Baxter Black: Run of bad luck

The Fort Worth Stock Show is a mecca for a lot of purebred breeders. Many, many thousands have made the trip over the years, often overcoming daunting obstacles. But Galen’s journey from Illinois takes the cake.

He and his cow-partner Dave loaded their prize Hereford bull in Galen’s gooseneck stock trailer (G1), being pulled with Dave’s new Dodge V-10 diesel (D1). They had to rewire G1 to make the lights work. They were to be accompanied by Dave’s brother Mort.

Mort was driving Dave’s old truck (D2) and trailer (D3) with a load of straw.

Swinging by the tire store in Quincy to fix the spare on D3, they noticed a bolt sticking in the right front tire on D2. Thank goodness they caught it before they left.

In the meantime, Dave maneuvered to gas up D1, ran over a curb and sliced the sidewall on G1. It cost almost $600 to get out of town.

Somewhere in the Ozarks, D2 started knockin’. A check showed a dry dipstick.

Taking a precaution, they bought a case of oil, for good luck, and hit the road. At the gas stop they had noticed D1’s dually had a flat on the inside. They gave it a blind eye and drove on.

All went well until twilight when Dave turned on the headlights and the brakes locked up. It took two hours at the next truck stop rewiring G1. Completed, they headed into the dark.

At 2 a.m., they took a pit stop alongside the road. D2 was heating up. Dave took D1 and went on ahead. He picked up another case of oil and returned.

They replenished the oil, but D2 refused to start. The gauges looked good, but they ran the battery down trying to jump it until Mort saw a toggle switch, flipped it and the dang thing started. It had two gas tanks.

Dave was pushing D1, running 85 miles per hour. Galen was Mort’s co-pilot in D2. They were trying hard to keep up until there was a big explosion under the hood which filled the cab with smoke. It was a miracle Mort stayed on the road. They limped into the next pullout, parked D2 and climbed in D1 with Dave and finally made Fort Worth.

The boys were shaky but they managed to unload the bull at the tie-outs, and headed for the motel.

The next morning, things looked better in the light of day.

“Yessir,” said the optimistic Dave. “We had a few set-backs but I’ve got a feelin’ our luck is gonna change. You two go and feed our blue-ribbon bull and I’ll go check us in.”

The positive attitude was contagious.

“Let’s go get our star,” said Galen, patting Mort on the back. Twenty minutes later, Dave returned. He had lost his jaunty demeanor. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to make their entries.

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