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A day so right, quickly goes wrong

It is safe to say that we have all had days where everything that could go right for you did. There just isn’t a feeling as good as that as far as I’m concerned. Those days are the ones that bring to our attention just how an average day or worse is just that. Back when I was going to Felicity High School I had a day like that, well almost. Allow me to explain.

I was in my junior year and at 16 I was enjoying growing up as well as about any boy can. I farmed on a large level for that era in agriculture. I earned enough to own my equipment and my car. I was involved in just about every extracurricular activity the school offered. Yes, life was good.

One week night the school held a dance and I was all excited that they were having it. First of all it was on a week night and this got me out of the house. Second, I had a date! This might come as a surprise but I did, a girl in my class who I had dated a few times before and was a fun person to go to things like dances with. I got to be out on a date on a week night. This was special.

The evening arrived and I put on my best paisley shirt and a pair of blue bell bottom pants and I must tell you all that I looked sharp. I got to my date’s house on time and even talking to the parents went well. I drove my fire engine red Galaxy that had just been washed and waxed and parked it as close to the gym door as I could so everyone could see my car. It looked its best that evening.

We entered the dance and got with friends and the evening was a total blast. There were many slow dances, which was good if you were a guy. Fast dances for guys seldom went well and usually caused a lot of snickering at a guy’s lack of coordination. A slow dance however was not only conquerable, but a guy got to be close to the opposite gender when it was permissible.

When the dance sadly ended, I took my date home and got her there before curfew, said good night, and headed back to Felicity and on my way home since I was not really in a hurry, it was running through my mind what a perfect day and evening I had just experienced.

That is when my day took a turn for the worse. As I drove into a straight stretch on the road, I suddenly saw several eyes looking at me from the road in front of me. This quickly brought me out of my euphoric state and I began trying to avoid hitting those eyes. As I looked at the highway in front of me, I saw an open space in the other lane and pointed the car in that direction. That is when I learned that the eyes belonged to five Black Angus steers weighing in at a little over a 1000 pounds. My next discovery was what I had mistaken for a space was a steer facing away from me. The next thing I felt was the impact of a 1000 pound steer and a car going 45 mph. That type of impact will throw the car into a ditch and then back on the road and into the opposite ditch, and it will also kill a 1000 pound steer.

When the car finally stopped and I removed my death grip from the steering wheel, I saw all the dash board lights that were to warn me if something was wrong. I was in total darkness, near midnight and two miles from town, and scared out of my wits. I decided I should try to get the car to Felicity if it would make it. I made it to Eddie Miller’s Gas Station and when I got out and looked at my car (of which I was hoping only had a dent) I saw that the front was pushed into the radiator, both fenders were crumpled and shoved into both doors that crumpled them, and the hood was bent badly. That was when I learned just how much force a cow can have on a car.

After looking the situation over and watching and hearing the radiator steaming, I did what I had to do the one thing that I dreaded the most. I called my Dad. He didn’t say much on the phone other than I will be right there and I must call the sheriff. The sheriff? How could a day that had gone so right go so terribly wrong in less than 10 minutes?

When Dad and the deputy arrived we all rode out to the house of the farmer who owned the cows and that was when I learned his insurance had to pay for my car repairs. Okay, this wasn’t so bad. A man was called and he took the steer to the slaughter house and the farmer got a freezer full of beef.

The next day the news that I had been in a car accident and killed a cow spread throughout the school like wildfire. On top of being the school’s main topic and so many people asking if I was OK, I later learned that I was getting all the parts on my car replaced and the entire car was getting a new paint job. I guess what I’m getting to is that when you have one of those days where life is grand, don’t just let it fade away. Enjoy it as much as you can as you never know when some big old cow will come along and take it away from you. Mine turned out fine. I got a new paint job.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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