This will be my last post about incidents I’ve had with motorized two-wheel contraptions because this was the last time I was on one. My two previous posts can be found here and here. This was the one that made me realize I had burned too many of my nine lives on these things.
One of my cousins in Kentucky was looking to buy a dirt bike and had brought one to his house to test-drive. The bike wasn’t in great shape but it had some hustle in it. We took turns riding it around the field next to his house but of course we had to turn it into a competition of some kind. We decided to see who could make the fastest lap around the field.
My cousin posted several respectable times so I decided to really push it on my last run. I let it rip and kept it wide open up to the finish line and then stood on the rear brake. Unfortunately, the grass was slightly wet and was not conducive to immediate stops. Another problem was that our finish line was powerfully close to a barbed wire fence. I recognized this fact rather belatedly and grabbed the front brake as well.
The next events were a blur to me but it was described to me as such. The front wheel cut sharply as I grabbed the front brake, I sailed over the handle bars and twisted them as they got hung on the pocket of my pullover, I landed on my hands and knees with my nose up against the barbed wire fence. When I got my bearings, I realized how close I had cut it and my cousin was a little upset that I had messed up a bike he hadn’t even purchased yet. He was able to repair and return the bike without the owner being the wiser and my Mom sewed up my pullover without knowing the whole story behind the tear.
This was the day that convinced me that I just couldn’t get along with motorcycles and I haven’t been on once since.
I’m not sure you can train a pig to fetch a stick but this pig on my Grandpa’s farm decided he had a desperate need for a fence post. Luckily my Dad had a camera with him and was able to get the shot. This picture always makes me smile.
This is my Grandpa, I called him Pa. He was born in 1908 and passed away in 1996. He was of a different breed of man than today’s namby-pamby pantywaists. He farmed his whole life in southern Kentucky. He was hard at it into his late 70’s and early 80’s. I’ve seen him grab hot electric fences and razor-sharp barb wire and neither one of them would bother him. The Chevy he’s standing next to drove like a boat (I know because I drove it) and the tool crib he’s standing in front of is long gone now. There’s a lot I wish I could remember about the car, the crib and him.
I do remember that his house didn’t have an indoor bathroom until 1980 so I became well-acquainted with the outhouse during my youth. His house had indoor plumbing but the best water came from the well in the front yard. I drew many a bucket of water from that well. He never had a TV and he didn’t allow a phone in his house until 1990 or 1991.
I never asked him as many questions as I should have. I never listened to all the stories that I should have. I never took advantage of all the opportunities to work alongside him like I should have. It’s funny how you don’t think of these things until it’s too late to do anything about it.
This barn sits on my Mom’s property in Clinton County, Kentucky. I don’t know who built the barn or when they built it but the house on the property was built by my great-Grandpa in the 1880’s or 1890’s so I would say it’s a safe bet that the barn is also from that time-frame and and that same builder. This barn has weathered many storms and housed untold numbers of cows and pigs.
Old barns always make me stop and ponder and smile. I can’t decide if I like them because of this barn that I grew up with or if I love this barn and others like it because of some genetic predisposition.