Stock truck with cattle

Lowell Stories: Would It Still Have Happened?

Dad once told me that if he hadn't been an airplane mechanic, he would have been a journalist. I believe it. He should have written a book. He didn't; but he sure had some good stories.

Back in 1999, my wife Cindy emailed Dad with several questions about memorable events during his lifetime. This is one.

"[What was] the stock truck incident?"

"In the spring of 1941, I was in school at Iowa State and Gin was going to Creighton in Omaha.

On as many weekends as I could afford, I would hitchhike out on Friday after class, stay with my cousin Rhuie and Gin and I could be with each other until I had to go back on Sunday.

This particular time, I got stranded about halfway between in Carroll, IA and could not get a ride before darkness fell. Hitchhiking after dark is a fruitless task, so knowing there was a bus on to Omaha around 3 a.m., I walked back to the hotel/bus terminal to await the bus.

As I was about to cross the street which bordered the hotel, a stock truck pulled up on front of me while stopping at the stop sign to enter the highway. I opened my mouth to call to him about catching a ride with him, for I knew he was headed into the Omaha Stockyards with his load of cattle. No sound came from my throat! I couldn't get a word out! In less time than it takes to read this, the trucker had pulled out and was gone.

The next morning from my seat in the bus, somewhere between Carroll and Omaha, we saw the same truck rolled over in the ditch and burned out. Cattle were still laying injured and walking about. I learned later the driver was killed.

Question: would I have been also, or would my presence have kept him awake? we'll never know, will we?"

Category: Stories
Topics: People
Tags: Lowell Foster

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