Baxter Black: The grapevine | TSLN.com

Baxter Black: The grapevine

What better way to impress his new lady friend, thought Rob, than to take her to his friend's rancho for an afternoon branding and BBQ? His '84 model two horse trailer had been repaired so many times that it looked like a well drillin' rig! The '98 pickup was using 2 quarts of oil to a tank of gas and his horse was…well, ol' Yella looked right at home.

Rob was eager as a piddlin' puppy when he picked up Delilah and headed north outta Los Angeles. One large obstacle lay in the pit of his stomach like a pea in the Princess's mattress…THE GRAPEVINE! It was a monster of a hill dreaded by truckers and people who still drove a small hatchback. The engine was screamin' when they finally leveled out at the summit of the Grapevine. Rob gave Delilah a comforting look. She smiled back uneasily. Then the motor blew! A big dent appeared in the hood and it sounded like someone had dropped a Caterpillar track into his fan! They crossed silently into a service station at the bottom of the grade. He assured his sweetheart there was 'no problema'.

By dark he'd borrowed a pickup and they both agreed returning back home was the best option. He loaded Yella, hooked up the trailer and back over the Grapevine they flew! Halfway down to Rob managed to slip his arm behind Delilah's neck. Soon she was lulled into discussing her dreams of home and family. She snuggled closer as he noticed a tire bounce by him on the driver's side! He couldn't help but see the huge rooster tail of sparks spraying up from beneath his trailer!

Rob wheeled the screeching rig to the shoulder. Together they unwired the trailer doors and Yella stepped out, unhurt. Rob tied him to the highway fence and unhooked the trailer. Rob's facial tic had returned. He jumped in the pickup and headed south for the nearest place to borrow a trailer. He returned to the scene to find Yella grazing in the median with semis whizzing by on both sides and his date shivering over the still warm axle, forgotten. She, herself, was smoldering.

In the space of 12 hours and fifty miles he had left his pickup, his trailer, his horse and his girl scattered from one end of the Grapevine to the other.

Next day he towed the pickup to the shop, He left his trailer to be impounded by the State Police. His horse made it home safe but Delilah changed her phone number, wrote him out of her will and had not been heard of since!

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