customers in a cafeteria, including thernparents of Su/.anna Gratia Hupp. Shernowned a handgnn, whicli she had tornleave in her antomohile, because Texasrndid not pennit the carrying of concealedrnhandguns at that hme, and she contendedrnthat she could have saved her parentsrnand others had she had the handgun withrnher. Around the same time as the cafeteriarnkilling, Gov. Ann Richards vetoed arnbill to mandate the issuance of permits torncarrv concealed firearms to law-abidingrnapplicants, and her political opponentrncampaigned against her on that issue,rnwinning the election. The new governorrnsigned into law a similar bill: His namernwas George W. Bush.rnAlberto Carosa is the ec/itor of FamigliarnDomani Hash, a pro-family newsletterrnpublished in Rome.rnLetter FromrnWisconsinrnfor Sean ScallonrnHarvest MoonrnI first noticed it as I drove past, headingrnfor one of those small-town Wisconsinrnfestivals, this one celebrating the largestrnearthen dam in the Midwest (by theirrnclaim, of course) nestled in the stanitsa ofrnS])ring Vallev.rnThe whole lawn was filled with antiquerntractors, the kind you might see at arnlocal fair or car-club show. Usually, suchrndisplays are publicized in the communifyrncalendar of our newspaper or posted onrnthe bulletin boards of one of the bars, grocersrnstores, or laundromats around town.rnI couldn’t remember seeing this one, butrn1 figured I could swing past on my wayrnback on Highway 6 s after spending thernmorning among the dam worshippers.rnI’hc Herald could always use a few morernsnapshots.rnReturning later that morning, I sawrnthat the display was still there, this timernwith crowds surrounding it. Tlie Majeskirnfarm in Martell Township was the site ofrnthe South Lawn Steam Tractor Days (or,rnratiiev, day). All sorts of ancient steamrntractors from the tuni of tiic centur)’, prcscnedrnby local collectors, were there forrnthose interested in catching a glimpse ofrnthe past or partaking of the snacks providedrnby the United Methodist ChurchrnWomen’s Auxiliary.rnI clicked away with my camera at therntwo giant steam tractors that were tlie starrnattractions. One was an old Minneapolis-rnMoline Model; the other, a behemothrnmade by J.I. Case. One was set up next torna sawmill display, vhile the other wasrnnear an even more ancient thresher, bothrnconnected by conveyor belts that lookedrnlike giant rubber bands. “I’wo workmenrntossed in w ood and worked the valves likerncharacters in a runaway-train movie.rnThe tractors could tra’el not much morernthan five miles per hour, but theyrnbelched enough smoke to make the beltsrnturn, the gears crank, the blades buzz,rnand the tliresher thresh. Two peoplernclimbed onto haystacks with pitchforks inrnhand, depositing the hay into the thresherrnloaders, where it was chopped into bitsrnand shot out the other side through arnblower.rn”This is a special occasion,” one of therncollectors told me, pointing toward thernCase model. “This used to be on displayrnat the Pierce County Fair, and theyrnwould hold threshing demonstrations allrnthe time. For the last 20 years or so, it’srnbeen touring fair and festival sites in Minnesota,rnso this is its return debut back inrnPierce Count}’.”rnThe Case was painted in the sort ofrngaudy indu.strial st}le that you find on anyrnproduct made around the turn of centur}’rnor on an old stock or bond certificate. Onrnthe front, above the boiler, the claws ofrnthe Case Fagle (the company’s logo)rnclutched the world, while on the side, inrnbright red, yellow, and cream lettering,rnthe tractor announced to evervonc that itrnhad indeed been made by J.I. Case inrnRacine, Wisconsin. A picture in an ovalrnportrayed the town, complete with thernsmokestacks of the factory and the homesrnof its workers next to it. P’or over a hundredrnyears, that had been an accurate picturernof the city, until global agribusinessrncompany New Holland recently boughtrnout Case. I’hey stopped making tractorsrnin Racine, and robbed the old industrialrncit}’of 90,000 of its identit}’.rnThreshing meant the beginning of thernharvest season, when green turned torngold or light shades of brown. Life has arnrhythm, and harvest time is one of thernsongs we sing. People who plant gardensrnor farm fields in the spring know that,rncome fall, it’s time to bring the fruit indoorsrnand store it away for winter. Instinctively,rnthey know it—without aid of arnclock, calendar, or e-mail message. Justrnlook outdoors. Nowadays, with the absurdlyrnlow prices he gets for his commodit}’,rnit ma}’ profit a farmer to plant nothing,rnlest he lose money with all of hisrnexpenses for fuel, fertilizer, pesticides,rnand equipment, een if his ield is bountiful.rnBut then he woidd cease to be arnfarmer, which has happened to nrany.rnThose who remain have to plant, if onlyrnto live on to sec better days to sell therngrain that lies dormant in their storage elexators.rnThat’s why, when ou travel thernbackroads of Wisconsin at night in thernfall, you will see the lights of the combines,rntractors, and grain trucks still workingrnthe fields well after sundown. That’srnwhy some grain-eleator employees mayrnspend their winters doing absolutelyrnnothing but watching soap operas, butrntheir autiurins working round the clock.rnAs long as we ha e fields to sow, the showrnmust go on.rnVery little of our agricultural past isrnstill remembered by the urbanized andrnsuburbanized masses who think foodrncomes from the grocery store. There arernat least three turning points in Americanrnhistory: 1776 when it all began, 1860rnwhen it all changed, and 1941 when itreallyrnall changed. Besides being the beginningrnof the War Between the States,rn1860 was also the last year our nation’srnfarms outj^roduced our nation’s factories.rnBut those factories worked together withrnthe farmers not only to feed a nation butrnthe world as v’ell, and created the surplusrnpopulation that made our great citiesrnswell. That was before the arrival of thernmanagerial classes after World War II,rnwho showed little interest in either fiumrnor factor}’—and, thus, both withered.rnYet our school year is still based on thernold agricultural model, the}’ still publishrnPoor Richard’s Almanac, and the urbanrnfarmers’ markets still survive. jnd we stillrncelebrate the bount}’ of the land at Thanksgivingrnand in the church bazaars, icecreamrnsocials, and fall festivals. Oncernagain, I attended Holy Trinit}’ RussianrnOrtiiodox Church’s Fall Festival in thernwilds of southwest Barron County, wherernm newspaper’s publisher is a deacon.rnGirlfriend in tow, we witnessed thernmysterious —if not overwhelming—liturgyrnof St. John Ghrysostom and tlienrnenjoyed a wonderful meal of cabbagernrolls, cranberry sauce, ham, rolls, milk,rnfruit punch, mashed potatoes, cheesernfrom the local Clayton cheese factories,rnand —of course — the many, many piesrnOCTOBER 2001/37rnrnrn