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Serving: IN
grain bins with sun setting behind Elijah-Lovkoff/Getty Images
TOO HIGH: Silos, bins, grain legs — they provide plenty of stories for those with a fear of heights.

Climb up the bin? No thanks, I’ll stay on the ground!

Potbelly Stove Stories: This new feature shares readers’ “Front Porch-type” experiences.

By Gary Hudson      

Tom Bechman and I go way back. We both grew up near Whiteland, Ind. My grandpa, Roy Adams, owned the local feed mill, and Tom’s dad operated a dairy. Recently, Tom wrote about the fear of heights he inherited from his dad. He recounted an experience about climbing a 36-foot silo, only to be too scared to move once up there.

I’m with you and I know exactly how you feel, Tom! Grandpa had an employee who said he didn’t mind working up high if he could keep one foot on the ground.

I’ve had two bad height experiences. I’ll only tell one to save time. Grandpa and I were at the elevator moving some shelled corn. Suddenly, we both heard a noise that didn’t sound good. We shut things down and looked around. Nothing seemed wrong.

Grandpa thought the problem was the leg. Guess who got asked to climb it?

First, I had to get to the leg. We had an extension ladder that sat on the cob bin. It only had two broken rungs. That got me on the roof. Then I had to crawl, not walk, on the corrugated tin roof to get to the ladder on the leg. Then up the leg.

As I climbed, I didn’t look up nor down, left nor right. I just stared straight ahead. After 45 minutes, I got to the top. I had no idea what to do or where to look. Everything seemed in place. I finally decided to tap on one of the pipes. Sure enough, it gave a dull sound like it was full.

We had simply overfilled the bin, and corn was falling back down the leg. I hollered to Grandpa and had him unload a weight cart full of corn. Guess what happened? The leg started shaking, and I thought for certain it was going over. When the cart was full and Grandpa shut the gate, the shaking stopped.

I said a quick prayer because I wanted to get down. Plus, at that height, I thought God would get good reception.

Anyway, I paused before I climbed down and looked around. I never realized how many trees were in Whiteland. About the only buildings I could see were the steeple of the Presbyterian church and the high school. It was a pretty view, but I sure was glad to get back on the ground.

Hudson writes from West Lafayette, Ind.

Share your awkward moments

Many say Indiana Prairie Farmer’s Front Porch column makes them laugh. A farmer recently asked, “Have you considered asking other people to share stories about their kids’ 4-H experiences and such?”

Here’s your chance. Send us your funniest, most awkward experience you’re willing to share. If we publish it, we’ll send you a $25 gift card.

Events you write about must be 98% true, just like in Front Porch. If you’re going to mention anyone else, you must have their written permission.

Write between 250 and 500 words. Include a quality, large format, horizonal picture, if possible. We reserve the right to edit for space and style. If published, stories become property of Farm Progress.

Give it a try! Email, or send to: P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131. Include name, phone number, email and physical address.  

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