Thursday, August 4, 2022

Eighty years ago in August

But before we go there, how about zero years ago, early August, Kimball, Nebraska. The weather guessers prognosticated...

And they weren't far wrong. The wind shifted to the south before dawn and went from calm to breezy. It was fairly pleasant, but a south wind in August in this part of the world usually means it's gonna get hot. It was 90 by noon and hit 97 shortly thereafter.

At 7 a.m. I noticed a pigweed poking up from the cucumber patch in my garden. Pigweed is, obviously, a weed. It's stealing moisture and nutrients from my future pickles. I should pull it out and toss it in the compost. But I don't think I will. It's not hurting much, and it's an interesting example of nature doing nature stuff.

Then it was time to pull maintenance on the mower.

Last night I cleaned and dried the air filter, which was caked nearly solid with a mixture of oil and dirt and grass particles. No wonder it wasn't making full power yesterday.

This morning I looked in vain for an oil drain plug, then realized it's one of those small engines where the filler port is also the drain hole.

While I was searching for the drain hole I noticed a bunch of twine wrapped around the blade shaft. That's always fun to cut away, and this particular snarl did not disappoint. I also noticed that the blade was dull and dinged up. So I pulled the blade off (and emptied the gas tank) before flipping the mower and draining the oil.

Then I headed out to check cows, blade in hand. The cattle were fine and enjoying the still not roasting hot breeze. I took the time to fix a little bit of fence and to "harvest" a few steel posts which have been waiting several years for me to pull them out of the ground. I stopped by the ranch shop and sharpened and balanced the mower blade.

Back home I reassembled the mower, filled it with gas and oil, and let it rip. Runs like a Briggs.

This evening I had a conversation about mowing weeds, and the consensus was that using a push mower to tame big weeds in a large area is foolish. I appreciate the argument and I don't entirely disagree. However, when I mow weeds I'm not just doing an unpleasant job. I'm livin' a life, and each second that passes is a second I won't get back. I prefer the challenge of doing it the hard way. I know that there will come a time when I can't, so I relish what I can, while I can.

Aside from the enjoyment I get from livin' this life, there's also the matter of my duty to live this life. It's part of the debt I owe those who have fallen in service to the Constitution of the United States. Those who gave everything they had and everything they ever could have had.


Eighty years ago there was a worldwide shitstorm going on.  In the sea off the Solomon Islands sailors from Kimball, Nebraska were locked in desperate combat. Not all of them survived.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Regarding your rerun post on Gold Star Boys from Kimball:
    Keith L. Childers was born in Nuckolls, Nebraska in 10 Jan 1923, to Roy and Lillie Childers, and in 1930 they were still living in Nuckolls.
    In the 1940 census, Lillie was listed as married to John Filer, living at 502 S. Howard St. in Kimball, with the same kids she had in the 1930 census, Max and Maxine a bit older than Keith, and Leroy, 3 years younger. John Filer was a rancher, Max is listed as a farmer, and Maxine was operator in a beauty shop. Keith was not yet employed.

    Keith must not have yearned for the life of a rancher, as he enlisted in the Navy 26 May 1941 in Denver, well before Pearl Harbor.

    USS Enterprise muster rolls show him as Seaman 2nd Class aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) in July 1942, promoted to Seaman 1st Class on 1 July 1942.
    The August muster roll entry for him reads:
    "DIED 8/24/42 Killed in action as a result of enemy (Jap) bombing attack. Buried at sea 8/26/42."

    The same muster roll page has five other shipmates with the same entry plus two "Missing in action. Believed killed as a result of enemy (Jap) bombing attack. Considered buried at sea 8/26/42."

    His brother Leroy "Junior" Childers enlisted in the Navy 4 September 1943, served on LST 461 in the Pacific, and returned to Kimball in 1947 after discharge. He and his mother are buried in Kimball.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Holy cow John, that research is pure gold! Thanks so very much! 502 South Howard is just down the block and across the street. Lots of thoughts bubbling up right now.