Eskimo's and Ice -- Tommy the sky diver excerpt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I have written a book called Eskimo's and Ice. It is about my upbringing and school experiences, meeting my wife and getting married and then outlining my approach to sales that has so far spanned 40 years in the car retail and wholesale business.

Submitted: September 06, 2010

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Submitted: September 06, 2010

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Tommy the sky diver
 
 
 
One thing that I can remember very well, from about six years of age on was that I did a lot of thinking. I thought about why things happened the way they did and how people are different. I started to notice that some people, who you might not expect, were less than honest. Others were fun to be around and some weren’t. also, although I didn’t know what it was called back then, I was extremely logical and skeptical , I didn’t take statements at face value, and I had to put all my thoughts and deeds in an orderly progression. So as I would hear different things being said to me or overhear conversations where someone would make a flat definitive statement, such as “moss only grows on the north side of a tree”(it doesn’t) or “eating green apples will make you sick” (it does) it was necessary for me to prove or disprove, to my own satisfaction whether these remarks were actually true.
Now, looking back, some of my efforts and activities to ascertain the validity of these statements may have been a little crude, it was never the less necessary for me to find out then, and still to this day if something I was told was true or not.
Farmers in those days were always helping one another. Bringing in crops or preparing the fields in the spring, one could always count on extra help if you needed it. Money never changed hands because each one knew that sooner or later they were going to need some help for a problem that came along. One day dad was helping one of our neighbors “hay it” (bringing bailed hay from the fields and stacking it in the barns haymow). I loved running in the mow and playing in the hay, and as the mound of hay got bigger and bigger I would leap from the top of the hay to the barn floor below. As our neighbor observed me doing this he told me “your just like a cat, you always land on your feet”. I asked him why he had said that and he further explained that a cat will always land on their feet regardless of how high up they were or which end was up when they jumped or fell. On the way home I asked dad if what our neighbor had told me about cats always landing on their feet was true. He said he had heard that before but he couldn’t say for sure one way or the other. Well I thought about this for a little while, and after a bit I reasoned that a cat who jumped or fell, especially if he was off balance, would no way be able to land on its feet, so I set out to prove that like moss that does not only grow on the north side of a tree, that a cat wasn’t going to “always land on its feet.”
So out to the barn to look for Tommy the tomcat that was always on the prowl for mice. I found him on the barn floor hunting by the grain drill. So here kitty kitty, he came right over to me,, I picked him up climbed up on top of the grain drill held him out and dropped him on the floor, shoot, he landed right on his feet! Hum I wonder what would happen if I took him higher up, so I jumped down and said “here kitty kitty” he just looked at me, “here kitty kitty” very slowly he started toward me, finally he got to me I swept him up and started for the ladder leading up to the top of the mow. It was really hard climbing up the ladder with one hand while holding on to a rather reluctant Tommy who was more than a little reluctant to be headed to higher altitude. When I got up to the cross beam I stepped out on it and giving Tommy a little flip toss he started on his next skydive. Now I had reasoned that it would be better for his feet if he landed on a pile of hay, and he did, right on his feet! Hey maybe there really was something to this; two toss’s both times on his feet. One more time, if he did it one more time I would have to conclude that yes cats do always land on their feet. So I headed back down the ladder and started looking around for Tommy, there he was over by the barn door. “Here kitty kitty” Tommy took one step backwards “here kitty kitty” another step back wards “ here kitty kitty Tommy took off for parts unknown. Well I guess the third skydive would have to wait.
A few hours latter I was helping dad do the evening chores. I would feed the cows, give the young calves there nipple feeders and bed down any stock that may have been in the box stalls. As I went about my business I kept an eye open for Tommy, he must have been a little sore at me because I couldn’t find him anywhere. After getting everything done I headed back to the milking area and dad was just getting done. My father used a vacuum milking machine, and when it was full he would empty it in a big milk can that held one hundred pounds of milk. As he poured it in it would go through a big strainer and then into the can. After all the milking was done and the last can filled, Dad would take the filters out and squeeze the excess milk into a pan he had there to feed the cats. Well being king of the mountain Tommy was always the first to drink but there was no Tommy. Dad asked me if I had seen him lately? No sir, not tonight was my quick answer. Have you seen him since we got back from helping Andy? “Yes sir, he was in on the barn floor.” About this time Tommy decided to make his entrance, not the usual all out charge for the milk, but a rather slow careful advance. Dad was watching the cat as it moved slow and commented that he had never seen him act that way and He seems to be walking a little funny. Dad asked me what I thought and looked at me, suddenly his expression changed and I though maybe after my questions on the way home about cats and feet he was starting to put two and two together. I decided a very quick retreat was my best move, so I headed towards the door, yelling back over my shoulder that I wanted to check on the chickens to make sure they were all right. Okay, not very bright but I was only eight and it was the best I could come up with. Thank God Dad had some place to go that night, I stayed away from Tommy until I slowly got back in his good graces. And decided that I had better cancel skydive number three and concluded after just two jumps that cats do “always land on their feet” 
 


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