Sunday, July 01, 2018
Baxter Black: A Close Call
Talk about takin' a beating.
I stood on the porch at Dale's horse farm and soaked up the view. It was deep springtime in west Tennessee. The grass was so green it hurt your eyes. The dogwoods were in bloom and two sleek and shiny horses grazed in the picture. It looked like a cover off the Quarter Horse Journal.
"Nice fence," I said, commenting on the pole fence circling his pasture.
"Thanks," said Dale, "But we had a heckuva scare buildin' it. See that post…" I noted a stout post at the end of the driveway. The harrowing tale unfolded.
Dale had decided to build this fence and finally got around to it in December. He enlisted the aid of two friends, Chuck and Phil. They all dressed warmly since it was twenty degrees the day they started. At the particular post in question, the boys were havin' trouble diggin' the hole. It was close to the paved road and the ground was hard.
Dale backed his tractor up to the future hole and poised the posthole auger over the designated spot like an ovipositing wasp. The auger spun on the surface of the frozen ground. Chuck, who's big as a skinned mule, pulled down on the gearbox. No luck, Chuck. So Phil stepped between the auger and the tractor and leaned his weight on the horizontal arm supporting the auger.
Now, Phil had come prepared to work in the cold. He had on his hat with Elmer Fudd earflaps, mudboots, socks, undies, long johns, jeans, undershirt, wool shirt and Carharts. Carharts, for you tropical cowboys, are insulated coveralls made out of canvas and tough as a nylon tutu.