Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: The reservation tow
One day my husband called from the little town of Martin, located about an hour and a half south of our home. He was in his old blue, two-and-a-half ton, C65 Chevy truck, loaded with about eight ton of cake, and it had died. While I considered this a personal problem, he did not, and while I was not the first person he called, I was the first one “available” to rescue him.
The last time I had pull started him in the same truck, he had failed to mention the brakes didn’t work, and ran into the back of me. I didn’t care much for the blue truck.
Off I went in our three-quarter-ton Dodge pickup. Upon arriving I found him sitting in a parking lot, his trusty dog Molly in her usual spot on the passenger seat. We hooked the truck behind the pickup, both climbed into our driver’s seats, and the fun began.
I carefully eased the slack out of the tow chain, and we started across the parking lot toward the street, which was also the highway we needed to take out of town. Having been taught that as the puller you do not stop and start unnecessarily, consequently jarring and irritating the pullee, I pulled out onto the far side of the empty road as a light turned green about a block and a half away, and traffic began our way. It was at this time I did the responsible thing and also looked in my rear-view mirror. Much to my surprise my husband was yelling at me, signaling the oncoming traffic, and obviously mad as a hornet about something.
I was a bit miffed but decided to brush it off. He was stressed, the truck wasn’t running, men are odd creatures at times, so on and so forth. But, as he continued making it clear what he thought of my efforts as we worked our way out of town, I very seriously considered educating him on why one should never make the person responsible for speed and arrival at end destination mad. But, I did not.
Off toward home we slowly went, and things settled down. Until we reached a small pass we had to climb and then descend into the town of Porcupine. The up part went just fine. The down part did not. I attempted to keep the chain taught, speed even, so on and so forth. However, when a C65 truck loaded with 8 ton of cake taps its breaks, (apparently he fixed those at some point) it basically jerks a three-quarter ton Dodge into a momentary stop, causing the driver simultaneous whiplash and a spike in blood pressure. So we jerked and bumped all the way to the bottom of the pass. I was mad. One of the glances in the rear-view mirror showed him angrily signally for me to pull over. With several more lurches, jerks, skids and bumps we made it to the side of the road. I knew he was mad too, and assumed it was also at the situation.
However, when he reached my window he gave me a piece of his mind on my pulling abilities, and how I clearly had no clue how clue what I was doing, starting with pulling out in front of traffic, ending with his brakes currently smoking because of how I had descended the pass. I’m not sure what he expected in response, but I doubt it was the piece of my mind I gave him on pulling a fully loaded truck with a pickup, my towing abilities being just fine, and that the worst thing that could have happened back in Martin was someone miraculously missed seeing a big blue truck being pulled out onto the road with dog “smiling” out the window and hit him, thus possibility covering some of the trucks multiple issues with insurance. Those smoking brakes had nothing on us, and while I would have happily left him right there in the middle of the reservation, we had said vows to one another not long before. So, I continued on toward home, resolutely swearing to never get myself in the position of pulling him anywhere, ever again.
Later he had me pull over again, insistently. He apologized, and said I was actually getting the hang of it. That also went over like the proverbial lead balloon.
We finally made it home, our marriage survived, and several months later I turned over a chunk of my savings to help purchase a newer truck, with the condition that it would be kept in good, running order, because I was not towing him anywhere in it. So far this arrangement is working out well for the both of us, though I am still very hesitant to answer if he calls when I know he is in Martin picking up feed.
(My husband may have a slightly different account of this incident; however, this is not his column.)