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Tales of a Hay Hauler: Hi-jinks and nephews

Brad Nelson Published on 31 March 2014
Crop duster

Leo and I were always up to something. If we had nothing in the works, we were thinking about the next prank. One of us found an old horseshoe at a haystack.

How it started I don’t remember, but the game became that whoever had the horseshoe would hide it in the other’s truck.

One fine day Leo found the horseshoe in his truck. He asked where it came from, and I told him that I had hidden it in his truck.

He asked how long ago, since the last time he remembered seeing it was when he hid it in my truck some two years before. I told him that it got moved two days after he parked it in my truck.

I was on my way to Boise, Idaho, for parts one day and Leo asked if I had time to take the turbo from his truck and have a particular mechanic at one of the truck dealerships look at it.

He was having a time chasing down a weird noise on his Peterbilt and wanted to rule out a problem with the turbo. We were borrowing a corner of Nate Grosvenor’s shop at Middleton, Idaho. As soon as I had Leo’s turbo diagnosed, I called the shop and got Carl, Nate’s father.

I told Carl to tell Leo that the housing of his turbo wasn’t even acceptable as a core for a replacement turbo. Carl asked, “Is it really that bad? It didn’t look that bad to me.”

I told Carl that there was nothing wrong with Leo’s turbo, but Leo needed to be stirred up. Carl relayed my message. When I got back, Leo was snorting and bellowing and throwing things.

I gave him his turbo and told him that his was OK. I looked at Carl and asked if he had told Leo it was OK. Carl said he did.

Leo said, “Yes, he did. He told me it was OK – after he had me stewing and storming over it for an hour.”

Carl looked at me with a bit of a grin and said, “Do you know what this man (pointing at Leo) told me that you and I were a pair of?”

Leo had two nephews make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Each (first one, then the other) offered to help Leo load and unload the hay bales if Uncle Leo would teach them how to drive the big trucks.

As far as I know, both of them turned out to be first-class drivers. One of them, David, stayed in Leo’s camper trailer parked in his front yard while he hauled hay and learned to drive.

Leo’s father had always grown some wine grapes in his garden. Leo carried on the tradition and had learned how to make wine from the grapes. Leo told about trying out the new wine while David was living in the trailer and working for him.

David liked the wine and had seconds and thirds. David did not realize how strong the wine was. Leo said that when everyone was ready for bed that David headed out the front door like usual, headed for the camper about 50 feet away.

Leo said that he was in bed with his wife and just about totally drifted off to sleep when there commenced at his front door the most gosh-awful caterwauling he had ever heard in his life.

He got up and found his pants and went to the door. There he found David, just barely able to stand up with the help of the door jamb.

As he opened the door, David cried out, “Dag-blast-it! You guys got me drunk and then came out and hid the trailer so I can’t find it!”

When Leo quit laughing enough so that he could stand up, he got a flashlight and took David by the hand and showed him that the trailer was in the same place it had been all summer.

David didn’t believe him. “You guys waited until I came back to the house and then you moved it back here. It wasn’t here five minutes ago!” he accused his uncle.

Leo’s other nephew, Ray, came back to visit his Uncle Leo and show off his new bride. The new bride was not happy with Ray when they arrived. Ray had been laughing at her.

Driving down a country road with nothing but farmland and rolling hills, the new bride had abruptly screamed, covered her face with her hands and dropped her face into her lap. Ray thought he was about to hit something, and hit the brakes while checking the road.

Seeing nothing, he grabbed his bride by the collar and sat her back up, demanding to know what was the matter. From behind her hands, which still covered her face, she shrieked, “That plane’s going to crash and I can’t look!”

Ray then noticed a cropduster airplane, nonchalantly going about its business of applying whatever to the crops. Ray was in trouble a second time for telling Leo about it.  FG

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