April 11, 2018



I’m not too much into vehicles. I mean I drive them a lot. But I’m not the kind of guy that lines up at the car wash when I get a little dust on a vehicle. I think I inherited that trait from my Grandpa. I don’t think he ever washed a vehicle. If the windshield on the pickup got too dirty, he would turn the wipers on and throw a bucket of water on it. That would do.
I’m not saying how I treat a vehicle is right, but it’s just the way I roll. A couple of years ago, my kids gave me a “detailing” for my pickup at an outfit in town. I think it cost like $300! Do you know how many happy hours you can go to for three bills? Maybe three. Anyway, when I went to pick up the vehicle they charged me an additional $150. They said they had never seen a vehicle so dirty and it took extra hours. Actually days.
My Dad, who is 92, was down a month or so ago. We jumped in the ranch pickup to go look at some cows. He asked how many miles on the pickup. I proudly replied, “263,000, and it has been a really good pickup.” His response was, “Well, it’s the dirtiest pickup I have ever been in!” And at 92, he’s seen a thing or two.
That pickup looks a lot worse today. I imagine in the last two weeks, it has hauled 20 calves from the pasture to the barn. Cold, wet, dirty calves. You don’t put a cold, wet calf on the box. You throw them in the cab with the heater running wide open. On top of the net wrap that you threw in to keep it from blowing out on the road.
You put the first one in the front under the heater. Next couple goes in the back seat. Hopefully, you don’t have to load more than three or four that first trip. Because the dog gets crowded.
And if I, along with any other rancher in the Dakotas this year gets picked up by the cops, you will see our names in the police blotter. We will be charged with “possession of drug paraphernalia.” On the dash of my pickup you will find a handful of needles. Most are 16 gauge. From a half-inch long to 1½ inches. There are probably a dozen plastic syringes varying from 5 ccs to 40. There will be three or four containers with various illegal looking pills. Some for calf scours. Some for pneumonia. Some just a vitamin supplement. There will be a sack or two of a suspicious looking white powder. And probably a couple thermos containers of hot water.  
And per chance, there may even be a bottle of schnapps or something stuffed somewhere in the vehicle to give the doctor a little relief while he is sitting in his dirty pickup waiting for a calf to drop.
Take care out there cowboys. Shirley can clean the pickup this summer.