Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 10-10-11
Freddie was our safety man. He represented not only the oil company that owned the ranch that I managed, but every piece and partial that had a connection to the oil company. Freddie would travel around to not only the ranches, the farms, oil refineries and everything that had to do with oil production or even their real estate interest. When Freddie showed up I would have my ranch and farm crew in my office so Freddie could do his thing. It might be a class on C.P.R., safe driving habits or just about any subject that might help us to be more aware of hazards on the job.
Of course, if anyone got bucked off and hurt or run over by a crazy cow, just anything that would require a doctor visit would have to be reported to O.S.H.A. Boy I gotta’ tell ya, I had a good many reports to send to O.S.H.A. in the 10 years that I was there. I encouraged my crew to be as cowboy tough as they could be and not run to the doc every time they got a bloody nose. These guys were pretty tough and I only had one “weenie” on the crew and he didn’t last but a few months. The forms that I would have to fill out would go something like this: What could the injured person have done differently to have avoided his injuries. Answer … “He could have rode his buckin’ horse and avoided hitting the side of the concrete water trough.”
That was about the only way I knew to answer a question like that, but let me tell ya pilgrims, it made those folks at O.S.H.A. really upset at times.
Freddie would try and school me on how to think outside the box and give them an answer that probably would make no sense at all to a cowboy, but would satisfy the folks requiring the report. Then came the day that Freddie and I were riding around the ranch in my truck one late fall afternoon. I spied a bloated steer that was about to go down. I called one of the cowboy crews up that would more than likely be closest to us and told them to come over and doctor this steer. “Well, boss, we just got done puttin’ our horses up. We’ll run over and doctor him out of the back of the pickup.”
“Can they do that safely?” asked Freddie.
“Ugh, well, yeah, it can be done if it’s done right. The ole steer can’t run hardly at all, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Jake and Jessie showed up. Jake being 62, red headed, hard headed and wantin’ to be at the house instead of workin’ late on this particular evening.
Jake crawled up in the back of the truck and stood leaning over the headache rack and pounding on the top of the cab for Jessie to chase the steer.
“Ugh, Jake, why don’t you tie that rope off to the bumper and kneel near the tail gate when you rope?” I offered for Freddie’s sake.
“I’ll be fine … Lets go Jessie, lets go.”
Jessie took off after the steer who made a 90 degree turn, so Jessie made the same turn and Jake flew out of the back of the truck and landed on his head and shoulders.
Freddie was almost beside himself when we reached Jake. Jake was out cold with his eyes rolled back in his head.
“It killed ’em, Jack, it killed him!”
Jake began to move and moan somewhat. Turns out he fractured a shoulder blade, broke a few ribs, punctured a lung and a few other maladies.
“What could the injured party done that would have prevented this accident?” the question asked.
“He could have listened to his boss!”
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. y’all, a’ll y’all.