Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tier poles

This is the tier poles in what was our old barn...the barn my brothers built.  When they were still in high school.  I really don't know how they did it.  I think my dad directed them, but he had muscular dystrophy and was unable to help much by that time.  Any ladder we had would have been homemade...and very basic tools.  Not even sure if they had anything other than a handsaw. 

This barn held tobacco on this side of it.  the middle had a loft, and tobacco was hung above the loft in the middle of the barn.  The other side had a loft, too.  Hay was stacked over there....again by my brothers.  Below the loft on that side were stalls for the animals. With one end having a sort of tack room...some corn was kept in there, some feed for old Bob, and his harness hung in there.  We had to have a latch that opened from the inside, because he was smart enough to get one on the outside open.

I don't know how tobacco is hung in barns in other areas, but around our area, it was total physical work... there would be one person standing on the wagon reaching the tobacco to the first person standing on the bottom tier poles...he would reach it to the third person who stood on the second row of tier poles and he would hang it up on the 3rd row of poles.  (Notice the 3rd row is up where the roof meets the side of the barn.)  BTW, he could not just stand on one pole and hang tobacco..he had to spraddle two poles till once he got the tobacco hung, he could make sure there were spaces between the stalks on the stick of tobaco, plus make sure there was space between it and the one hung before.  And the same goes for the second row of tier poles. 

The tobacco had to have space for air to move around for it dry and cure.  Otherwise it would get moldy and rot.  When grading season came, it all had to be taken down, but by then it was just a fraction of the weight...I could even walk on one pole, hold on to the pole above with one hand and get tobacco with the other...but the only time mom would have let me do it is if it were just the two of us.
I spent hours and hours in this barn as a kid...my niece and I played up there hours on end, read books, carried mud from the creek and made stuff with it...we had swings, and also played on those tier poles.  We thought no more of walking across that second row of tier poles than walking on the ground...we would go over to the side and hold on to the cracks and walk along that 2  x 6 all along the barn.  Other girls had playhouses....we had a barn!

I often wonder if mom knew all we did...I think she must have.  I know she seen us do some of it...now I couldn't even walk across the first tier pole.  Heights really bother me now...another thing I never in my life expected to happen.  But I do enjoy remembering things we did.