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Chasing the Cat

When I was about 5 years old my dad had a sand pit out west of town. little town in northwest oklahoma called Shattuck. He also had a homemade dragline that he used to pull washed sand out of rock creek about 300 yards east of the sand pit. He used to sell the creek sand to the local redi-mix and use the pit sand for fill or whatever. He used a 1936 Cat 22 with a loader on it and a 1954 ford truck with a 4 yd rock bed on it. the truck had a 6 volt system and would start pretty good first time of the day but crank really slow after that. maybe start maybe not. sometimes he would stick me on the cat and point me in the right direction either towards the creek or the pit and then pass me and be waiting for me at the other end so he wouldnt have to walk back and forth. so one day he sends me towards the pit,i still remember how hard the steering clutches were to pull and how tall they were,massive. his truck was shut off and he had to wander if it would start. the pit 300 yds away had cliff at least 20 feet deep. I was getting closer and closer to the pit and I kept checking for my dad to pass me so he could kick the cat out of gear and stop in time. he was cranking the truck and cranking the truck and I was getting closer to the pit and finally he jumped out of the truck and took off running towards me,he ran as fast as he could and I kept looking back to see if he was going to catch me in time. finally when I was about 50 feet away from the cliff and has about 20 feet behind me I grabbed the shifter and pulled it into neutral. the cat stopped and he started cussing,'why in the %#*@ didnt you tell me you could stop that thing by yourself?' I had no reply, I just thought to myself I had seen him do it a bunch of times. after I got older and thought about it I should have stopped as soon as he jumped out of the truck and saved that run. but then I wouldnt have agood story to tell. My dad died in 1975 and my grandad took it on himself to sell the Cat 22, I looked for it for 25 years and finally brought it home. its junk now but it sure is fun to look at and remember my dad running. We now have a backhoe service with a couple of dump trucks, a brushbeater, a ditch witch and a D2 Cat to play on. Thanks Dad.

randy jones, ok, entered 2007-12-06
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