It’s a done deal, right? |

It’s a done deal, right?

Tales from the O-No Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Right at this minute, gentle readers, I believe it is a done deal! Yup, that recent column of “Too old to Cowboy,” I should have paid more attention to. As most of you know I got bucked off ol’ Nugget two days before my 79th. birthday. It happened this a way:

I had planned on buying a few steers to kick out for the summer. Coal Creek is not passable at present for a truck so I decided to ride Nugget. No problem there? I got to the very back side of my place about three quarters of a mile from the house and found a top wire broken. I got down and as I fixed it Nugget was ever so sly about trying to pull away and go back to the barn. When I got ready to mount up again his neck was stiff as concrete and his eyes were beginning to bug out a little. “This ain’t right,” I pondered and rubbed his neck and turned him around a time or two and prepared to mount. I got one leg over him when he blew up and tried to chin the moon. I have to tell ya, I was all over that bronc trying to find my seat. He was “squallin” and bucked into the “bob” wire fence and wheeled around and back up we went. He wanted to go back to the barn and was willing to do whatever it took. I knew I was in big trouble and decided I would walk home if necessary and about that time I went out the back door from somewhere way up there. I landed on my left ankle and it blew all of the bones in my leg and ankle out through the skin and one piece of bone went through my jeans into my boot! I started to leave my cell phone at home but when I hit the ground it flew out of my shirt pocket and landed just in front of me. Thank You Lord! I looked down at my leg in the Z position and knew I was in big trouble.

I called 911 and explained to that sweet woman where I lived, what I had done and how old I was. She would send an EM crew even though I told her they couldn’t cross the creek. “How about a chopper?” I ask. “I’ll get one on the way.”

Some half hour later an EM crew climbed over the hill, waved at me and headed in my direction Twenty minutes later I heard the chopper and watched it settle in. Three beautiful ladies and a pilot where here to rescue me. Folks, this is the way I remember all of this in my condition. They cut my boot off and discovered what a mess they had so I begin to take a lot of morphine. “Jack, do you have a living will?” I was asked on two different occasions. Scared? You bet! I replied that I did but didn’t want to cash it in today.

They kept tellin’ me what a tough hombre I was. I wasn’t seeing what they were or I would have been bawlin’ like a baby.

Long story short the chopper got me to the surgery center and I remember the surgeon telling me after surgery that he had to put in some metal plates and screws etc., and he showed me some X-rays of it all and that’s all I remember.

Two weeks in rehab and I’m home with instructions to bear no weight on the leg for three more weeks. I have a removable boot at present and I think a cast before long. Let me thank all of you who sent cards etc. I will respond as I get more able and Milo, thanks for the mention you gave me. Very thoughtful.

At this minute, I am still a cowboy but not on active duty and maybe never again. This was a debilitating injury from which it will take a long time to recover. Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and consider that ol’ pony of yours may NOT BE as safe as you thought! Thanks again. ❖

Mad Jack Hanks

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