If they had dropped him into Italy in 1944...he would have convinced Italy to give up pizza and adapt to homemade sausage and biscuits.
He's the guy that probably go by himself and take just three border collies to herd up 2,000 head of cattle from Huntsville to Mobile.
He buys old farm equipment...like hay haulers...in terrible rusted out shape. He'll use the steel-wool brush to take off the rust and then spend hours painting it back into a semi-original color. He'll toss on new tires and suddenly this hay hauler from 1971 is looking almost original, and ready to sell. Folks will drive five hundred miles to pick up farm implements like this.
My brother noted last night's episode to me today. My dad got a call from a local farmer who had a cow about to give birth...and it just wasn't going to work well for the cow. Vet's tend to have a quick hand of just saying it's a mess and offer to put the cow to sleep or charge you $200 to come out to your place like this.
My dad....in his seventies...probably would like to turn down things like this...but rarely ever does. So he agreed and went off into the darkness to this farm and to help attend to this cow.
My brother wrote a five-star piece on the description of the situation. It's not the kind of atmosphere that folks would want to be in...day or night. There's a judgement call...by folks who haven't attended veterinary school or attended a college lecture on cows. And then work commences.
Pop tried a little to beg out, but then got all his tools and went over. Charlois cow, with a calf turned around in her. They had her in a head catch (mistake) and it was a bad job, but they got the calf out. Seemed dead, and the screwed around with it a lot, putting the fescue straw in its nose, rubbing the body, and he spat out mucus and was coming to. Then, they got Pop's light (homemade headlight in a little box made out of wall paneling, with a cord to clip to the truck battery), and put it back on the cow, and she'd prolapsed. Awful task to get into there. So, they set in on that and the head-catched position was the worst for her to be in, with her down on her chest...too big to move, also. Using a board to hold positions at rest points, they went and went at it, and finally got all back in. Then Gary's daddy-in-law didn't have the hog rings and pliers where he could find them. So, Pop drove home, drove back, and they held the board in his absence, and then they hog ringed her up just in time for her to die. Probably was asphyxiated by being down in the head catch, Pop thought. He'd made that mistake before. But, then, too, if I had a dollar for every time we got a prolapsed put in just in time to hear the breathing stop, I'd have a handful of dollars. Fate likes a struggle. But, then, they turned around and the calf was up and running around. So, one saved.
By the end of this episode....the cow had passed on...but the calf had been saved. Judgement calls...which you tend to overlook in life.
My dad drove home in the darkness with blood all over his clothing. If the cops had stopped him...they probably would have never believed his story. He got into the house late....almost 11:30...showered up...and went to sleep. I'm guessing by 5AM....he was up and sipping coffee.
It's a lifestyle thing. Compensation? No....he pretty much does this for absolutely nothing...other than helping a neighbor. It's this attitude that you rarely find anymore. When folks ask for an impossible bit of help....he just won't refuse them.
At some point, these guys walking around with 120-odd life-style abilities are going to pass, and the best we can muster after that will be guys with 80-odd life-style abilities. A generation is passing and we end up losing something of greatness that we all grew up with.