In 1969, I was helping Ralph in the grain harvest. He and Lois had gone to Canada for a trip. I had cut two or three loads of barley, We were putting the grain in another man's granary about 2 miles down the road. I had backed up to unload the grain and had raised the truck bed part way. I couldn't get the auger engine to start so I thought I would get in the truck and go get help. When I got in the truck to release the truck bed it wouldn't go down. So I got out and reached under the bed to release it by hand. There was a full load of barley on the bed. It came down fast and the corner of the bed hit the edge of my hip and knocked me down and broke my hip. I couldn't crawl back in the truck. I tried several times but it hurt too bad. So I put my hat on my hand and raised it up and waved it One car went past down the road but never stopped I was down behind some weeds so it would have been difficult for anyone to see unless they were looking. Then another car went past. I heard it screech its brakes and come back. The wife in the car had told her husband something was wrong back there. So they immediately saw what was wrong when they came over to me. They got a station wagon and took me into the Idaho Falls hospital. Dr. Bjornson operated on my hip right then. George and Mr. Davis administered to me. Ralph's daughter, Jan, came in with me. Dr. Bjornson put a steel ball in my hip. I was laid up for about three months. This steel bail gave me lots of problems in the hip for several years.

{PICTURE: 81 Tractor Sketch}

Then in the spring of 1975 I was tuning up the tractor in the shop east of the house, It wouldn't start. I had the bucket on the front of the tractor down on the floor of the machine shed at our Jameston home. I took the battery cables off the the battery and cleaned them and put them back on. I just touched the starter then. I was in front of the tractor wheel and the tractor started right off. It was in gear and the wheel ran over my legs and pinned me to the floor. The bucket was against the cement so it couldn't go anywhere or it would have run clear over me. As it was the tractor tire was spinning in place and smoking. It hurt so bad. I could reach up and touch the clutch and stop the turning but I couldn't get it out of gear. I yelled and yelled. The dog barked and barked but no one came. I could see a large cable cord close by so I pulled it down and wound it around the clutch and tied it down and was able to put it in reverse. The tractor rolled off my legs. Then I tied down the clutch again so the tractor wouldn't roll back over me. I got out and up and turned off the tractor. I walked to the house. I wouldn't go to the doctor that night, but I spent a very miserable night. I was ready to go the next morning. Dr. McCowin operated on me. I had fractured the bone in my right leg and my left ankle and toe bone were broken. The doctor told everyone in the hospital that I was the toughest man alive.

While I was down with the broken legs I had them x-ray my hip to see if they could replace the steel ball with something better. So after my leg healed up Dr. McCowin reoperated and put a plastic ball and socket in my hip.