Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ruts in the Road

Ruts in the Road

First off I better tell you that this story was inspired by Jim Whitt (old Shidler boy even though he moved to enemy territory – Tonkawa).  Jim wrote a book “Riding for the Brand” which I thoroughly recommend to any person including business folks in particular.  In fact if you are a person trying to figure out what you are doing and why you are doing it and especially if you are a farmer and rancher in the Osage you ought to read this book.  It is a must read and inspiring.  In fact it gets me all jacked up about bringing business to the Osage and in particular the Shidler area.  I know we can do it if we can get a team of folks with the same passion and dedication to making it happen. 

OK, back to my story.

Growing up one mile north and 3 west of Grainola on dirt and gravel roads had its challenges but what I never considered was what I learned from riding those roads.  Let me give you several examples.

Ruts, ruts were the places the tires dug into the road as you drove after a fresh rain.  The more you drove on them the deeper the ruts became.  As a kid driving since I was about 9 years old I learned pretty quick that if you stayed in the ruts you did not get stuck and the ruts basically guided your truck down the road, even a 9 year old could do that.  The challenge was a car might high center if the ruts got too deep.  That means the car got stuck because the dirt and gravel in the middle between the ruts was so high the tires could not get traction.  What you learned from that was pick up speed to carry you through those ruts else if you slowed down you were stuck.  The second problem is what happens when along come a vehicle from the other direction.  Did I mention ALL vehicles were Fords or Chevys except Clyde Jackson who drove Dodge vehicles?  So when you see a truck coming from the other direction you have to make some strategic decisions else you wind up in the ditch.  What you learned to do was slow down and put the left tires in the rut and everyone knows the oncoming truck has a southern courtesy to do the same in his lane.  Most roads were basically one lane so there was always a give and take even if it was dry and no ruts.   The great thing was after the roads dried up Cack Harrington (Harvey’s dad) would come along and grade the roads back to smooth.  That is another story in itself which I will do later.

Now what I like about these ruts is a person learns a lot about life from them so here goes. 

What do you learn in the Osage?
  • ·         Ruts are like guidelines or rules and you ought to follow them else you get in a ditch.  HMMM?  Sounds like a pretty smart thing.
  • ·         Ruts are like a grave with the ends shut.  Let me explain.  If you get in a rut in life (read the book) you are just getting ready for the ends to get closed up.  Make a difference!  Do something, even if it is wrong (but within the law).  That comes direct from Clifford Olson’s mouth
  • ·         Common courtesy and common sense are learned by navigating the ruts in life.
  • ·         Ruts are neither good or bad but it is what you do with them that makes a difference

Thanks for your time,

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