Wrought Iron Range Stories...
"OK! Linda, Here is another story. Late 1938 or early '39 the group were canvassing the New England States. The group consisted of a Manager, several sales personnel and most had their wives traveling with them. They would spend a month or more in a single location because they also picked up the stoves they sold from the train station and delivered them. Subsequently, the group became very close and shared much, food, companionship and a reasonable living.
Meanwhile, my folks tucked me away in a boys prep school in Plattsburg, NY. During school vacations I would get to travel with my parents. I would go with my father when he was canvassing the rural areas. I believe we were in Conneticutt at that time and I don't remember the name of the community.
Dad drove into the barnyard of one farmhouse and as was his manner got out of the truck and approached the lady of the farm. He explained who he was and who he represented.
They had a small model of the stove on the back of the pickup truck along with a sample of the actual lid from a full sized mode. The husband had been out in the barn chopping wood and he came to the farm house to see who was visiting.
Dad went through his sales pitch with the man who turned out to be a huge swede. He looked ten feet tall to me but in retrospect he was probably more like six feet plus several inches. The man was not interested in buying. When dad explained that the sample of the lid represented the actual one on all stove and was unbreakable.
You could see the man's eyes light up. I bet I can break he said so dad asked if he was a betting man. He said maybe he was and asked why. Dad said if you do break that lid I will give you a stove. If not you must then buy one. The big swede just laughed and said 'OKAY, you're on.' He placed the lid on a big oak chopping block, went to the barn and came back with a huge post maul. I wondered what we got into and maybe dad was even sweating a bit. The swede wound up and he came down on the lid with all of his might force. The lid must have soared 75 feet in the air, spinning like a top and came down .... unharmed. The big swede laughed and said, 'by golly! You are right.' He reached in his pocket an peeled off several bills to pay the up front cost. Dad (a former farm boy) went into the barn with the man and helped milk the cows. As we were leaving, the man and his very happy wife invited us to the first dinner cooked on the stove. My parents made the dinner. A lot of fast friendships were made during this period. Merry Christmas, Linda." -- Bob Chantler
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