Hail of a Surprise

“Jim Class” is a feature that airs within The HomeFix Show. Written by original charter show listener Jim Forrer from Caldwell Idaho, Jim shares his observations, life experiences  and lessons learned in life. Joe Prin reads these at various times in most of the HomeFix Shows. Here is the original written text.

My eldest son Mark was helping this particular time with installing a Cedar fence.  A local banker had built a new house in a new sub-division and was in the process of moving in. The property was that of farm land that had been cultivated for years. When digging the post holes, the first four or five inches were soft, moist and easy. What lay below was hardpan the rest of the, until we reached 20 inches or so. We had to soak the holes with water and then bared our way through the Caliche. It was bright and warm, altogether a beautiful July day. I happened to look up and see a little black cloud heading our way out of the southwest. I told Mark to start picking up our equipment and load the truck. “Let’s get the heck out of here”. Mark insisted that it was just a little cloud. I told him,” yes, but that darned thing is spinning clockwise and that tells me we should leave”.  WE almost didn’t get out of the field. The hail came down like a manure spreader working overtime and covering everything with a heavy blanket of ice. I couldn’t even find the road. By the time we reached home the storm passed and the sun came out once more. OH well, tomorrow’s another day.  We finished up in three more days.

In the interim, I received many calls for damage repair estimates for insurance applications. The deluge of hail was mostly centered around the lake area.

One of the phone calls came from a gentleman in south Nampa. He said that he owned a 6 ft. chain-link fence with aluminum slats which was devastated from the hail storm. I had my doubts about that claim, but made arrangements to assess the damage. Upon my arrival, I spotted the problem immediately. His large German Shepherd was the culprit, not the storm. That dog had been chewing on the aluminum slats for a very long time and had pulled many slats completely out of the fence.  This guy saw an opportunity to try for and insurance claim.  I told the man that I would evaluate the damage and give him a responsible and true bid of repair.  I then told him not to turn the bid into the insurance carrier for then I would have to inform the carrier of your fraudulent claim.  In so many choice and selected verbiage, he then told me to get the H*&^ off his property.  He also made an unattractive comment of my suspected heritage.

This last hail story happened many years past.  At the time, I was in the Air Force and on my way back to Caldwell from a TDY back east.  There were five of us driving in an Econo-van through Wyoming.  We had reached an area called ‘Trailer Gulch’ and found the highway blocked and flooding with hail and water.  Trailer Gulch was posted with an informational sign alongside the roadway.  It was aptly named.  Looking down that side of the mountain pass, you could see a great pile of cars, tractors and trailers at the very bottom and scattered all along the hillside.  Whatever bad weather came through carried high winds and would swipe anything on the roadway down the mountain.  This time, the storm hit a high o the mountain and all of the hail and water came rolling down with a vengeance.  The bar-pit had been filled and overflowed with that cold water and hail onto the roadway and down the other side.  The width of the ice flow was about 30 ft. and four ft. high on the up hill side.  There were 15 cars stopped and waiting for this obstacle to just go away.  We, in the van, were on the up hill side.  Nothing was moving, but for the water.  After 10 minutes or so, here comes a Highway Patrolman, supposedly to direct an immovable object.  Anyway, here he comes barreling down the far right of the road on the up hill side.  He hit the pile of hail and proceeded to plummet head long into the bar-pit.  That hapless soul had to wait for the car to fill with water before he could open the door.  When he finally got out, he was met with 25 people standing in the roadway applauding like mad.  Even though his embarrassment was quite evident, he gave a courteous bow and a thumbs up.