Northwest NEWS

September 21, 1998


A hole in the haystack

   by Oscar Roloff
   Let's scoot back to the Revolutionary War days when our nation was seeking freedom. Wasn't easy.
   Today not much is offered for youth to garner this data.
   Gradually British people were flocking to cross the sea to the emerging colonial areas. The land was free for the asking.
   The British leaders disliked their loss of countrymen and sent soldiers to gather them up and send them back home or at least curtail this loss. In other words, arrest them.
   One of the British soldiers came with his brigade to the colonial lands and began shooting the civilian farmers.
   The farmers and others who had fled to America shot back. One soldier disliked the shooting and fled inland. Some of his own kin had earlier come to America as soldiers, then became farmers.
   Gathering speed and nerve, the red coated private soon came to a farm. Noting an old house, a barn and a hay stack, he headed for the latter and dug a hole in it.
   He then climbed in for a good night's snooze and hopefully freedom.
   The next morning he headed for the barn, seeking grain, milk or something else to eat or drink. The farmer, however, noted the hole in the haystack and rushed back to his wife and 17 year-old daughter.
   "Someone's slept in our haystack," he yelled.
   When caught, the soldier was invited into the house and accepted for what he was. Soon he married the daughter and they had three children.
   When the three kids grew up the red coat was cut into three pieces. The front section was given to the oldest daughter. The other two received the side sections.
   As time passed, the receiver of the front part had moved to Juanita. The recipient was Frank Trunk.
   Years ago I'd heard about the story and found out that the front section of the red coat was now at the Marymoor Museum near Redmond.
   Go to the museum and ask to see the red coat and to read my article. (Oh yes. Frank Trunk has since died.)