I woke Charles up and told him the news through tear filled eyes. I had watched the horse trailer leave down the driveway with our beloved horses, and thought "Oh God, what did I do! “Charles woke up half asleep. He’d been sleeping all day from working the night before. It was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the time he usually awoke, and said," Did you sell my horse too? Did you sell Red?" I told him yes and that the guy, a Mr. Pohl from Wathena, gave me 900.00 for both horses. Although that was more than we paid for them, the cost of feed, time and labor, not to mention the love and fun they gave us could not compare. I told him the bills were getting to me and I didn't know what else to do! He was sad and disappointed for awhile. There were things we needed from the store so we climbed into the 1972 Datsun and headed for town.
We headed back about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. We pulled up to a stop sign at 9th St and Olive, close to the 36th hwy bridge we needed to go back to Kansas. An old green station wagon with early New Year's Eve celebrators whizzed right through the stop sign and hit the front end of the Datsun on the driver's side. Chucky, the new baby, flew forward and the little plastic car carrier we had him strapped landed into the floorboard under Charles' feet. Jenny had cut her mouth and I hit the dash with my shoulder. Chucky was knocked unconscious and bruises across his forehead. Charles picked him up under my protest, because I knew you weren't supposed to move someone until the paramedics got there. He said, “You think I'm just going to let my son lie there! “It was a good thing he did because I don't think he was breathing until he was stimulated by his father's touch. He started to cry and we waited for the police in a neighbor's house close by.Several people saw the vehicle and told the police conflicting stories and no one got a full license plate number. The police said they were headed over the bridge to Kansas, out of their jurisdiction. The haunting memories of when Jenny was a baby about 3 months old came back when the same thing had happened, except we were in an old green station wagon and the other car was a grey Datsun. We were leaving K-Mart and on the North Belt highway coming to a stop at the intersection of Gene Field road. We were talking and Jenny was strapped in a plastic carrier just like Chucky. The straps were attached to the middle of the front seat. The light had turned yellow and Charles was proceeding through when he saw the change and stopped. We were part way through the intersection at that time and I told him the book says if you're part way through the intersection before you can get stopped that it was alright to go ahead and go through. After a brief hesitation he continued through. The man and his wife in the Datsun saw the brief hesitation and thought we had changed our minds and were going to stop anyway; he was in the turning lane and tried to turn left onto Gene Field road. We were heading south, he was facing north. The impact turned the Datsun over and the straps that were holding the carrier to the front seat broke and Jenny and the carrier went flying into the front floor board. She had hit her head on the dashboard, just like Chucky, and had several bruises across her forehead. The police gave us a ticket for running a stop light, I tried to tell the officer the light was yellow, but he said he had several witnesses that said it was red. My shoulder hurt and my arm hurt so badly from hitting the dashboard I thought sure it was broken. The EMT's put a neck brace around my neck and an air splint over my left arm in case it was broken. We went to the hospital. I was more worried about Jenny. They wanted to x-ray Charles' knee as it had been jammed against the dash and he was limping around on it pretty good. He refused to let them touch him and just wanted to be in the examining room with me. We asked about Jenny and they said they find anything wrong with her and were bringing her down to us from X-ray. She cried and cried. I didn't think she'd ever stop crying. That was what scared me so much, she hardly cried unless she was hungry.
Now here we are at the intersection, in some stranger's house making phone calls. This time it was our Datsun that was totaled out and the other guy with the green station wagon was headed to Kansas, never to be seen or heard from again. Chucky had the bruises across his forehead, Jenny was crying but she was alright. We refused to go to the hospital this time. After all we'd been through this before. Now instead of paying the bills we had to buy a car. Every time we had any extra money our car would break down and we'd have to use the money for another car or parts to fix the old one. We did have car insurance, but this time it wasn't our fault. We used the horse money to buy an old Volkswagen bug. They were so easy to work on and we had experience from owning one before.
Mr. Pohl had promised if he still had the horses in March when we had our income taxes back, that we could buy the horses back. When March came went to see them at Mr. Pohl's ranch north of Wathena, Ks. Terre and Red were side by side eating grass under a tree in the middle of the pasture. I whistled and they came running. They recognized us and came running up the hill. Terre was so fat and shiny. She was starting to lose her light coloring and you could see some dark gold peeking through the loose hair. I started to cry, Mr. Pohl wanted more money for them than we had. He had broken his promise that we could buy them back for what he gave us for them, which was the understanding in December. The horses whinnied very loudly and didn't understand why we didn't let them out. They ran back and forth in front of the fence. It was heart wrenching the pain I felt as I was sure Charles felt too. They wouldn't let us go to the fence, they had other animals in the corrals there between us and was afraid something would get out. It was just too painful to get any closer, so we turned and back home. We never saw them again. Later We saw Mr. Pohl in Wathena a few years later and he said he'd remembered us. He said he sold Red to someone in Texas and Terre had gone to Lee's Summit Mo for trail rides. I had sold Terre also because she was going to be 13 years old in January,(no matter what month a horse was born in the Spring you always counted January first as the birthday).I was secretly afraid she would get old and die and I couldn't watch her die. We had bought her at nine years old, on my 24th birthday in April 1977, Sold December 31st, 1979.
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