Sunday, April 2, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 83rd Installment

to where we were in the hay field. The tractor suddenly disappeared. “See that?” I yelled. Russ had seen and we took off running. The tractor was nose down in a rather deep irrigation ditch, and Vicki was sitting in the weeds picking cockleburs out of her hair. The sudden nose dive had pitched her over the front of the tractor like being bucked off a horse. Carl came driving over with his Farmall tractor, and he pulled the tractor out. The tractor didn’t seem to be any worse for wear, although, I always thought the front wheels ‘pointed in’ like something cross–eyed, crazy after that. Vicki, nonplused, scrambled back onto the machine ready to go to work. I guess she’d heard the old cowboy rule: “If you get bucked off your horse you better get right back on, or you’ll be scared of riding a horse forever.”

Hey, here comes old Juan Carlos and his kid, Tobias,” Russ said. Juan wasn’t that old and his kid was only about twelve. He just looked old; leathery sun–burnt skin stretched over a tall skinny frame, and baggy clothes. Besides, ‘old Juan’ sounded like ‘old man’ to us.

Watch,” I said in a low voice. “Old Juan is so skinny – when he turns sideways – there – look now, he disappears!”

Russ slugged me on the shoulder. “Shut up with your stupid jokes and say something nice for once. Juan might be thin, but he’s strong. I’ve seen him work.”

And after work he has to run around in the shower to get wet,” I added, laughing. This rejoinder only drew another punch in the same place on my sore shoulder. Old Juan was coming out to the hay fields with a message for Carl.
You workers must quit early, the County Assessor man is waiting at the hacienda to talk to Carl,” Old Juan said slowly, to be understood. We grinned – only because funny things were rare when you live in a place without many people, and we were easily entertained.

Papa, can I stay with these guys?” asked Tobias.

Old Juan was already trotting to the hay yard and only waved over his shoulder. Tobias, Toby for short, was a nice enough kid, slight like his papa, bright eyed and a trusting soul. Old Juan relayed the message to Carl, and then Carl stood up on his tractor, circled his arm in the air and pointed to the house. ‘Quittin’ time,’ Russ and I somehow shouted at the exact same time. Linda heard and we were off. Jetting to the ranch house, full speed ahead, we were standing in the slip where steady balance for us was easy through experience, but Tobias was wide–eyed, with his legs spread and arms swinging out for stability.

I leaned over to Russ and said, “You want to see a ‘Toby Roll?” As Linda shot around a curve

500 more words tomorrow

Related Articles


Post a Comment


Powered by Blogger.