Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My Name is Trevor and I Weigh 38 Pounds!

A year has passed since I was traveling through Western Nebraska on my new motorbike and encountered a nasty thunderstorm.  Riding in the rain is never fun. Riding in a thunderstorm with lightning and hail is scary and painful.  Western Nebraska is not a good place to be caught in such circumstances.  I couldn’t help but think of scenes from "Lonesome Dove" in the same general area.  Blue Duck is scary, but a Western Nebraska thunderstorm is no Sunday afternoon ride.

As I scanned the horizon for shelter, it quickly became apparent that no one lives in Western Nebraska.  I finally spotted a grain elevator and weigh house on the side of the road.  I pulled up under the eves of the shack and waited out the storm.  When it cleared off, I had another problem.  In my haste to get under cover, I had pulled up too close to the building to back out.  There was a small dip in front of me so I decided to plow ahead. 

Wheat chaff floats on the top of water.  If you are in a hurry, you might think the chaff is solid ground, but you will soon learn it's like quick sand.  Once the front tire went in, there was no getting out.  The bike was high-centered and the front tire and wheel were buried in muck. 

An Indian Chief Classic weighs 812 pounds with a full tank of gas.  I’m old and broken down, but nothing if not determined when the stakes of not getting this bike unstuck are years of ridicule.  Even with all of that motivation, I couldn’t budge it.  Searching the area, I found a short 4”x 4” post, a 6' length of angle iron and a 1’X6.”  Like Archimedes, I was able to move the load, but not keep it upright and out of the hole.

Just when I was ready to curl into a fetal position and cry, a young woman and her son rolled up in their car.  The folks of Nebraska are as helpful as Kansans, and without mocking me she told me she had called her husband when she saw my plight and he was 20 minutes away.  Just then the youngster hopped out of the car and announced: “My name is Trevor and I weigh 38 pounds!”

Can’t you hear the conversation in the car? “Mom, I can help him.” “Trevor, you weigh 38 pounds.”  But Trevor didn’t hear it that way, and bless his little heart, he was ready to help.  Trevor manned the lever, I pushed, and mom helped keep the bike upright and we got that bike out of the hole.  If Trevor had heard “You can’t do it,” I would probably still be stuck 15 miles north of Sidney, Nebraska.  Trevor heard that he weighed 38 pounds and that was plenty enough for him.

Around 450,000 kids start school in Kansas this August.  There are a whole bunch of Trevor's out there who don’t know what they can’t do, they only know that they are ready for anything.  Our job is to give them a lever and a place to stand so they can move the world.  Have a great school year.