Cardigan and the turkeys…We lost Cardigan last winter to old age but have great memories of some of her shenanigans! Here she was bedding down with the turkeys and one decided to bed down on her!!!
I think my age was around 11 maybe 12 that summer…It was mid-August when my father, Uncle Jess and my friend Billy were building a pole shed for hay; the middle area was to have big doors on tracks so wagon loads could be pulled in to unload in big hay mows on either side. We were also going to build a corn crib on one end because our old one was not big enough for all the corn were raising in the past few years.
Things were progressing quite well; all the poles were set and plated to build the roof from along with most of the pole to pole bracing was done. For any one who ‘s done construction, my dear old dad loved his oak 2×10’s he had sawed from our own timber. These were nailed to locust poles with pole shed nails; 20 feet or so in the air on a ladder leaned against the poles.
I broke a chip off my hammer on those ungodly pole shed nails; the piece still floats around in my forearm today! It would be safe to say in another time child labor laws with safety regulations would most likely have landed Mr. Gulley in crowbar hotel!
After several days of hard rains, knowing school was only days away and that would cut the work force drastically; me and Billy would be back in school with my dad driving school bus. Uncle Jess might head out for a two week drunk!! So this put on the big push which had the roof a couple of rafters away from completion when I heard that loud CRACK!
You see our rafters were Gulley specials, 2×10’s overlapped at the peak and nailed together. We would cut off the ends sticking past the overlap with a chainsaw without hitting the string pulled tightly from one end of the roof to the other, so when all rafters were up we had a straight roof! Yes it worked and the barn stood tall until it was dismantled and replaced by; what is now our free stall barn for the milk cows.
Now…that CRACKing sound; well, it was the homemade staging below me that gave way! Where I hit was the problem;on stones, breaking my leg up pretty good. Remember that rain? Well it turned our job site/barnyard into a shit hole.
My father who was up on his perch ,hearing my combination cry and swearing, yelled ‘what’s wrong’ with which he heard ‘broke my damned leg! After his ‘Aw, just a sprain’ he came over to see what I saw: one foot headed in one direction and the other one headed the wrong way! One of those which way did he go scenes!!
For those who don’t know, I was a big boy, too big for him and Jess to carry. At the time we didn’t have a truck or even a tractor with a bucket…Never fear though; see my father wasn’t afraid to abuse, oops, I mean use his equipment, cars included! At the time he owned a red Dodge Lancer, a mid-sized station wagon…It took a while for him to get backed up to where I was, thru the ten or so inches of mud and cow shit, also spun half the tread os his tires!!!
Like a bat out of hell he roared out into the driveway as I screamed, trying to hold my foot from flopping all over! Now…what happened next over the course of what seemed like hours, was point blank disgusting, looking back on it now as a parent who has dealt with injured kids!
Every one loves their parents, they are the reason we are all here; BUT Mother, why? Why did you feel it was necessary that I take off those pants? Yes, they were new and yes, they were covered with shit! The pain of pulling them off from that broken leg, the leg or should I say ankle area that by today’s pictures, needed much more than a simple cast!
WTF were you thinking!!?? On the other hand, I do have to say thanks for the savings from life time’s worth of no tighty whities and the true value of velcro rip a way pants! Oops, TMI…oh hell, I go free and comfortable!!! Next time the emergency room on a Sunday in the ’60s…