A STEP TOO FAR
We are half way through turkey season and I have yet to have the gun up on a long beard. To say that this season has been rough would be an understatement. The first week was solid rain. I went out a few mornings in the drizzle, just to catch a couple of hours of time in the woods. No gobbles. No birds. I had started a job down at Cider Andy's only to be also shut down by the rain. I couldn't hunt. I couldn't work. I didn't feel like making any art. Why fucking bother? One day blurred into another.
Back when i was a young man in my 50's I was able to get up at 4:30 am, hit the woods well before dawn, and if the Gods were willing I could kill a big tom and be on the work site, on the Upper East side, before 8:30 am. Those days are long gone. But the other night, after Shewho and I rented The Revenant, seeing what poor Leo had to go through, I decided to man up and get in the woods before work.
Thurs. I went behind the cemetery and waited for a roost gobble. The woods were silent. Every time a crow cawed I hoped a tom would shock gobble. Then I heard a hen just below me on the ridge. She was moving to my left and with all the dead falls and recent logging I couldn't lay eyes on her. Then I heard two gobbles behind her. My spirits rose. I worked the cedar box call but for the life of me couldn't get a response. This is how it had gone for two weeks. One or two gobbles would be all I would get- no response. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Oh well. Time to go to work.
I hit the job site before 9am. Asher "Pigpen- King of the Jews" Rothman was working with me. He was busy cutting blocking and when I arrived we turned to setting rafters on the storage barn. Even without any turkey action I felt good that I was still able to hunt and work a full day at 73. Take that DiCapprio. Then about 3:00 pm I started to feel a little fuzzy. PP was cutting the 2x8s and I was setting the rafters up top. We'd worked our way across the first 12 feet and had to set some more scaffold planks to continue. I lifted a 2x10 up and set in across the beams, instructing Asher to move the 12 foot step ladder........
Here's where it gets fuzzy. I thought I had the plank safely set, but obviously it was not. I took one step towards the ladder and the plank gave way. Remember when the mean kid stepped off the teeter totter while you were up in the air? It's kinda like that.....only I was 9 feet in the air, above a concrete floor, hanging in mid-air. My left arm raked the rough cut, spinning me. Frantically grabbing with my right hand, trying to break my fall, I was fucked. My bad right shoulder pulled and tore as Asher rushed under me, catching me in a pile. His Israeli Army training must have kicked in. It all happened in a matter of seconds. If I had fallen in the middle of the building......if Asher had not been there (or reacted slowly), if........ Some bruising and a pulled shoulder is what I walked (I repeat- walked) away with. I owe this fact to Pigpen. It could've gone so much worse. Maybe that kid needs a new nickname.