I was going to shiver it out in the land of forests and ice. I started riding north on the dirt road to Highway 335, where I turned west. I brought the cafe racer up on the power band, and I started with a nice wheelie. This bike could lift a wheel like the race bikes. I rode past Gronlid SK. I rode south towards Melfort SK, where I filled up with fresh gas. I rode northeast on Highway 6 past Kinistino SK, Weldon SK, and Birch Hills SK, before I arrived in Prince Albert SK. It was cold to be riding in our land, so I shivered hard through Shellbrook SK, Shell Lake SK, Spiritwood SK, Glaslyn SK, Turtleford SK, and Paradise Hill. The hill where I rode shotgun with Don in his truck 2 years ago, where I watched a man die. I took the left on Highway 17 to Border City. I continued south of Border City, where my sister Lorraine and her husband Gord Kobsar had a home on wheels near Lone Rock. I arrived to enjoy a visit and a few beers in the mid afternoon. I knew to travel during the high sun this time of the year. I was still cold. The land of forest and ice did not stress out my plan to earn enough money for another year at the U of S. Border City was the Heavy Oil Capital of Canada. I was going to get some of that Black Gold. Surprisingly enough, Lorraine and Gord were the ones to stress out my plan. They knew how hard and dangerous it was for a 'roughneck' on a drilling rig, and they encouraged me to find my Black Gold in other ways. Gord said, "Denny, there not going to hire a 16 year old."
All was not lost! Lorraine talked to her boss Ed King at Ed King Husky Bulk. She was the companies bookkeeper / receptionist / phone order clerk. She persuaded Ed to give me a chance driving fuel truck. It really was the wild west to a 16 year old kid. I wasn't drilling for oil, but I was in the oil business! I rented a basement room in Lloydminster AB, and the town drunks son rode his Daytona Special back and forth to work. I delivered fuel to farmers, businesses, service stations, and drilling rigs in the area with my fuel truck. After a few weeks, I started doing the 'on call' deliveries to the rigs. I turned 17 in June, and while I was always under age when I allowed myself a few beers at the Wayside Pub. I also drank at the Pioneer Lounge, where I ran into a few guys from my town drunk son's childhood in St. Brieux SK. Randy, Clinton, and Emery Piatt from St. Brieux SK were looking to make their Black Gold in the oil patch. I gave notice on my basement bedroom, and I moved in with them at their apartment for August. We shared a few good times, and I delivered a lot of fuel with my truck that summer. Later in August, I made the mistake of lending Randy my bike. He fell over with my RD400 on a beer run, and I thought about killing him. I really should have killed him, then.
After Randy's accident, I claimed I was riding the bike with the Saskatchewan Government Insurance Organization (SGIO). They agreed to fix the bike, and I left the bike at the Lloydminster Yamaha for repairs. The Circumpolar Boreal Forest in Europe was chipped 'Away' many years ago. In the land of forests and ice we were still in the fight Europeans now called deforestation. I worked in the wet, thick, muddy, Boreal Forest which was always fighting back against the forest and ice people. Water seamed to get in the way, and it froze to get in the way, again. Once, I was pulled to a drilling rig with a D8 Cat through 2 - 4 centimetres of water covering mud. Imagine the costs the Oil Companies were willing to endure to keep drilling. Profit. I learned very early on that the earth would turn anti clockwise if their was Profit in that happening. That day, the Drilling Rid needed fuel. That day, the drilling Rig gets fuel. Profit. The Cat operator drug the fuel truck into the drilling lease while I steered the truck 'floating' the undercarriage over the mud. After pumping off my load, he drug me out of the lease. Then, the cat driver waited with the semi trailer and cat while I tested the truck on the road. The truck drove and shifted. I followed Ed King's instructions, and I went directly to the Ford Dealership in Lloydminster for repairs. It was a Friday afternoon, and they gave me a ride home. Of course, this was not comparable to changing the direction of the earth. I saw Profit puts a 'Drive' in people like not other illegal Drug.
The summer flew by in the best job I have ever enjoyed. Part of my job was hauling 45 Imperial Gallon Barrels of Husky Oil to the rigs on my rear bumper deck. I used a forklift to put the barrels on the deck. Once on the drilling lease, I would climb up onto the deck on the back of the truck. I would tip the 45 Gallon Barrels off the rear deck onto the ground. I left them there for the gofer to roll to the oil shed. I was on a muddy lease, and the Boreal Forest mud got gave under my boots. Once on the deck, I pushed on my barrel, and I slipped. I lost my balance, and I fell off the back of my truck with my 45 gallon barrel of oil. Gravity was winning again! The barrel and I were following gravity that day on the muddy rig site. The balance, the spin, the slip, when gravity was finished, I landed in the mud, on my back, with my arms trying to hold one end of the barrel off my chest. I did say trying? I can't remember being quite that packed into the mud, since. The gopher ran up to see if I was dead. The gopher and I had big round eyes that day. I was able to get up eventually, and he said 'You could have been killed'. What happened. I explained. I went 'Away' feeling lucky to be alive. Damn, I knew I was lucky to be alive. I didn't feel right at all. I went home and tried to sleep it off. The Boreal Forest won.
