That’s where my father found himself after enlisting in the Army in WWII… His goal was to be a tank driver, driven by a lust for big machinery and a desire to smash stuff!!
One famous quote of his was ‘why have a roll bar if you ain’t gonna roll it?’!!! Unknown to him when enlisting, that being without 2 toes on one foot , which he chopped off with an ax while cutting pulp wood, meant no tank driving for him!!!!
But since he could milk cows, he was put in charge of the fifty-two milk cows and one bull at the barracks there in Bracketville…
He, with seven other fellows had to milk the cowd by hand for the troops stationed there… They started at two in the morning, so my father was issued a flash light to find the cows in the dark roaming the pasture which he said, was mainly sage brush and the cows milked poorly!
He also said their flash light to see where the bull was idea…no way…was to see where those damned snakes were!!!
Some other warnings he gave were never volunteer to be a truck driver…and an Army truck is better known as a wheel barrel!!! His love of machinery made for many moments he came to regret!!!
One experience he literally carried around with him the rest of his life…They would walk through the brush laden landscape in a line, he said, about ten to fifteen feet apart and when jack rabbits jumped out running ahead of them, they would shoot at ’em…
Seems this one rabbit came toward them running between him and the guy to his left who shot, spraying bee-bees into my father’s chest… Many were never removed and you could roll them around in his chest! As a kid though, it was like WO!!!
His quest to earn his way into a tank , even if only to go get the cows ended shortly after that, as his father, my grandfather, died ten years before I was even thought of; so back home my father came to guess what…milk cows on the home farm up in Shaftsbury Hollow until some years later in ’48 when he began is own farming quest where we are now…
My grandfather whom I never saw, that big, happy guy with the cigar, holding horses in the pictures, always with a big grin!
Well, I’ve heard some people whisper I may be just like him! If he’s as happy as he looked, I can deal with that!!!