Thursday, October 13, 2011

Horse Trader

When I was a kid I was a horse nut, everything I thought about was surrounded by horses (mostly).  My Dad bought me a little 14 hand tall racing Quarter Horse named Remote Control and believe me she was just that.  With some help I broke her to ride and spent many hours riding her everywhere.
I used to race some of the other kids, they were on small motorcycles and I was on the Quarter Horse.  I don’t remember ever losing a race of about ¼ mile in length.  She was that quick, one time she literally jumped out from under me at the starting line.  I used to shorten up my stirrups like a jockey and go for it.  I was a tall kid so it was a little unstable.  Most of my life long serious injuries that still hurt me were from horses.

When I was sixteen I rediscovered motorcycles and wanted one desperately.  I had bought a copy of Easy Riders magazine and was smitten.  I used to take that magazine to school and read it in English class, a little high end literature!

There was another kid at school who wanted a horse and he had a little Honda CL185 he wanted to trade me, or it could have been me who initiated the trade.  It has been a few years ago.   I traded him straight across for his motorcycle and it was all down hill from there.  My brother rode the horse over to do the trade after school one day and she ran away with him on her back, she would take the bit in her teeth and take off.  He couldn’t stop her and she ran into a car at a cross street and threw him completely over the car and onto the asphalt.  We were taking Judo back then and had learned to break fall, he said it saved him but damaged his hand and arm.  I guess if Gilbert were to tell it all most of his injuries were because of me (ask him about playing chicken with a bayonet).

Anyway, I traded for the bike and in my mind became a small town sensation. I got 13 traffic tickets that first year alone.  I had a lot of adventures on that bike like when I was popping wheelies on Main Street to impress some girls from the Catholic school who were in a VW.  I ended up on the back of there deck lid and spent most of the night searching for a new tail light lens for them so her father wouldn’t know I hade smashed into her new car. 

One time on a dare I rode the bike across the Tongue River on the railroad bridge.  There was a train coming and the dare was to ride across the bridge and get off the tracks before I got killed.  I remember thinking how dumb I was as I rode across the bridge with nothing but water under me.  The train was coming on full steam ahead and was laying on the whistle.  No doubt they couldn’t believe a dumb kid would try such a stunt.  When I got across the bridge I couldn’t get my bike off the tracks as the track was parallel to my wheels.  I just got the bike clear as the train wailed on by.  True story.

Tongue River Bridge, Miles City