I made an appointment with a doctor late in August, after I felt abdominal pain. I swear, I could feel intestines in my scrotum. The doctor had a look, and he said I needed help. I agreed. I was diagnosed with a lower abdominal hernia. It was bad. I told the doctor it was likely because of moving the heavy barrels. I was to ashamed to tell him about my accident. I was to young to accept failure. The learned doctors determined I should be in bed. Instead, I worked another week for Ed King Husky Bulk, and I gave him my truck keys back while I thanked him for the summers work. I told him it was the best job I have ever had. He got thoughtful. He offered me full time work if I decided 'higher learning' was not long in my future. I thanked him, again. I checked into the Border City Hospital Hotel for repairs. I learned a lot at work and I learned about hospitals which I could remember. I really, really, knew I was alive after the operation. First, there is the waking. That's out of the dream. Second, there is the awakening. The awakening really hurts. You have to be conscious before they give you the Demerol shot which doesn't come in a glass. I boarded the Racing Greyhound to Saskatoon 3 days after the operation to search for higher learning.
The Racing Greyhound dropped me off at the Saskatoon Bus Depot, with 18 cm of stitches in my lower abdominal. I started my second year at the U. of S. in September 1978, and this year I stayed with my brother Leo. I had my stitches taken out after settling into the U of S. Leo was taking a Heavy Duty Mechanics course at Kelsey, and he was renting a 1 room loft on 33rd St. W. on Ave H.. He decided to let me stay with him, and I slept on a foamy on the floor. I spent all my time at the U of S, or I slept on the floor. Leo and I spent Christmas on the Rocky Ridge Ranch and the town drunk made his usual appearances. Later in March, Leo finished his courses at Kelsey Technology Institute for his Heavy Duty Mechanic Certificate. He went back to the Rocky Ridge Ranch, and he started working for Coquet Industries in the land of forests and ice. He decided he wanted to live at the Rocky Ridge Ranch. I finished my courses while staying in the loft over the next two months. It was always all I could afford to buy books and pay tuition. In the 1979, an education was already expensive for a town drunks son. It was expensive for the blue collar worker to get a step up. I needed to consider my finances. I would have to talk to Leo. We talked about Leo buying out my interest in the Rocky Ridge Ranch.
In the spring of 1979, the Credit Union in St. Brieux SK loaned Leo the money to buy my interest in the Rocky Ridge Ranch. I used every single cent I received from Leo for my new home on wheels in Star Trailer Court in Saskatoon SK. The 12 x 60 ft home on wheels was 10 years old. I did pay a little to much, but the home on wheels was already on a lot. The first thing I did was take a long walk around the neighbourhood. I had the Husky Car / Truck Stop on the other side of the street on Idylwyld Drive N. and Circle Drive E.. Star Trailer Court was located behind the Firestone Tire which was directly on Circle Drive E. My backyard and the rear end of my home on wheels was on 41 St E. I walked from 41 St E. northward on Saskatchewan Avenue to the Railway Tracks. I found a shortcut underneath the railway overpass to Mr. Submarine and the Esso Service Station with another restaurant on the east side of Idylwyld Drive N.. There was a McDonald's on the west side of Idylwyld Drive N. at 39 St W. The Country Kitchen coffee shop was across the street from the McDonald's. Then, I saw what I was looking for south of the Country Kitchen. I walked to past the Quality Inn and I found the Saskatchewan Liquor Board Store at Idylwyld Drive North and 38 St W.. My new home on wheels was 2 long blocks or 3 short city blocks from the lowest price supplier of spirits and beer in this area of the land of forests and ice.
I decided to pick up 6 beer for the evening. I entered the well stocked store. I bought my six pack, and left using the front door on Idylwyld Drive N.. I turned right and right again to pick up snacks at the confectionery behind the Liquor Store. While walking along the side of the Liquor Store I saw 4 or 5 nice bikes on the street. I was still choked about Randy and my bike. I could be riding? I still had not made it back to Lloydminster to get my Daytona Special back from the Lloydminster Yamaha. The bikes on the street looked mostly like Harley's, although some had been modified or chopped to hide their true colours. Then, I saw the gate. Then, I saw the 8ft fence. Then, the dogs barked said hello. I don't remember seeing a shingle on the building or the fence. There was the usual KEEP OUT. I the last two years at the U of S, I had seen the odd story in the newspapers or on television about the bikers in Saskatoon. I was so busy getting smart, I didn't have time for motocross or riding or local news. Of course, this has to be the Clubhouse for the Bikers. Well imagine that? I had moved in just north of the biker club they talk about whenever they need to blame bikers for something. What were they called? Seriously, I didn't know.
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