A cautionary tale. A day of dusting.

Hey y’all! Meet Randy. He’s my husband. You may have had the pleasure to see and hear Randy sing about some really yummy muffins in this post, or sing with our daughter in this post, but today he’s gonna tell you a story.

A little background, Randy grew up on a farm in beautiful, rural NC. Up until just a few years ago, his family grew soybeans, wheat, corn, and barley. They also had a few head of cattle from time to time and back in the 70’s raised pigs. It was a fun place to be a child – never a dull moment.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of hearing his stories and thought he should begin to share them with you too. Please give a warm welcome to Randy, and hopefully he’ll tell us some more stories real soon.

(All photos in this post were found at morguefile.com – for free!)

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Back in the summer of ’79 we had an infestation of army worms in the soybeans. The plants were too tall to get a sprayer rig through the field without damaging the plants so we had to hire a crop duster plane. This was a big deal. Crop dusting was not common in our part of the world. As you can imagine, my two brothers and I were very excited about seeing the plane so close flying over the bean fields.

The pilot was quite a character. His name was Buster. Buster the duster. We had a chance to meet Buster the day before. I asked him how low he would fly and he said when he was done he’d have some bean leaves on his landing gear.

The soybeans were waist high to an adult. They were dark green and thick. The tops of the plants were grown together between the rows.

Our family picked a nice grassy spot to stand in a safe distance away from the field where we were going to have a great view. We were so excited. In the distance we could hear the low hum of Buster’s engine. He’s almost here. Just then we noticed movement out in the field.

It was our neighbor, Wilbur Hawken, walking in the soybean field shirtless but with a hat. Wilbur had been known to imbibe a little too much from time to time and take a stroll through the field. This day was no exception. But this, this was awful timing. We could hear the plane getting closer. We waved arms frantically and yelled, “Wilbur get out of the field, a plane is coming!” Somehow Wilbur mistook our screams and waving. He turned our way and gave a big neighborly enthusiastic wave back.

Louder and louder the drone of the duster engine grew. We were terrified for Wilbur but were afraid to get any closer to the field. We kept yelling and waving. My brothers and I started running around with our arms straight out mimicking a plane and pointing at the sky trying to convey the message of danger from above. It was like a long distance game of charades with a partner who had surrendered most of his faculties. We couldn’t get the message across.

Buster and his duster were now over the far side of the field swiftly on a collision course with Wilbur’s head. We ever more frantically waved, screamed and danced our plane dances.

The plane drew nearer and nearer. At the last possible moment, Wilbur turned toward the quickly advancing plane and the pesticide cloud trailing it. Wilbur dove to the ground just as the plane wheels brushed the tops of the plants right over him.

A moment later, terrified and confused, Wilbur poked his dusty head out from the beans. He looked around quickly, then bent down to retrieve his hat, and then, like a bunny in a snowdrift, hopped ungracefully to the edge of the field for safety.

Thankfully Wilbur suffered no ill health effects from the episode. In fact, he swore he never had a problem with head lice or chiggers again.

.

Do you have any cautionary tales you can share?

Or safety tips?

(All photos in this post were found at morguefile.com – for free!)

Don’t miss a thing!

Subscribe right here to have all new articles delivered directly to your email.

Comments

  1. 5

    says

    We had a couple of those characters when I was a kid. My aunts who were 7 and 9 years older than me lived with my grandparents about 1/4 mile over the road and they didn’t have a phone. When my aunts friends called them on our phone I would have to go down and get them. One day I was walking down the dirt road to go get them and saw a hat laying in the ditch. As I got closer I realized that Seth was wearing the hat, and sleeping it off in that cold ditch! (Freezing temps) I tiptoed past him and got my aunt, and we went across the road, through the fields and around the old cemetery, walking probably 3 times as far to my house just so we wouldn’t have to pass him and risk waking him up!

  2. 6

    Lynne A says

    OK, Leslie & I were laughing so hard we were crying by the end of that story. Buster the duster. Plane dances! :D

  3. 7

    Mom says

    Tell us more, Randy. I have always said you could be a stand up comic. I wish everyone could hear your accents you give people when you tell a story. Funny. You have made me laugh until I’ve cried in telling some of your stories.
    Love to all, Your MIL

  4. 8

    Deborah R. says

    I enjoyed the story. It sounded like Mayberry and I could visualize Otis stumbling through the planted rows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>