Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ballast stories from two of the "biddies"

{Attebetty's story}
This tractor photo made me realize I've spent a small part of my life as 'ballast'......
First, Vern, Steve Stalter and I were out dinking around on a snowy night and Vern's little car slid off the road and nosed into a deep-ish ditch. Steve and I got in the ditch and pushed as Vern gunned the motor, to no avail. Then Vern made me get up on the trunk while he pushed and Steve drove. Bob's your Uncle and we were out. I've teased him about 'insulting me' for years. He always answers with, "....worked didn't it...?"
Then to 1968. Dee and I went to the drive-in with Debbie and Larry Parker in his 67 Camaro. While we were there, the front, passenger side tire went flat. When Larry checked it, there was a pretty big hole in it. He had no spare. (....Who needed a stinking spare when there was beer to be bought in the 60s...????)
We got all the way from the Drive-in on 75th to 23rd and Hoyt by 'squishing' over to the drivers side. Dee was on my lap and Deb sat, mostly, on Larry's lap as he drove, thus re-balancing the car. Larry drove real slow on back streets, all the way. It worked because the Camaro was so long in the front and short, short in the back behind the passenger compartment.
Also reminded me of the day Dad was out yanking the concrete edges of the driveway. Also in the late 60's. He was breaking them up and pulling them out with the old '40 Dodge truck. Remember it? Not a lot of truck. Cool though. He got to one big piece that was giving him fits. He dug a hole under the middle of it and attached the chain. It wouldn't budge though. He came in and got Vera and I. He made us get in the bed and sit over each back wheel. Our extra weight did the job and the concrete came right out.
Vera was not happy, to say the least. I saw the humor in it. Dad sealed the deal when he got out of the car grinning and said quietly, "First time I've been happy to have two big daughters......." I cracked up and it took days for Vera to speak to him again.

{Pdot's story}
Back in the 70's, when I lived in another world by the name of Metaline Falls, my Wusband loved to go driving in the mountains. We lived very remotely and actually in the mountains, but I am talking about driving further up on little, one lane, gravel logging roads. Some roads were so old that saplings 4 feet tall had started to grow up in the middle of them.
We had recently acquired a little lavender and white Scout with 4 wheel drive that the Wusbund was dying to try out.
I had prepared dinner and put it into the oven to cook for an hour when he said, "let's all (meaning my four children and I) go for a drive." What's the harm I thought, so off we went. I had on my house shoes and saw no need to change as we would be back soon. Since we heated our home with an old wood stove,we were all dressed very lightly and we just trouped out to the Scout and left.
Up we went, and in a little while I said we should be heading back now as a half hour had passed and it would take that long to get back home. The views in the mountains were spectacular but it was getting darker and I was getting anxious.
Just as he tried to back down to a wide spot in the road to get turned around, he got too far over to the edge and due to the melting snow, the edge was soft and we started to tilt a little to the drivers side of the vehicle. I tried to keep my voice calm and said to John, my oldest son, to open the door on the passenger side and take his little brothers and get out.
My Wusband got out and put the Scout into 4 wheel drive and tried to drive away from the edge of the road. He just kept digging in deeper and the vehicle kept tilting further and further to the drivers side over the slash area.
I could just see it rolling over and him being injured with no way out for us but to walk. Four little children with no coats and me in slippers with snow on the ground.
I was praying and praying and begging him to stop trying to drive out of the predicament. An idea suddenly came to me. There were some big flat rocks along the side of the road. What if we stacked them under the back bumper and I got a log and we used it like a jack on top of the rocks to lift the back end of the vehicle up and out of danger. I got every one working on getting the rocks stacked and finding a small log that we could carry but would not break under the weight. Besides, getting the things in place would keep the kids warm and it JUST had to work.
We got the whole thing set up and I placed my weight on the end of the pole and swung out a little and the Scout creaked and groaned and started to move in a little. My son John, darted to the edge and put big rocks in the hole the tire had made while the Wasbund pushed against the Scout so it wouldn't slip back into the hole. When we had gotten it to where we thought it was safe again, he jumped in and gunned it and drove out.
It was just dark by then and we turned around "carefully" and drove down and home. Dinner was a little over done but not ruined and we wouldn't have cared anyway.
I don't know if you would call me ballast but it sure was leverage and it sure was God answering a frantic Mother's prayer.
Oh, and by the way.....the 4 wheel drive did NOT work in that bad boy so we had to have it fixed. Several months later the back axle of the car came off as we were driving up a winding road and we rolled over into a ditch. But that is another story.....


Attebetty said...

Gee.....What are the odds the LSFP would buy a car that didn't work????

Does this make us "Ballast Biddies?"

P-Dot said...

"Ballast Buddy Biddies" hahahahaha

This was a fun post.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the tractor picture? I know someone who claims he is driving the tractor and the woman is his 5th or 6th misguided wife.

P-Dot said...

It was on a joke website. It said the picture was from Russia. You cannot believe any of this stuff.....well, except for what we

Anonymous said...
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Attebetty said...

Is that LSFP on the motorcycle?