With pheasant hunting season approaching soon, I was reminded of an excellent adventure that took place on the Friday after Thanksgiving, 2006.

Marilyn and I had a houseful of guests for the holiday: our daughter and son-in-law from Salt Lake City, our son, Jon, and his girlfriend at the time, Marilyn’s brother and his wife from Milwaukee, and a couple from Colorado.  

While the guys went hunting on our CRP land, the ladies also went hunting—at the shopping malls in Omaha.  I spent most of the morning at the local hospital with my aging mother, who was a patient there.

I arrived home in time to warm up turkey and other leftovers from the previous day’s feast for the fellows as they arrived home.  They reveled in their successful morning, having taken eight pheasants.

After cleaning up the lunch dishes we headed to filter strips alongside a creek on our land that they had not yet hunted.   We rode in my brother-in-law’s four-door truck and Jon’s Jeep Cherokee to the east side of the creek.

When the hunting party finished walking the east-side filter strip, my brother-in-law and Jon agreed to take the truck and Jeep around the road to the other side of the creek.  The remaining three of us crossed the creek upstream on a beaver dam and began hunting the west-side filter strip.

As we started hunting, my brother-in-law hightailed toward us in his truck, his left arm waving for us to halt.  Pulling up, he yelled, “Jon upset his Jeep in the ditch back at the road.  He’s okay but his Jeep is lying on its side.”

We piled into the truck and raced to where Jon’s vehicle had toppled over.  It was lying on its passenger side alongside a pathway to the field.  Jon explained that he didn’t see the ditch because of tall grass on the pathway.
Everyone offered theories about how to get the Jeep out of the ditch.  We tried lifting the vehicle onto its wheels but we couldn’t budge it.

Someone suggested calling a wrecker, but that would be too expensive.  Another fellow suggested using my brother-in-law’s truck to pull the Jeep upright, but we didn’t have a tow chain.   I suggested that we could get a tractor from my farmstead.

Everyone agreed that using my tractor might be the best course of action.  My brother-in-law drove me home to fetch the tractor.

Ten minutes later I arrived with my International 656 and a heavy duty chain.  I positioned the tractor and the fellows attached the chain to the Jeep.  

Carefully creeping ahead I pulled the Jeep onto its wheels and slowly dragged it out of the ditch.

When the Jeep was once again standing on level ground, the fellows thoroughly inspected it.  Nothing was broken, not even the rear view mirror on the passenger side.   A little mud and grass smeared the passenger side and the right front fender next to the passenger door was bent inward.  The door wouldn’t open.  

Everyone had a theory about how to fix the Jeep.  Someone suggested that Jon not use the passenger door but Jon didn’t think his girlfriend would like crawling over the transmission case to get to her seat.  Someone else suggested taking the Jeep to a local auto repair shop before the women arrived home from their shopping excursion but they decided this would cost too much.

I suggested that Jon drive his vehicle to our farm shop.  Everyone smiled skeptically.

When I arrived back home with the tractor, the fellows had reconvened at the farm shop.  While the guys were commiserating about repair options I fetched a heavy duty screwdriver and a rag.  I explained how I intended to pry the fender into place.

Everyone agreed my intended repairs wouldn’t work but I wrapped the screwdriver with the rag and gently pried the bent fender outward.  The fender popped into place.  Everyone cheered.

Then I pried the jammed door edge into place and everyone cheered again.

The fellows congratulated Jon about how much money they had saved him by not taking the Jeep to a repair shop.  The men teased Jon about how much his Dad’s repairs would cost.  

Jon volunteered that of three rollovers in his vehicles, this was by far the least expensive repair job.  He added that his girlfriend, his mother and none of the women in the household needed to know about today’s event.  Everyone cheered in agreement.

I spoke up quietly, "The cost for towing and repair work…$5.00.  The cost for not telling the ladies…priceless.”

Several weeks later in a moment of weakness I told Marilyn what had happened.  She said, “We wondered how come you guys were all sitting quietly on the couch with your hands folded when we ladies got home.  You even had cleaned up the kitchen!”

– By Mike Rosmann, Ph.D.

Share your thoughts. Email Dr. Rosmann at [email protected], or visit his website at www.agbehavioralhealth.com.  You can call him at his office in Harlan, Iowa at 712-235-6100.