Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Working on Wednesday: Hay Day

On our way to Oregon one summer in the early 1950s, Mother and Dad's' growing interest in rock hounding led us to stop along U.S. 101 just north of Nipomo in San Luis Obipso County to see if we could find some of the sagenite agate* for which the area is renowned. 

[Road Map of the State of California, 1955. Publisher: California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS).
Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection]

After looking across the barbed wire fence to check out the ground between the rows of beans drying in the sun, we went to the nearby farm house where Dad asked if we could enter their field to look for rocks, promising that we would disturb nothing. Permission was granted and after we had found some beautiful specimens we went back to the house to show them what we'd found. It was the start of a long friendship between the Curreys and the Mehlschaus and within a few years we were spending several weeks there every summer in our trailer which we parked in their farmyard.

Dad felt it was only right that he should help out with work on the farm while we were staying there.** Here are some photos taken in the summer of 1958.

Sitting on top of the load of hay bales are, left to right, Richie Mehlschau (1944-1975), a neighbor kid whose name I don't recall, me, and Charley Mehlschau (1942-2014). Standing in front of the truck are the younger brother of the neighbor kid whose name I don't recall either, and Andrew Mehlschau (1900-1970).

[From my personal collection]

Only Richie is visible on the truck while Dad is waiting for the signal to back the tractor up to raise the next bale of hay to the top of the pile. (You can just barely see the cable lying on the ground between the tractor and the barn.)

[From my personal collection]

*You can see some Nipomo sagenite agate cabochons here.
**Also his electrician's skills were useful on occasion.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.


  1. More gorgeous rolling stock, and a cool barn. Lucky you!

  2. Hi, this is Heather Mehlschau and I just happened to find your blog with these great pictures of my dad (Richie) and uncle Charley and my grandfather Andrew. I would love to get copies, please let me know and I can email offline: