Last Updated: 06/05/04
                        H.G. Turner
                        Too Close For Comfort


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  Harlie & Nubby on Farm As a youth, my family lived in a small house which rested on a 40 acre farm in Burton, WI. Strange as it may seem, my dad didnít enjoy farming so he worked construction most of the time.

My mom, siblings, and I took care of the livestock and basically everything else that there was to do on the farm. Share cropping was popular while I was a youth. Another farmer planted and harvested the crops on my familyís land. The profits of the harvest were split 50/50. We had some livestock but often didn't have enough water on our farm for the cattle, so we would herd them down to Old Grant River for a drink. Grant River was like heaven for us -- we bathed, swam and fished in the river. Those times were great fun.

We had an old windmill that was another source of water on the farm. Unfortunately, it was broken most of the time. To operate the mill, we had an engine with a pump jack installed on it. This engine had fly wheels which you needed to spin a few times before it would start working.

Operating this contraption was a task I was told NOT to perform. However, one day I decided to give it a try without anyone knowing. I grabbed the fly wheels and spun them a few times and the engine started. During this accomplishment, I somehow got my clothes caught in the engine and the fly wheel began pulling me in. I started to panic and grabbed the turning fly wheels desperately trying to free myself. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally broke free. The fly wheels had literally torn the clothes off my body. I had burns and scrapes all over my body, hands, and arms from frantically trying to stop the fly wheels. Having my clothes torn off, luckily enabled me to be free. That event was too close for comfort!

 

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