Once I reached 16 yrs. of age, I was able to work for an oil company, called Stroud Productions. I worked there for four summers, doing the work of a roustabout. We had to maintain the grounds, doing everything from mowing the grass, to scalping the grass under heater treaters, cooling towers, and separators. We would also be dropped off on oil leases that we also maintained. I did enjoy working hard and earning my own money even when the thermometers read 120 degrees out in the plant. Some of the benefits, besides money, were a company swimming pool, which we were allowed to us after work, and the one other benefit that our boss didn’t know about until the fateful day will now describe. The owner had a big wild Tennessee Walker (that’s a breed of horse for you city slickers), who would come into the plant every on the then, on this first summer, he got inside our bosses shed which held his classic cars, which included and 1920 Rolls Royce. My partner Jimmy and I knew it was our fault since we left the door open after wiping off the cars, so we decided to move him out gently. Unfortunately for me, Jimmy had not told me he was afraid of “Midnight” the Tennessee Walker. I had ridden horses for years and knew how to approach a cornered horse. Slowly walking up to him, with his ears pinned back on his head (not a good sign) I approached his side and reached for his mane. At that moment, he backed toward Jimmy who screamed and waved his arms which sent Midnight barreling straight for the open door with me hanging onto his mane. Without thought I bounced once with my feet and was on his back… no bridle, no saddle, only mane to hand onto. We went blazing through trees first while he tried to rake me off his back, but I laid down on this shoulders and neck and missed everyone, the we were blazing through pipe racks as he tried to scrap me off from the side, but again I was able to stay on. Then horror of horrors! He headed straight to the boss’ OFFICE. My grief was even greater when I saw him and two clients walk out to see why Jimmy was still screaming like a little girl. They turned and saw me approaching full tilt bare back and bridleless and hanging own for dear life! Suddenly one of the clients shouted out and Midnight stopped in his tracks. Do you know what he shouted? Whoa! Whoa? I had never thought of that! This was not a wild horse he was a spoiled horse. Whoa…. and my misery was over. Thankfully I did not get fired when Jimmy confessed to spooking Midnight, and I learned some lessons from this misadventure. First, never make assumptions about horses or people just because of their appearance or demeanor. Lets get to know people before we judge them as “wild”. Secondly, know the people you work with a little better, try to find out if there are fears concerning the direction you are supposed to be traveling together. And finally, when you find yourself in an unfamiliar or frightening situation, remember the things that worked in the past… they may work again… like saying “Whoa” to a running horse.   Jesus tells us “Remember the word that I said to you,”(John 15:20) and Paul tells us “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
  December 2017  
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