Have you ever known someone well but not well at all? Ever know someone who always made you feel warm and connected to good memories yet who was actually a mystery to you? Is there anyone in your life who you admire for things some of which you cannot actually describe? John Erskine is a special friend of mine, I know him well, yet…
John and Heather Erskine of Monroe, Washington, have been synonymous with the best of Shire horses since before I can remember. They have helped wagon loads of people with their horses and horse adventures. Up at last year’s Sandpoint, Idaho, show John shared a photo album with me that set me right down and I twisted his arm to let me share some of his outstanding pictures with you.
In a letter John let me know of his noble ulterior motive. If I were to share some event information with folks I could print the pictures. I am glad to do it, or better yet, let John do it in his words:
“The real reason for sending this gibberish is to try and get photos and copy printed covering the spring plowing days held in Eastern Washington. Starting with the Bohnet family’s Draft Horse and Mule Plowing Days which is held the last weekend of March every year on their farm.
“Then comes the Thomas family’s Draft Horse and Mule Plowing Days which is held every year on a weekend during the first part of April, it depends on what weekend Easter falls, so not to conflict.
“Then Colfax Plowing and Field Days (Draft Horse and Mule Powered) falls a weekend towards the end of April.
“Fewer people (hitches and spectators) are showing up at these privately produced events and people go to a lot of expense and effort to accomodate these plow days.
“I ramble. The thing is we have to get the word out to potential participants and spectators as to where these things happen and when, also try to stimulate their interest so they will attend and keep these displays of horsemanship and the working of the bigger farm hitches alive and well. These events are a great place to learn how to use the bigger farm hitches, etc.”
Well John, I hope I did okay by you and Heather with this little spread. You certainly have done and are doing extraordinary things with your outstanding Shire horses. I personally vote that C.J. hire you on regular. My hat’s off to you, the world’s a better place for your thoughts, deeds and footprints. I’ll see you next spring to take a ticket for a ride on the gang plow at one of those eastern Washington matches matches. LRM