Dick Hunt's Blog

April 1, 2010

Almost Snuffed Out

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 2:48 pm

Almost Snuffed out
by Dick Hunt, April 1st, 2010.
Along about 1952, in the early summer on the Ranch, we were moving the breeding cows with calves “at  foot” to a fresh pasture.  We were on the municipal road and crossing the Railroad track, when one of the cows spooked and crossed the cattle guard onto the Right of Way. We knew a frieght train was due very soon and my Dad was trying to hurry us along  Two riders went into the right of way and were trying to get the rogue cow back onto the road. I dropped my bridle reigns to leave my horse outside the fence and crawled through  to help get the cow back.
As I had done many times before, I leaned forward to where the two spare steel rails were stored on two ‘step posts’, one above the other and lifted the lower one off the post.  Unfortunately, the posts were rotted at ground level, quite unknown to me.  The one farthest from me broke off and began to move toward the railroad track.  That threw me off balance and I was propelled toward the gravel road bed. In an instant of time I instinctively began an in air summersalt allowing my face to go into the gravel,  continuing my movement which propelled me away from where I knew the steel rails  hit the ground. By doing so the only damage I sustained was to my badly bloodied nose and a few scrapes. By  the time I got to my feet, my Dad said, “Quit fooling around there and let‘s get across the track, the train is coming around the bend”.  He was right.  Those who saw my foolishness were astonished to find that I was still alive, having seen what had just happened.  For the rest of the day I had to share my story with those who saw me along the road as I had no way to repair the damage to my nose and the rest my face, until I got back home.  Amazingly, my glasses lay beside one of the rails, still intact.
As a matter of interest, each of those rails was forty feet long and weighed 90 pounds per foot. The section line crews never put the rails on posts any more along the Tracks and never learned who knocked them down, and survived.

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