We’ve all experienced turning points in our lives, although some are more memorable than others. In the summer of 1969, I experienced two turning points that changed my life, and they both happened within less than a month of each other! I was on break from school that summer and working on a ranch in southern Missouri. The near-100°F temperature, combined with the near–100 percent humidity that’s typical at that time of year in this region, pretty much assured that every outdoor activity would be a miserable experience. This was especially true for my main job of “bucking” wire-bound bales of hay onto the back of a slow-moving truck.
Walking alongside the vehicle, I was tasked with lifting each 60-pound bale from the ground and catapulting it into the truck to be stacked just as the truck arrived at the next bale, where my co-workers and I would repeat the sequence. This went on for hours at a time. Continue Reading