Monday, July 4, 2011

Crazy Monday with Arla Poindexer

First and foremost, Happy 4th of July!

Now let me introduce my friend Arla Poindexer.  Her and her husband Jay live out in west central South Dakota where they ranch, have some wonderful cattle and quarter horses as well as the Poindexer's have a great veterinary pratice. 

She used to live about 15 miles from us, and that's where her family still resides.  She courageously took on the "Crazy Monday, My Most Embarrassing Moment" and turned it into a cool story about a ranch truck her family has.  She is a great story teller, like her mom; Bev, who really needs to write...I think she's got some great stories about her life. 

So, without further adieu, here's Arla...

       It was the kind of pickup most of had sometime before cell phones, Internet, or even computers. Of course, most ranchers would have parked in the trees, traded it off, or sold it for parts. Not us. Nope. The original was a 1977 Chevy ½ ton. Back in the day, it was THE pickup to have. It had 4 wheel drive (what a luxury!) and all the pulling power we’d ever need.

Of course, the original burned up-thanks to the mouse nest on the battery cables. But it was too good of a pickup. And, gosh, the motor wasn’t hurt; just the body was burned beyond use. So, let’s find a 1978 GMC body, and let’s run it for the next 20 years.

We named it “HB”. Some thought it was romantic, it was my parents’ initials. But it was really named after Lonesome Dove’s Captain Call’s mare. I won’t type the actual name here.

It was the kind of pickup that had its own personality. When we really needed to stay afloat in mud, the hubs were always unlocked (“First time in a year they’ve been unlocked! Who would have done that?”). We’d get stuck and have to walk to get a chain and tractor; we were always at least a half mile from a tractor.

Once, when the fuel filters were plugged, we couldn’t make it up the Bar X hill. We started up and the pickup died. We coasted all the way to the bottom backwards. Next attempt? We’ll give all she’s got. Half way up and HB died again and we coasted backwards again. Third time’s a charm; we spun it around and backed the pickup up the hill. It never even sputtered, but we got a few strange looks.

The manual transmission never held in gear. Going down the road, we learned to hold it in gear. It’s not a serious problem until the gate is downhill, the engine is off, and the park break is burned out. I didn’t know a pickup could go from complete stop to busted brace posts and a mangled gate so quickly.

Most everyone knew HB, except one deputy. He pulled us over for going 45 mph (it started to weave and smoke any faster than that) and busted out break lights. He walked up to the pickup, saw we were completely sober and trying to get to the next approach with a ton of feed in the back. He wished us a good weekend and shook his head all the way back to his car. Good thing he didn’t ask for our registration and proof of insurance-they had dried up calf manure on them.

It wasn’t until 2002 that HB finally moved into retirement. I can’t remember the reason we never fixed it, besides we didn’t have time. Every now and then someone mentions, “we should get that pickup going again. It sure would save on the new one.” Maybe someday, we’ll get it dinged up and back to use. Be sure to wave at me.
Thanks Arla!  Let me know when your home next, you can come over for supper again!


  1. Oh the stories the Hell Bitch could tell!!!! Enjoyed it.

  2. Love your recollections! The vehicle I remember from my youth was a 49 Ford car. No brakes of course!