by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO — Growing up back east, I had never heard of baling wire. We used sisal twine on hay bales. However, on a trip to Colorado in my impressionable years, I heard someone referring to an old motorcycle as being “held together with baling wire.” Since I moved to Huerfano County, I’ve come to learn the plethora of uses for baling wire, the least of which is for bales of hay.
We have found numerous pieces of old, dingy baling wire around our farm. At first I was irritated, but then I realized how marvelous this stuff is. Maybe you’ve been there: you’re on your way to do something and you trip on this piece of wire. It’s there because some dumb cow dragged it there in the process of demolishing a bale of hay (or weeds), which is one of the joys of open range grazing. And after you utter the words, “You garsh darn piece of wire!” your instinct is to immediately take it to the garbage can and dispose of it. But you’re on your way to do something, and you might forget what it was if you stop to throw away this chunk of wire. So you kind of squeeze it into a smashed ribbon shape and you hang it on whatever is handy. It might be a tree limb. It might be a bird house or a fence post. You promise yourself you’ll come back and get it later. Three years later, you are at that very spot and your boot sole detaches itself. Well you can’t tramp around with your boot sole flapping. Something might get inside – something ugly. So you need to hold your boot together until you get back to the house. Then you spy the baling wire you strategically saved for a moment such as this. Voila! Problem solved. Yay baling wire!
New baling wire is stiff and shiny and bendy. Old baling wire is a little less stiff, not very shiny, but still pretty bendy. New or old, I’d have to say it is the most helpful item you can have around your Huerfano property. And I was surprised to learn that you can actually go to the feed store and buy new baling wire. I thought the only way you could get it was to get it snagged on your boot as you were walking through the weeds. Besides wardrobe malfunctions, baling wire is so handy to have around for such things as repairing a hole in the chicken fence; walking the dog if you can’t find the leash; repairing your kid’s braces when you’re out riding horses together; or knocking fruit out of the apple tree. You can tie up tomato plants with it. You can dig chicken manure out of your boot treads with it. You can tie up a loose exhaust system, wire gates shut, or throw it at a snake to scare it away.
And yes, you can wire together old motorcycles with it.