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Kountry Life Memories

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Daryls Big Wreck
In my 11th year, I remember a fine hot summer morning. Dad and gramps took the old flatbed truck and left for another farm auction. My instructions for the day were to change oil in dad's Buick, hoe the garden and clip the grass growing around the foundations of the house and all the outbuildings. Dad knew I couldn't do all that in a day, he just hated to see anyone idle who could be working. Especially me.

Anyway, I flung open the garage doors, got my drip pan and a wrench and wiggled under the old Buick. The dirt garage floor was cool, the day was hot, so I just lay there waiting for the oil to drain out. It was relaxing to lay listening to the sounds. Birds chirping, chickens making chicken noises, pigs grunting as they rooted around their pen, windmill creaking as it slowly turned in the breeze, kitchen screendoor slamming, little brother Daryl walking around singing some silly made-up song. I dozed off.

But not for long. First came a scream, followed by a strange crashing, wood splintering sound, irate chickens squaking, screendoor slamming, mom and granny yelling. I sat up, forgetting where I was and cut my forehead open on the underside of the Buick. Blood streaming down my face, I ran out of the garage in time to see mom and granny escorting a sobbing, terrified Daryl toward the house, no doubt to stuff with milk and cookies. No one noticed my face, smeared with blood. Mom sent our sister Angel out to the back field to get big brother Ike, who was doing some cultivating. Ike's old Ford 'A' was sticking out of the side of the chicken house.

Our garage was large enough to hold dad's Buick and one of our tractors. The ground on one side of the garage was steeply sloped down toward the chicken yard and house, down into the front pasture to a creek bottom. Ike always parked his car on that side of the garage. The gas barrel was on the level opposite side. Ike would cramp the front wheels hard toward the uphill and shut it off, left in reverse gear. That way, it couldn't roll anywhere, unless someone named Daryl was pretending to drive, shifted into nuetral while turning the wheels the opposite direction and was unable to stomp on the brake when the car started rolling down the steep slope.

Ike and Angel came putting up on the tractor. We surveyed the damage. Big hole in fence, big hole in chicken house, broken headlights on Ford, piece of board sticking out of Ford's radiator. Other than that, everything was fine.

Ike sent me in to get my cut head fixed. Mom cleaned my cut while Daryl munched cookies. Granny got gramp's jar of 'shine to dab on my cut. It was our standard antiseptic. While they were looking for the bandages, I managed to sneak a healthy pull on the jar. Once bandaged, I went out to help Ike.

Well, we got the car back up by the garage, repaired the fence and was nailing scrap lumber over the break in the chicken house when dad and gramps rattled up in the truck. Dad wanted to know why we were fixing a big hole in the chicken house. Ike told him what happened. Dad looked at me and said 'Damn boy, can't ya watch your lil' brother just once? Ya know how he is'. Somehow I knew it was going to be my fault.

Things got repaired, Ike got his car running again, and Daryl got off scott free. Dad wasn't really picking on me. He was strict but not overly so. Daryl seemed to get all the attention. Even more than Angel. That seemed strange, with her being the only girl. But, that's how it was that summer of 1951

Submitted By: Hoppy from IA on 2009-11-12

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