It was the fall of 1997 and I was 17. My older brother CJ lived in the farmhouse with his friends Phipps and Brent. Brent has a pretty badass four wheeler that I decided I needed. Since I worked on the farm and did not get paid by the hour, the only spending cash I ever had was for washing Steve Cherry’s rig down the road once a week which paid $40. This was not enough to purchase a 1700 ATV. I begged, pleaded, demanded that I should get that four wheeler and I should be given the money to buy it. I could get big ticket items but only if they were approved by mom or dad because of the money situation.
My mom did not think I should get it because I got hit by a car when I was 10 and I would just get hurt again. my point was that I learned from that mistake and it was a big one, but really only one mistake. I also had a work ATV on the farm so what the hell right. It all came to a head one day when I got so pissed off, I stormed out of the house slamming the door, screaming, “I could get get hurt riding a damn bike.” I went to the farm, did my chores, then got out the four wheeler, because after all, Brent was a nice guy and let me ride it.
I started out in the north pasture field where there is a steeper hill and lots of mud to tear around in. I was riding with authority because there was a lot of pissed-off in me at that time and damn it I had to get some of it out. I eventually when into the other pasture where I knew I could get a lot more speed up. I was at the far end of the pasture field when I got the great of ramping where we had just dig out to replace some tile and drainage of the barn because all the dirt was piled up on one side. So I followed the path of the yellow line and it was not until I made the left turn and was on final for the ramp that I remembered that there was a barbed wire fence just on the other side of the ditch. I slowed down a little too much because I never made it to the other side of the ditch. I planted myself directly in the bottom and flew over the handle bars. When I came to, I jumped back on the four wheeler and grabbed the clutch to start it. My arm folded up in half because when you shatter both bones in your arm, there is nothing to support it and so when the muscle contracts there is just nothing there. So with my left hand I reach across and grab the clutch and kick like hell on the starter.
Eventually I get it running and begin the phase of, “What the hell am I going to say happened as I follow the light blue line around the barns so I can put the ATV away. I get to the corner where the light blue line ends when my dad, unbeknownst to be had just pulled in with the rig and he blew the air horn. My heart stopped, stomach sank when I looked back and say him sitting there. My arm was resting on my left because I could not hold it up. Now I had from the time I followed the orange line down to the barn to think of a good story. I had it.
I put the four wheeler away and I would walk up through the barn yard, pretend I was checking on the steers and say that I jumped over the the gate, slipped on some shit, and fell, catching myself with my arm which would cause a broken arm right? Seemed like a plan.
By the time I got back up to the gas tanks where my dad was fueling up the rig, I told him “I think I broke my arm, I slipped wen I was coming over the gate.” There was no question I had a broken arm, it was bent at a 80 degree angle. He was heading back out and said, “You have to call your mother I have to go.” He later said that I looked like I could handle it and he knew she was home and could take me right in so it was not life or death so work had to take precedence. So what is worse, having my dad take me or dealing with my mom who I had just got done yelling at over not being able to buy the four wheeler. I guess justice was being served.
I called mom, who rushed up and took me to the emergency room. The doctors questioned my story as it did not compute that an arm could be shattered from falling 6 feet. They set my arm which hurt like hell and it never felt right. By that evening it was starting to swell up bad. By 2AM, I had to cut the cast of myself because it had cut the circulation off and it was hurting too much. My dad took action the next day getting me right in in Akron to see Dr Riley, who he now had a personal relationship with my old doctor to had fixed me up when I got hit by a car. My dad had fixed his oil and gas well.
I ended up having to get a plate and 5 pins put on my arm. I was back on the farm in a few days, carrying buckets and the story was sticking. No one questioned it. Well, I had to run my mouth at school and eventually Brad Wilhelmy heard who then told his parents and since his parents and my parents were close, it got right back to my dad.
Now of course my dad would hold that he was figuring it out, because he did notice that when I pulled around my arm was on my leg but I think that if I had been smart, it would have never gotten out. So I had to hear about it from him, my mom, and everyone else for being a dumbass and not listening to my parents. I guess they were looking out for me but at the time, they were holding me back, keeping me from fun, and damn it, I work so I should be allowed to buy a four wheeler.