Marlin Deitrich (1908-1987) was my great uncle. During our many visits, he would tell stories of his childhood in the Lykens Valley and of growing up on the Deitrich Farm in Lykens Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The following is one of those stories:
The Turkeys Go Visiting
The Deitrich Farm was located about 300 years southwest of the Jacob Shade place, off Yutz Road in Lykens Township.
Every farm in the Lykens Valley had plenty of turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens as well as cattle and pigs. All these animals had one thing in common. The neighbors feed tasted better than what they had at home.
One evening Pappy said he had not seen the turkeys for a week so we should go out and see what happened to them. We searched the whole farm and found no turkeys. It was strangely quiet because the turkeys were always “talking” to each other.
We were about to give up searching when we saw Mr. Shade coming across the field from his farm. He had seen us searching and wanted to know if we were looking for the turkeys. When we said “yes.” he said he knew where they were, but it would cost us a dollar to get them back. My brother Lauren went back to the house to get a dollar and I went with Mr. Shade to help catch the turkeys which were in his chicken pen.
Mr. Shade said that the the turkeys had come over to his farm and were eating with his chickens for more than a week. We were lucky he didn’t charge us more.