It was in December while Leland and I were having our evening meal in the college cafeteria, when Harry Dean came in wanting to go duck hunting the next morning.
He had been talking to his roommate who had told him where there was a small lake just south of town and there were ducks on that lake.
Leland said that it was too cold to go duck hunting and that we didn't have any transportation anyway. Dean said we could take his motorcycle, called "Greenie" and that he had borrowed a double barrel shotgun from the man.
Dean was so persistent about wanting to go the next morning that I agreed to go with him, but told him that it was going to be very cold and he had better wear warm clothes riding that motorcycle before daylight.
We left a good bit before daylight. Dean was driving the motorcycle and I was sitting behind him holding the double-barrel shotgun.
The road that we were on was heavily graveled and we were doing very well until we came to a fork in the road. Dean hollered, "I don't know which fork to take."
About that time, the front wheel of Greenie hit loose gravel and headed for the ditch. I immediately threw the old shotgun up in the air and dismounted.
Having worn a hunting suit, I hit the ground on my bottom first, sliding, but uninjured.
I got up and could hear old Greenie still running. I ran to the motorcycle in the dark and saw that Old Greenie had wedged Dean in a barbed wire fence.
Old Greenie was a tough old Harley, and when he gets you down, he'll try to hold you down.
He was still mad and running.
I finally turned the key off, stopped the engine, and tried to work Dean out of the barbed wire. As I got Dean out from under the motorcycle, he looked like a wildcat had had him. He was scratched up and bleeding and it was turning daylight.
We noticed a dim light on at a farm house about two hundred feet from the embankment that we were in. I led Dean to the farm house and when the people saw him, they immediately asked us in, gave us hot coffee and a lot of mercurochrome and iodine, and washed his wounds. He looked horrible.
The fine people finally wished us well as we left their house.
When we found Old Greenie lying in the ditch, it took the two of us to upright the motorcycle. The handlebars were twisted and they did not line up with the front wheels.
But we were going duck hunting. We then started searching for the old double-barrel shotgun, found it, wiped it off, and proceeded toward the lake.
I will assure you, with those handlebars turned one way and the wheels the other, it was a slow, uncomfortable trip to the lake.
Louis Cagle, of Tyler, is the father of Elaine Osteen, advertising manager for the Jacksboro Newspapers. Elaine latched on to a few of his stories to share.