One day, before I was as old and wise as I am now, I decided to go fishing at a pond outside of Harrisburg, Oregon.
I arrived at the pond that afternoon in Dad’s little black Mazda pick-up and parked on the side of a little gravel road that runs along the edge of the pond- I had a great time fishing, catching lots of little blue gill and crappie until it began to get dark.
Since it was time to go home I made my way back to the pickup, started the motor and turned on the lights. When I turned on the lights, a great idea occurred to me- I could pull the truck off the little gravel road onto the dry mud and point the lights out onto the water to see if I could attract some fish and that way get in a little more fishing.
So, I pulled off the road and shined the lights out onto the water. Well, I can’t remember if I actually did get any more fishing in that evening because after pulling off the gravel road onto the “dry” mud, I realized it wasn’t so dry after all!
I couldn’t back up the pick-up onto the road because the wheels where spinning in the slippery mud that lay under the layer of dirt that looked dry and navigable before I drove onto it.
Determined to get myself out of the mess, I began working the manual transmission from first gear to reverse, repeatedly spinning the tires forward and then backward in an attempt to gain enough momentum to “rock” the pick-up back onto the road.
This went on for several minutes and I was just about to give up when, in one last great attempt I gained enough momentum to back up onto the narrow little dirt road...
But, in my excitement at finally achieving my goal, I failed to take my foot off the gas pedal in time, and when the spinning tires found superb traction on the dry gravel on the road, the next thing I new, I had my back tires were stuck in the mud on the opposite side of the road.
This time I new I was stuck for sure and wasn’t going to get out on my own. After a few futile attempts to free myself, I sat quietly for a moment shaking my head in disbelief and wondering about my sanity and the who, what, why, where and when of my circumstances.
This was before I had the luxury of carrying a cell phone wherever I went, so I decided I had either better start walking back to Halsey, which was about ten miles away, or I could walk over to a house that was close by and ask to use their phone.
Of course I decided to walk over to make the phone call for help, but as I walked in the dark I pondered seriously about whom I could call. For some reason I remember I didn’t want to call Dad to pull me out; probably because it was about 9:30 or 10:00 at night and he wouldn’t be too happy about the whole deal.
So, I decided I would call my friend Dustin to see if he could come and pull me out. When I arrived at the little house where I hoped to make the phone call, I knocked on the door and a scared little old lady answered. In as kindly a fashion as I could, so as not to scare her or her husband even more, I explained my situation and asked if I could borrow their phone.
Somewhat doubtful, they pointed to the phone on the wall, giving me permission to enter. So I went ahead and made the phone call to Dustin and gave him the best directions I could to the place.
I then thanked the kind old folks and went out to the highway to flag down my buddy so he wouldn’t pass the little dirt road that led to the pond. It took him a little while but Dustin finally made it to where I was waiting.
I hopped into his Dad’s little Dodge pick-up (which, funny enough, is the same little blue pick-up that Dad drives now) and we turned onto the little gravel road. I gave Dustin a few more details about the situation as we passed the pick-up that was stuck, laughing about how ironic it was that I had gotten stuck twice and commenting on how easy or difficult it might be to pull it out.
After passing the pick-up and traveling about 75 yards or so on the gravel road, Dustin looked for a place to turn around in order to go back and pull me out, and have us both heading in the right direction to leave the pond.
Before I could say anything about the seemingly obvious nature of the “dirt” on the side of the road, and before I could voice the seemingly unnecessary warning about the danger of pulling off the gravel road, Dustin suddenly drove off into what he thought to be a suitable place to turn around.
Well, you probably guessed by now, that the little Dodge pickup wasn’t going anywhere either. Even after I got out and pushed and pulled and used every resource I had at my disposal to get the little pick-up back onto firm ground, we had to give up and think of what to do next.
Of course, my desire to call Dad for help at this point was further diminished by the complicated circumstances in which we found ourselves. And of course, Dustin favored the fairness of his hide too. He didn’t want his hide tanned either.
So, we decided to call an unsuspecting brother of the our church, who lived nearby and ask if he could perform a covert operation- to save two knot-headed teenage boys who’d failed to exercise good reason in a series of unfortunate events.
I think Dustin must have had a cell phone with him because I don’t remember walking back to the little old folks house to bother them again, although the reason I don’t remember may be that it was such a traumatic experience that my memory of the second visit to their house has been erased from my mind, I don’t know, but the important thing is that we made the phone call.
Thankfully the brother from church consented and said he knew where the place was and would be here in a little bit.
Now, regarding this brother of our church, suffice it to say, he is a kind and humble soul, a short and stocky man of middle age who seems to have “been there before.” When the good brother showed up we ran to his pick-up and made sure that the first thing we told him was to avoid driving his pick-up off the gravel road.
Now, as I mentioned at the beginning of this story that all of this happened before I was as old and wise as I am now. Well this good brother quickly established the fact that through his years of experience he had grown in wisdom to a level substantially higher than that of two knot-headed teenage boys.
He put his transmission in reverse and backed his old Dodge pickup about 50 yards along the gravel road and positioned himself to pull out my Dad’s pickup. He got out of his truck and hooked up the tow chain. Then he easily pulled the pickup onto the road. Shortly thereafter, he had pulled the second pick-up out of the mud and onto the road as well. We were very grateful the help.
We must have got him out of bed that night to come and help us, because he didn’t even have his teeth in. We asked him to keep the facts about the evenings events to himself, and we’ll always remember how he assured us, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell nobody ya’ll was bein' stupid.”