Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I thought we were buddies

  This is a little story about my Granddad John. If you knew John, then you know that he could be a little ornery, and that he always liked to have fun. Along with the locker plant that he and my Grandma Edith had, he also had a pig farm. Some of my greatest memories as a kid was getting to go to the pig pens with granddad. My mom told me that she used to tell me that if I didn't get in trouble that day that I could go to the pig pens with granddad. I can remember spending many hours chasing pigs back into the pens after they had tore up the fence, or rooted under it. We would get the pigs back in, and granddad would spend hours fixing the fence back up only to have them find another way out a few days later.

  One morning when I was at the locker, granddad told me to go get in the pickup, and that he needed my help that day. Man I don't think I had ever been so excited, granddad needed my help! First stop was granddad's garage to pick up some tools that we were going to need for the job. Next stop was the CO-OP Lumber yard, and if my memory is right I believe ole Ed Burton was the one running it back then. Anyway granddad starts looking at electric fencers. I know I asked him what an electric fencer was, and he told me that it sent an electric pulse through a wire that we were going to run around the pig pens to help keep the pigs in.

  After getting the fencer, wire, posts, and insulators it was off to the pig pens to start the project. Granddad loaded me up with all the posts that I could carry. He would step off so many feet, take one of the posts, and put it on the ground, and so many steps to the next one until finally we had posts all around the place. So the next job was to go back around, and using a hammer, drive all the posts into the ground. I remember wanting to hit the posts with the hammer, and granddad telling me not right now. I guess I pestered him long enough and he got tired of hearing me that he finally gave me a chance. I did pretty good for the first 2 or 3 posts, until I hit his hand with the hammer, so needless to say my post driving career was over, and it was back to holding them again..

  Next came running the electric wire. We put a roll of wire on a post and took off walking. I did pretty good at that, of course all I had to do was hold my end of the post and walk along with granddad. After we got the wire strung, then of course came the stretching of the wire. After granddad got all the wire stretched we started back around the whole place putting on the insulators so that the electric fence wouldn't ground out against the posts. Now, it might sound like I know a lot about electric fences, and maybe I do now, but I sure wished I would have known a little more about them back then!

  Come along evening time granddad and I had finished running the fence around the pig pens. Now was the moment of truth. Granddad plugged the fencer into an outlet. A hum came from the box, and then a red light lit up and then in a few seconds another one lit up. Granddad said it was working perfectly. I looked around the pig pens and I didn't see anything working. I'm not sure what I expected the electric fence to do. Maybe I thought something would pop out of the posts and scare the pigs back in or something. So I told granddad that I didn't see how that one little wire was gonna keep them pigs in when all those other wires couldn't.

  So, granddad drew upon all of his years of experience and knowledge and told me "go over to that wire there and pee on it". Well when you love and respect someone as much as I did my granddad you don't question anything, you just do it, and besides when your a kid you;ll pee on anything, right! So I'm standing there, peeing on a wire when that electric pulse passed by. Now I played football and was hit pretty hard. I've jumped outta swings, crashed my bicycle, wrecked vehicles, even got hit on my motorcycle. I have  broken many bones in all of those cases, but I have never had anything hit me as hard as that little, unseen bit of electricity did! Now, if some of you have never been shocked by electricity, the best way I can describe it is like being hit with a hammer. So you can imagine what it felt like to get hit with a hammer, where I felt like I got hit with a hammer at!

  As I was  laying there on the ground, with my granddad and George Pratt laughing at me, I was thinking, we are buddies, and buddies just don't do that to each other! I am also pretty sure that it was several days before I worked up the courage to pee again.


  1. All my years and I thought I was the only one to do that- but it wasn't my grandad it was my brothers that talked me into doing it - since i will remain anonymous- one of my brothers name is Billy aka Bobby lol

    1. I'm pretty sure that quite a few of us fell for it!