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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cow Fighting and Snakes

The Workings of the 17 Year Old Mind – Excerpts From a Letter

I came across an old letter of mine written to my parents. I have no idea where it came from – it was just there. My mother must have saved it and put it into a book and it fell out. At any rate I found it amusing to see what I wrote and how it compared with the way I remembered it. One of the snakes is much longer in my memory then what I wrote in the letter. I was working on my Uncle Luverne’s ranch in western South Dakota in the summer before my senior year in high school.  

Excerpts

Cow Fighting Craig

One of Uncle Luverne’s cows broke her leg when we were chasing them. It was dark and they were on the road. Luverne was in the pickup and I got out on foot to move them along. The cow fell and I think she thought I was responsible. She almost got me then and several times afterwards when we were feeding her on the prairie. Two days ago Luverne decided to get her in the barn. He tried to drive her by horse and I on foot but she ran me out of the country and she butted the horse out of the creek. We could not get her to move towards the corral.

At last I took off my shirt and bull (cow) fought her up to the barn (1 mile).  I would wave my shirt and she would charge. I could just barely outrun her, but always managed to do so. When she gave up I would jump around her head, and twist and waive until she charged again. She almost got me several times when I was careless. It was really good cross-country practice.

Snake Charming

Last week we finished putting up the hay. I rode the sled behind the baler stacking hay bales into small piles before pushing them off the sled.  A rattlesnake came out of the baler partially in the baler, with the business end of the snake sticking out.  The snake was unhappy and he made me nervous.

The next day I was stacking hay. I was on the top of the very tall stack and Luverne was using the stacker tracker to lift hay up to me. As he lifted the small stack up to me I could see a very large rattler hanging below the small stack. The thick tines of the stacker had ran through the snake. The snake was striking at everything that moved. Luverne could not see the snake. I kept yelling for him not to give me the snake. I was preparing to bail out and jump when Luverne spotted the snake. It was over three feet long (6 feet long in my memory) and had 7 big rattles with probably that many more broken off.  Luverne told me I did not have to stack any more if I was nervous but of course I said no problem. But every stick I saw in the hay for the next couple of days made me jump.


Model A
Craig and Neal in the Rumble Seat, Luverne and Herman the Dog in Front

I bought a 1930 Model A Cabrolet Coupe (Roadster with convertible top and rumble seat. Ray Boe and I rebuilt the engine and put it back in the car. I still haven’t got to do much body work on it but hope to have it painted by the time you arrive. I plan to run it back in perfect exterior and running condition. (as you can see from the photo she was not exactly in perfect condition, but I still loved her)                                                                                                 


The Model A and I back in Chicago

More about the Model A Trip at:

http://modelahullinger.blogspot.com/

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