At some point during their time in Capa, South Dakota, my great grandfather, Orville Thomas Conner, decided that he was going to be a turkey farmer. They rented a farm outside of Capa near the Badd River and bought 60 baby turkeys. They raised them to adulthood on that farm south of town. One day, a cyclone came through the farmlands.
After they safely emerged from the cellar, they went to check the livestock. The turkeys were nowhere to be found. They searched and searched until they heard an odd noise down by the river. Looking up, my grandfather and his sisters saw the turkeys in the trees. But they looked odd. Something was amiss.
The tornado had plucked their feathers right out. The turkeys were naked.
They finally came down from the trees to eat, but sadly, died in just a few days from sunburn.
Faced with 60 rotting dead turkeys, Great Grampa had to quickly perform a mass burial. But where? He looked around the place and remembered the hole that tended to retain water after the snow melted each year. He decided that if he buried the turkeys there, and covered them with enough dirt… well, two birds with one stone (so to speak…).
He informed Great Gramma (Ann Konst) of the plan and she insisted it would stink. “No, Ann! We’ll bury ‘em deep! It’ll be fine!”
So Grampa and Great Grampa, using a scoop made of a half-barrel looking piece of metal strung up to the horse, dug and dug and dug. When they thought they were done, they dug even further, just to not hear, “I told you so!” from Great Gramma.
And that was that with the turkey farm.