As I Remember, Chapter 31

This entry is part 31 of 39 in the series Ted Bio


      I guess that right now, would be as good a time as any to finish telling of our Nicaraguan adventure.

      After Dell died, nothing seemed to be the same any more. It was worse than losing my right arm. The lust for adventure was growing dimmer every day. It was several years later before I decided to go down and see how the bus business was going. There could be a lot of money piled up down there. I got a new passport and headed down.

      I had been living in my trailer in Yuma, Arizona. I had a good car so I decided to drive down. I believe that was the winter of 72. I didn’t get very far. Just a couple of days drive, I learned from my car radio that the city of Managua was completely destroyed by an earthquake. I turned around and headed back to Arizona. Later, I learned that all the busses went down with it. There was no need of going down there now. This was the end of that.

      After we buried Dell, I went to the ranch and paid a visit to Mother and Bob. Bob was in bad shape. Couldn’t even feed himself. Also Mother was failing. She was getting along in years. They asked me if I would move in with them. They both needed my help. I was doing nothing at the time, so I did. Besides there was a few things over here that I wanted to clear up. Number one. Before Dad died, he got to where he couldn’t take care of himself. Brother Cecil got himself appointed guardian and put him in a rest home. There he was well taken care of until he died. Then, as there was no will, Cecil was also appointed the administrator of the estate. Several times, Dad had showed Dell and myself that will. But I guess he had never bothered to record it. He figured that big safe in his bedroom was all the protection it needed. I asked Cecil about that will. He said that when they finally got the safe opened, it was plumb empty.

      I can still remember Dad’s words. “Because you two, (Me and Dell) built this for me, (the house). After I am gone, it will belong to the two of you. Along with a sixty foot frontage and a one hundred foot deep. All the rest, including the old house and the store and the rest of the buildings, will be equally divided among you kids.” But the will could not be found. It had completely vanished. Now, finally, the estate was about to be settled. There were bills to be paid. To accomplish this, Cecil decided to sell the new house. Which he did, along with a sixty foot frontage and one hundred foot deep. I often wondered how he happened to come up with these figures.

      Anyhow a little later, I got a little money out of the estate. After I stayed with Mother and Bob for a while, I decided to build Bob something that would help all of us. It was hard to get him in and out of bed. That wheel chair Mother had been using, left a lot to be desired. I built one that I designed. It would lay down flat, over six feet long. By lifting the back up, it would make a comfortable chair. It could be lowered as low as a davino, or cranked up as high as a hospital bed and it also had a built in potty. It sure made things a lot easier around there for everyone and gave Bob a whole new outlook on life.

      Jack King, Ray’s son in law, was now running the Dewey orchards. Ray, had talked the Mormon church into buying a five hundred acre apple orchard over on the bench. He was running that.

      I liked both Jack and Donna. We got along great. When Jack learned that I could do most anything with mechanic tools and welders, he asked me to go to work in the shop. This I did. I stayed there for several years. I took care of both Mother and Bob, until both of them passed away. It wasn’t a very exciting life, but I was quite contented and Mother and Bob were being taken care of.

      As usual , I drove a good car. I had an almost new Pontiac convertible. Jet black with red leather seats and what an engine. It would out run anything but a gas station. I loved that car, but it was my downfall. I was going with a cute, little widow in Emmett. Her name was Betty Talbot. It was on a Saturday and just a couple of days before Thanksgiving, Betty wanted me to take her to Ontario, Oregon, to see some friends, which I did.

      It was about midnight when we got back to Emmett. There had been some snow on the ground, but it was all gone. At least I thought it was. The sun had been shining all day. Now it had turned off real cold. I had the heater going. I just turned off on to fourth street. Everything looked o.k. I stepped down on the gas. Suddenly, the car began to swerve. Started drifting back and forth. I had hit a sheet of black ice. Here the snow had melted, but the water had not yet dried. Now it was a thin sheet, hard and slick. I hit the brakes, but it didn’t do any good. The last thing that I remembered, I yelled for Betty to get down. We went sailing between two big oak trees and right into the front porch of a house. I can barely remember when the ambulance picked us up.

      I was in intensive care for ten days. An oxygen mask on my face, all my ribs were broken in the front, also my collar bone and one leg. I was a mess. Betty had got off lucky. She had several teeth knocked out, a broken jaw, also one busted arm. They let her go home after the first day.

      Later when I looked that car over, I wondered how I ever survived. The steering wheel was pushed clear through the windshield. No wonder I was all busted up. I was in the hospital for thirty-one days and most of them were really rough. Lots of spiders and snakes. But something good did come out of all that. Maybe it was all for the best. Since I was just a kid, I had a cigarette habit. Usually about two packs a day. Several times I had made an attempt to quit but hadn’t succeeded.

      After I was in there a couple of weeks, I began to get a little better. I could now have visitors. Many of my friends come in and several of them brought me a carton of Winstons. I think that busted ribs, is about the most painful thing that can happen to a person. Especially when they are all broke. I can still hear them grate together every time I took a breath. But now let’s get back to this good part. I had been there about three weeks and was feeling a lot better. I was feeling so good that I wanted a cigarette in the worst way. It had been a long time. Betty was visiting me that day. I asked her for a cigarette and a light. I took a couple of puffs, then inhaled a big one. And that was the last puff I ever took. I began to cough. Every bone in my body felt like it was coming apart. The pain was so great, that I finally passed out. Now I know a sure way to make a person quit smoking.

      I could barely get around on crutches when I finally got out of there. Oh yes, I had acquired a new title. THE HOUSE MOVER. The house that I had hit, belonged to a friend of mine, Chick Forria. His folks were living in it at the time. But thank goodness neither of them were hurt. But the house had suffered a lot of damage. Not only was my car in the living room, but the whole structure was six feet off the foundation and the plaster off all the walls.

      I had good liability insurance. Soon the house was like new. But it would be quite a while before I would be the same. But I guess it takes a lot to get me down. I bought a two year old souped up Plymouth Fury from the police force. Another bomb. But it sure was a dandy to pull the

trailer around that I would soon buy. Anyhow, that’s how come I quit smoking.

Series NavigationAs I Remember, Chapter 30As I Remember, Chapter 32

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