Always Check Your Resources!

May 26, 2022 by Tempe Javitz
It just so happens I did not check my family resources
when I wrote about ranch injuries in my last blog on May 
12th.  Don’t you do that when you are writing about real

I should have known better.  Just because it’s a family 
story you remember, were you actually there when the action
commenced?  Or did you write about it in your diary at the 
time?  If not check your resources. Here is what actually
happened when my father Torrey broke his leg the second time.  
(I was in high school 52 miles away.)

In December of 1965, married with five nearly grown children
and 46 years old, Torrey slipped and fell on an icy patch near
the creek bottom of the Dry Creek Pasture while leading his horse
Rascal down a steep hillside.  He sat down hard and his left leg
broke again exactly at the site where a clamp was inserted to hold
the bone together when he was kicked by a horse at age 4.
My sister Jolly was directly behind him as this happened.  
(She had just arrived from college a few days before with her 
boyfriend Rocky).

Together they assessed the damage, and Jolly immediately began
hunting long sticks and larger pieces of bark from nearby trees
for a splint.  They loosened the chaps on his left leg and began
strapping the branches and larger pieces of bark along the leg with
rope to stabilize it.  Jolly’s boyfriend, Rocky Greenfield, a 6ft 7in
basketball player from the University of Montana, had been directed 
down an adjoining ridge and hillside.  When they didn’t appear, 
Rocky came looking for them.  They immediately agreed he should 
collect brother Robin (down on the flat wondering where everyone was)
and head for the ranch for help. Then the waiting began. . .

        Jolly roping on Tuck, branding in 1964.

At the ranch corrals Robin and Rocky discussed options, found a ladder
for a stretcher and an air mattress.  Robin ran into the cookhouse and
phoned his friend Larry Martin.  Larry was ranching on Rosebud Creek
about ten miles away.  He owned a station wagon.  Robin also called 
our great aunt Ruth whose home was across the creek from the cookhouse.
She was to call for an ambulance from Sheridan.

Larry arrived post haste.  The three men jumped in the pickup and rushed
back to the Dry Creek pasture.  After parking as far up the draw as 
possible, they hauled my dad, strapped to the ladder, down the snowy
and icy path to the pickup.  Jolly remembers that the men slipped once
and fell to their knees accidentally puncturing the air mattress.  With
a horrible hiss, Torrey was now laying on the rungs of the ladder.  On
the pickup bed, dad still had a bumpy ride to the ranch house. 

Larry and Robin then cut down the ladder to fit into the station wagon. 
Jolly sat in the back wedged next to her dad to secure him against any 
movement as they headed to Sheridan, Wyoming 52 miles away.  Praying
all the while that the ambulance would meet them soon, they crested the
ridge just beyond the big bend of Rosebud Creek to the sound of the siren.
It was now approaching dark.

Jolly remembers sitting in the hallway outside the emergency room in
Sheridan and watching branches and pieces of bark and rope cascading
into the hall creating a great deal of racket.  Soon thereafter one
of the doctors approached her.  They had given Torrey some pain killers
and had taken X-rays.  The doctor complimented Jolly on her super first
aid--wrapping the leg to stabilize it with whatever was at hand. 
After a week of little success getting the bone to set, the doctors in
Sheridan sent Torrey to Billings where orthopedist Dr. Walter Hagan 
operated and removed the now worthless clamp and placed a rod inside
his leg bone from hip to knee.  Torrey was up and around after several
weeks, first using crutches and then walking freely with a small limp.
By midsummer the leg bone had knit perfectly and the rod was removed.  
Torrey was once again fit as a fiddle.  
You can’t keep a good cowboy down!

          Torrey, back in the saddle again.