Saved From The Grim Reaper
I’m a firm believer in Guardian Angels, and as I look back on life, I have to wonder if they haven’t had their hands full keeping me out of the clutches of the Grim Reaper. I don’t believe I have enough fingers to count all the times the old Reaper has nearly had his net over me, but missed; a couple of those instances I will share with you here.
A few of us were at our regular coffee klatch one day, and the subject of some of the dumb things we did as youngsters came up. This brought to mind the times when I and my teen age colleagues would tie a forty foot rope to a pickup truck and ski the barrow pits along the country roads north of Soda Springs, Idaho at 40 miles per hour.
Well…..maybe not quite 40, but it seemed like 40 miles per hour. It was darned fast at any rate, and probably a bit dangerous due to the fact that there were obstacles (large boulders) along the right of way in which we were skiing that we had to dodge; not to mention the wind blown snow drifts that put us air borne and caused many a spill. At the speed we were traveling–and often without goggles–with snow blowing in our faces causing watery eyes, it’s a wonder we were able see the various hazards well enough to dodge them. But the foolishness of youth never gave such things a second thought.
Then there was the toboggan ride. That was really a narrow escape. A bunch of us pulled a large toboggan to the top of a rather large hill out near a little mining community that used to exist north of Soda Springs, Idaho. As I recall there were about four or five of us (it was a big toboggan)who mounted the sled for our journey down the hill. Somehow, I was selected to sit in front and be the steer man.
Down the hill we started. It had been blanketed the night before with a light powder snow; which translates into lot of fluff. About thirty seconds into the trip, I sensed we might be in a bit of trouble. Holy Hell, I thought, this is not good. The light fluffy snow was already blowing up in my face blocking my vision. We had built up enough speed, that for any of us to stick his leg out to try to slow our momentum , would have undoubtedly resulted in one or more broken legs. At that point, it was do or die; maybe both.
The light fluffy snow was whipping up over the front of the toboggan blinding me to the point that we were literally flying blind and by the seat of our pants. I prayed and held on. Speed built up to an even higher degree, and the snow shower increased in intensity. We were riding in our own self made blizzard. We reached the bottom of the hill with about seven years growth scared out of each us, but thankful to have arrived in tact.
Because of the soft snow, the toboggan left a distinguishable track. As we looked up to see from where we had come, we saw that we had missed a utility pole by not much more than four feet. Another of the many times during my foolish youth the Guardian Angels snatched me (and some of my friends)from the clutches of the Grim Reaper.
And there are still more times the Reaper thought he was going to get me, but he was foiled once again. One other time it’ was during a duck hunting excursion. Some may perceive what I’m about to tell you to be a “tall tale,” but it really did happen. I and a friend went hunting ducks one afternoon in late November some years back. There had been a light snow the night before, and when the sun came out the day following, it melted the snow and pulled what little frost there was out of the ground causing a greasy (muddy) surface.
My friend owned a ‘50s model Dodge coupe with fluid drive. Those of you who are familiar with the Chrysler Company’s old fluid drive transmissions will remember that there was such a smooth flow of power to the rear wheels, that spinning was nearly impossible. However, in spite of this, we slipped and slogged our way along the muddy trail into where we could park within two or three hundred yards of the pond we wanted to hunt.
After slogging on foot through snow mixed with mud, we found ample natural cover near the pond where we settled in and waited for the ducks. Not long after, a large flock came in for a landing. The sky was literally black with ducks. We both raised up and fired. Only a couple of ducks fell. My friend looked at me in wonderment. “What happened?” he asked. “Those ducks were so thick we could’ve knocked ‘em down with our gun barrels without firing a shot. We should have limited out in that first go around.”
I glanced over at his shotgun and knew immediately why we hadn’t knocked down more ducks. Out near the end of his barrel, there was an eight inch slit in the side. It kinda reminded me of the Bugs Bunny cartoons where Elmer Fudd’s gun barrel was shredded when he fired at Bugs after he (Bugs) had shoved a carrot into the end of it. The only difference was, my friends face wasn’t blackened with gun powder( but mine easily could have been, or maybe worse). Apparently when we were walking to the pond and crawled through a fence, he must have inadvertently touched his gun barrel to the ground, shoving some mud into the end, which neither of us noticed. By that time of day, the barrel was cold enough that the mud must have froze.
I was standing about six feet to his left and a little behind him when he fired. I didn’t see where the shot from his gun went, but judging from size of that split, some of it would have had to come in my direction directly in front of me. Good thing I was standing a few feet to the rear. Another one of those times when the Angels snatched me from the clutches of the Grim Reaper. It did clean the mud from my friend’s gun barrel, however.
Now let’s see…there was the time of the broken brake line on a loaded truck on a six percent down grade….sheared lug bolts on another occasion with a loaded truck…. Oh…well…. 🙂
There is another Guardian Angel story in my book, Buddy…His Trials and Treasures. You can obtain a free copy of the book by clicking on he free download button at upper right of this page.