Barrelin’ Down the Dirt Road

This is another tale about yours truly, and the stunts he pulled back in the day. I had a wild streak, knew everything, and needed no instruction from the adult world. (Was anybody else like that when they were a teenager?) Well, anyway, check this out.

In one of my blog entries honoring my mom on Mother’s Day, We Saw it All, Mom, I mentioned Mom working at Mildred’s Café back in the late sixties. A reader from Buckeye commented on FaceBook that she had told her dad, who is 78 now, about the story, and her dad told her my mom was the best waitress he ever knew.

I know Mom was good, because she had an awesome personality, and a work ethic that, in my opinion, she inherited from her father. Her dad is the one I often talk about in my posts, referring to him as Pa, or Bunk. He was a great man and a terrific role model to his entire family.

The lady who made the comment is the daughter of Dick Morris—I seem to remember he went by Dickie back in the day—and her comment mentioning him jogged my memory. I worked for her dad for a little while right after I got out of high school—actually, it might have been during school; one summer.

Dickie was a harvesting contractor; he didn’t own a farm, but he had the equipment, and contracted to pick cotton for some of the big farms around Buckeye, Arizona. I hired on to pull cotton trailers form the field to the cotton gin.

It was a fun job; I got to drive an old International pickup, usually pulling two cotton trailers at a time to the gin. I’d pull under the canopy, and they’d use this big vacuum hose to suck the cotton out of the trailer. Once all the cotton had been removed, I’d speed back down the dirt roads to the field we were harvesting.

I hadn’t been working for Dickie for too long, when one morning he came up as I was about to leave the field with two trailers filled with cotton. He motioned me to wait, then came over to the window and said, “When you get to the gin, while they’re getting’ the cotton out, check the oil in the truck. You know how to do that?”

I gave him a look that said I did. You know; the look where you raise both eyebrows and tilt your head back and smile. It’s a good look, because even if you don’t know what they’re talking about, the other person usually thinks they’ve insulted you, and they don’t pursue the question. DIckie added more to the instructions.

“After you change the oil, don’t forget to latch the hood.” He pointed at the hood latch on the driver’s side of the truck, to make sure I knew what he was talking about. I was starting to think Dickie thought I was an idiot. I had both hands on the steering wheel, and I kind of slumped my shoulders forward then banged my head on the steering wheel. Dickie laughed, but I could tell he was worried I wouldn’t remember to latch the hood.

“Got it, boss,” I said, revving the trucks engine. Dickie stepped back, and away I went, grinding gears, and barreling down the dirt road between the cotton fields.                To be continued… (the rest of this story will be posted in one hour)

1 Comment »

  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Uh Oh, I foresee a disaster on the horizon . . .

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