A few weeks ago, my 93 year old grandmother sent me to the basement to look for an old stoneware jar that she wanted to show me. While I didn’t find the jar I found a “shuckin peg” in an old basket. I recognized the tool as a necessary tool for shucking or removing the husk from field corn. I had seen these tools before, but this one was homemade. I took it upstairs and showed it to my grandmother (Granny Axsom), and I asked what it was. She replied, Oh that’s grandpa’s shuckin’ peg. As I sat there, she told me how her grandfather use to make them for my grandfather when “Pappy” was young. Pap was a champion corn shucker and Granny’s grandpa always had him compete in shucking his corn. She recalled how even in his old age, he would make these tools for family and friends. Today, I have the shuckin peg in my office to remind me how a simple object can reveal a story or a part of history. Had I not showed the peg to Granny, I would never have known this about this special relationship between my grandfather and his grandfather-in-law in Southern Indiana.

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