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Help Wanted

  Looking for anecdotes that may appear in the Chicksands web site.

    Are you looking for fame and fortune? Well, you may not get either but you may have a lot of fun, hear from old friends and if that fails, then you will have my gratitude and admiration from the "silent set."

    I do need your help. It is very difficult trying to keep the web site interesting. At the moment I am still experiencing a temporary handicap which makes maintaining the "site" difficult and impedes the creative juices.

    If you have an amusing, hilarious or nostalgic story to tell you may find your name in print and on the Internet. The Ed Wiggins story was fantastic, humorous and filled with historic information. Get the idea? We can hardly wait for yours.

    Send your entry by email to:

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Why I want and need your help. Please bear with me. I've been accused of taking many words to say what my ol' daddy could do in just a few.

It all began one morning one year ago when I failed to see anything out of my right eye. Just darkness. This was not going to be a good day.

I went to the eye doctor and he said "we gotta operate." Well, that's the beginning of my sad tale of woe. He never said it was going to become an operating room serial... that I would get to know just about everybody on the surgical floor by first name. I know probably more about their individual history than I would ever want to know. That's just the way it is when you become a regular customer.

Since my first eye surgery, it was becoming clear that I needed some help, but didn't want to admit that I was no longer the young super dude my wife married almost 50 years ago.

After three weeks, and my unexpected visit to the operating room and second four hours plus anesthesia rush, I was about ready to confront the reality of age. Yes, Liz was indeed getting older.

I should have known something was up when I asked my doctor, after surgery, if I could drive my tractor. He said "certainly, but don't run into any trees or drive into a ditch or fly an airplane." I once was a crop duster. I even flew for Delta and was hired by one of the founders, Doc Coad (are you impressed yet?). My doctor prides himself on being a weekend ace, in other words, he knows enough to be dangerous. But that's another story.

Although I was seeing double images and felt disoriented at times, I could close the eye with the silicone oil and voila, back to single images again. But the eye didn't want to stay closed as if it didn't want to miss anything. It didn't matter, at that point that my depth perception didn't exist. Being able to see with one good eye and the other full of silicone oil should be no problem at all. I can handle this I kept saying to myself. Have you ever tried looking through a jar of vegetable oil? Well, the same effect . . . almost. Everything magnified and distorted. I quickly devised a method to judge distances.

I slipped out real early one morning while everybody was still in bed. I gently climbed upon my pride and joy of the tractor world. I turned the key and it started instantly. Just a tap and it roared to life. Feeling the power of my rebuilt 1955 Massey Ferguson (M-F) tractor under me, I was ready to slowly work into my daily routine again. It felt ever so good . . . the soft wind in my face, the smell of fresh country air, horses contentedly grazing, young Barbado sheep butting heads, lots of deer, birds and other wild life. I was back and I was in control. I drove all over the place, slowly at first. The M-F and I cruised through the pastures and then down by the creek and back to the house through the heavily wooded areas.

This was truly heaven on earth and I was a part of it again. After a short time I pulled under one of my favorite oak trees and enjoyed the moment. It was almost too much trying to maneuver through all the trees. I knew I shouldn't, but had to try. I drove through a small ditch with no problem. Hmm, I thought to myself. that wasn't too bad, now was it? I didn't see the Texas sized rock coming up on my bad side. The front right tire caught it and the spinning steering wheel slammed into my mid section. After a moment or two or three, I got my breath back. In this part of the country, if you get thrown from your horse, you get up off your butt, dust off; wait until the birdies stop singing and climb back on. This was no different. After all, I am a native born Texan and never ever did squat with my spurs on. Now, I had to show the M-F that I was the boss. Dumb? You bet, but at the time it seemed like the thing to do.

Later that day, I drove my dooly (F350 Diesel picu up truck) in to downtown Buda and didn't run into any cars, old iron hitching posts, old folks or police cars (we don't have any). I missed them all. Not bad for the first time out. My confidence was rapidly returning with gusto (whatever that is). Now this was going to be a great day.

Upon returning home, I celebrated with a cup of coffee. I learned the problem of no depth perception quickly. The problem was, I missed the big open hole for water in the coffee maker and to add insult to injury I also missed the cup by just a wee bit and rapidly wiped up the counter before Liz, that ageing old woman, discovered my mishap. Just freak accidents, I thought, but deep down inside I knew this was a real problem.

In spite of the coffee incident, I was, nevertheless, beginning to think of myself as "dead eye Sam" the invincible, indefatigable gentleman farmer.

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