THE FUN IN FENCING
TALES FROM THE ONO RANCH
Gentle readers, today is Aug. 3 and it’s a Friday. It’s cool and nice outside with occasional showers. I reckon I’m more or less takin’ the day off. I have been building a “bob” wire fence across one end of a trap here at the house. I’m tired. I’m sore! I’m glad it’s raining somewhat. That’s my excuse, or as the man says, “that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!”
You knew that I was pullin’ your leg when I hinted that fencing was fun, didn’t ya? Well, if you’ve ever had to construct a “bob” wire fence you had to know … right? For the last two days I’ve put together a post hole digger with help from a buddy and dug the holes for the brace post which was just four. One at each end of the trap. The ground was much drier and harder than I expected. I was grateful for the help on putting the auger and assembly together as it was a “biggun.” I got the post in the ground and “tamped” with that ol’ 12-pound chisel bar. Yesterday I started putting in the “t posts” and although there wasn’t but 11 to put in, I thought no problem. I’ll just use the bucket on my tractor to push them in the ground. “Ha, ha, ha, ha, only two went in without me having to pound them in as far as I could with the old “post pounder” (driver). Well, of course, first you have to start by pounding the post in the ground so they will stand up when you get ready to push them in with the tractor. I reckon the ground was so hard the post began to bend when too much pressure was put on them. Soooooo … some of them are not in the ground as far as I would like, plus all that, I never leave a job lookin’ as if a professional had done it. IT AIN’T IN MY DNA.!
Never fails, when I put in a brace one post is always slightly higher than the other and the crossmember is at a slight angle.
Twenty-three years ago when we bought this land it was necessary that I build a good bit of fence. No problem.
I was 55 years of age and had a world of energy. I wound up building two sets of corrals, three traps and all in all I put in about one-half mile or so of that dreaded “bob” wire fence. I drove all the t posts with a post driver and dug all the corral post and brace post with a chisel bar, post hole diggers and buckets of water to soften the ground.
I look back on that today and think, “Man, if I could just recapture some of that energy and ambition and of course, some of that youth, I wouldn’t be in the shape I’m in.”
I still have one more wire to stretch and attach to the braces and t post and do a little “Oklahoma engineering” (that’s what we called it in Texas), when we needed to try and make things look a little better on the job we had just finished. Maybe, just maybe, if I get enough rain I will be able to pound those taller t posts a little deeper in the ground, maybe. Just the same, I’m glad that the hardest part and “joy and fun” of building a “bob” wire fence is behind me and I’m glad that I was able at 78 years of age to “gitter done.”
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, support your local county fairs, and remember if you choose to “waller” in self pity, you are gonna’ come out lookin’ purty pitiful!. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