Monday, April 17, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 95th Installment

Truth is, they didn’t make us change our own diapers,” I kidded. “Seriously, we got to be little kids some of the time because I remember playing our butts off when we were five, six, seven, eight--well, maybe eight not so much; we were doing some chores by then. But, when we were old enough to do the milking and work the fields, we were treated as equals.”

Not as equals but as hired help,” Russ complained.

Life’s hard; then you die!” I joked.

Hunting deer or Elk would be real cool,” Victor said, I think to change the subject. “Is it as fun as I imagine it is?”

We had a hunter shoot in our direction while he thought he was shooting at a deer,” Russ remembered. “We had to hide in the rocks until he lost interest and wandered away. I was thinking we should have popped one over his head to show him what it’s like to have a bullet come close.”

Wow,” Victor breathed.

Chapter 24
Vernon grabbed us just as we got home from work at Carl’s place, “After milking I need you two to ride the ditcher.”

The ditcher – crap!” I swore. “I hate that ditcher more than death itself. One day it’ll put one of us to death!”
The ditcher was simply a ‘V’ shaped scraper. The one arm was eight feet long, one foot wide, and a half inch thick flat iron that Russ and I would try to keep in the bottom of the ditch. The other side of the ‘V’ was an eight foot long, two foot wide, half inch thick curved iron with a sharp edge that cut into the bank and pushed the sod, weeds and dirt out of the ditch. The point end was connected to the tractor with a chain. Seems simple enough. The Old Man would drive the wide wheeled tractor straddling the ditch, chained to the ditcher. We would stand on the straight iron to hold it down in the bottom of the ditch and push down on the curved blade to keep it digging in and cutting sod.

We’d been bucked off that ‘devil’s device’ more often than cowboys being thrown off a Brahma bull at a rodeo! Most of the time it worked like it was supposed to, especially in the soft sandy soil, but in hard pan clay the thing digs in, breaks out, jumping around so much we can’t stay on. When one of us was bounced off the other poor rider would be thrown up in the air as the ditcher turned over. Worse was when the ditcher would hit a tree root, or worse a big rock, the point would stop and the back we were balancing on would throw us both high in the air. Vern would stop, and then we’d come down and the blade would come down. We’d have
500 more words tomorrow

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