; and he wouldn’t even have to be sitting in the wagon seat. The mules knew to obey his verbal commands. My granddad and his brother Harry Marples had old-time threshing machines that helped harvest crops, long before today’s combines. What was modern in the 1930s is an antique to be admired in 2021. I am glad that the old settlers’ traditions are still celebrated around Larned and I wish them many more fun times in the future.
James A. Marples