Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 45th Installment

the well casing and lit it. It would burn down about ten feet and then go out.

Why does it go out and not burn down deep like before?” I asked.
Heck, if I know. Let’s pour the gas anyway just before it goes out,” Russ suggested.
We lit the dribble of gas, watched, and as the flame was guttering, we poured the gas. Nothing. We waited. Nothing. Why?

Russ stared at the hole and eventually said, “Let’s try again another day. Maybe it has to do with the time of day or something.”

Nah, that’s silly. It has to have a scientific reason. Maybe the temperature; it’s not as cold today.” I offered, knowing my explanation was as lame as his. “Did you notice when Vern lit the gas it seemed to follow the fuel down with the flame pushing ahead, but when we lit it today, the flame was sort of burning upwards and not able to travel down the fuel very far?” I was thinking out loud.

I know, I know!” I said, and I think Russell knew it the same time. “It’s the….” and together we said “barometric pressure!”

Yeah, some days the water well is blowing, and some days the well is sucking.” I was on a roll. “When the well is blowing the oxygen can – no wait a minute – when the well is sucking, the oxygen and the flame is sucked down supporting combustion. When the well is blowing there is little oxygen coming out of the earth.”

And no oxygen, no fire,” Russ finished.

We packed it in and for the next couple of weeks we would check the well with a fire to see if the flame was burning up and flickering out the well was blowing and if the fire was burning real good and the flame would be sucked down. One day after checking a few times the flame was being sucked down. Oh, happy day! Luckily Vernon was out with the cows. We gathered our stuff, dribbled the gas, lit it, and watched the flame travel deep down. We quickly poured the gallon down the casing and stood back. This was a good idea because this time the fire freight train roared as high in the air as some of the nearby trees and before flaming out, looked about the same as a tree, if the tree was a flaming inferno. If we had been gawking down the hole this time, it would have burned our hats off and left us without eyebrows.

Did you see it? Did you see it!?” Russ squeaked in excitement.
We danced around with adrenaline powering the excitement. “Tha…tha…that’s the coo…coolest thing I ever sa…saw,” I was babbling in excitement. We burned the well a couple of more times on different days; once, even venturing out late at night when the parents were fast asleep. Mother Nature had

500 more words tomorrow

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