Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Left Holding a Live Skunk by the Tail

A photo of Nebraska DaveI'm doing something a little different with this post. This is a story about a young lad and the courtship of a country wife. Long long ago in a far away land called St. Louis a young man arrived on a bus to make his fortune and fame in the big city. Under the disguise of a young man with hair, he signed up for auto mechanic school with high hopes to learn how to make cars sound loud and go fast. It was the 60s and muscle cars with names like Road Runner, GTO Goat, Mustang Shelby GT, and Camero Super Sport ruled the road. Early into the schooling, young Dave met a behemoth of a man that stood 6'6" and tipped the scales at over 400 pounds. Dennis was the gentlest giant anyone could ever meet. Young Dave acquired a job during the day and went to school in the evening. When the weekend rolled around it got just a little boring so he jumped at the invitation to spend the weekend with Dennis and his family. Upon arriving at Dennis' house he was introduced to his little brother who stood 6'8" and weighed in at 250. Dave was among the giants of the land. There was great joy and merriment, and young Dave came back many weekends over the next year.

One day Dennis brought Dave over to a neighbor's house and introduced him to his friends Herman, the jokester, Ewald, the adventurer, and sister Margie, the beautiful one. Herman and Ewald became friends with young Dave and introduced him to many exciting Missouri backwoods adventurous things. Among those things were raccoon and possum hunting, frog gigging, and jug fishing – all of which were probably not entirely legal but a lot of fun. Many weekend nights were spent sitting in the woods around a fire telling stories of past hunts waiting for Rex and Fuzz, the best Missouri mutt hunting dogs alive, to tree a critter. When a critter was treed the yelping of Rex and Fuzz guided them to the tree. It was all great fun as friendships were formed with Dennis, Ewald, and Herman, and a deeper relationship bloomed with Margie the beautiful one.

One night the boys were out driving down a backwoods road shining an old airplane landing light up into the trees looking for glowing critter eyes. It is really amazing how many eyes track a car load of wild and crazy guys down a dark Missouri back woods road. The next thing that happened was a most incredible thing that impressed young Dave and produced a life time memory. Ewald, who was sitting in the front seat, got very excited and made Dennis stop the Chevy full-sized station wagon. Ewald had seen a skunk waddling down the middle of the road in the head lights. Quick as a wink he was out of the car running as fast as he could right up behind the skunk. Young Dave thought he would be sprayed for sure. All in the car was surprised when Ewald grabbed the skunk by the tail and lifted it high up off the ground. Ewald claimed that a skunk can’t spray if their back feet are off the ground. It must be true because he didn’t get sprayed. He then convinced young Dave to come hold the squirming skunk while he went to get a gun. Skunk pelts were bringing a premium price so he only wanted to shoot it in the head and so as not to damage the pelt. So here was young Dave in the middle of the road holding a live skunk by the tail with all the others in the car. Dave knowing that Herman the jokester was in the car had one thought pop into his head. They were going to drive off and leave him in the dark, on a backwoods road, holding a live skunk by the tail. Fortunately, they weren't that cruel to their future brother-in-law, but he knew that most likely they had thoughts about it.

I know it doesn't sound like a very romantic courtship but that came later after months of thoroughly being tested and getting the stamp of approval by the brothers Herman and Ewald. There are many more stories during the courtship of young Dave’s first wife, but they are for another cold snowy night when there’s nothing better to do than reminisce about days past.

Do you have any funny stories about your courtship with your spouse that you could share? Leave a comment and tell me about them.

allan douglas
1/14/2011 5:23:04 AM

That's a great story Dave. I'm sure that as that image of you staning in the road, in the dark, holding he skunk formed in your mind there were a few moments of trepidation. I too courted my gal in Missouri it was even St Louis. But she was a city gal then. Sadly I have no courtship tales half as entertaining as yours. But I enjoyed reading yours!


nebraska dave
12/10/2010 4:45:54 PM

@Mountain Woman, I thank you for your kind words. I do like to hear a good story and I’m beginning to be a story teller myself. The best stories are about real events that have happened in my life. I really like to tell humorous ones. There’s not better medicine than a good laugh at myself. I was indeed a curious kid while growing up. I’ve fallen into barrels of oil, jumped into a freshly dug outside toilet hole, driven tractors into trees at age 4, fell off a fence head first into a hog waller hole, and I could go on and on. I guess adventure started at an early age in my life. Over the course of following your blog I know some of how you and Mountain Man came to know each other and end up in the back woods of Vermont. It is interesting how life twists and turns its way through time. One never knows where the road of life will end up. Each day is another blessing to be enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


mountain woman
12/10/2010 7:17:18 AM

Ah, Dave, what a wonderful story and I can't wait for more. I was married when I was still a babe and in my first year of college so my stories of that time would revolve around campus life. My next courtship to the Mountain Man involves more modern times of online dating services, specifically Eharmony who I think did a great job of matching us. I loved your story. You are a consummate story teller! Happy holidays to you.


nebraska dave
12/8/2010 4:23:33 PM

@Cindy, funny you should mention stinky. After we returned to the home of Ewald, Herman, and Margie (the beautiful one), the brother commenced to skin the skunk while I dazzled Margie (the beautiful one) with the story of how I actually held the skunk. All of a sudden a very unpleasant odor come wafting through the door way. It seems that Ewald while carefully skinning the skunk had hit the scent bag. The Mother of the household quickly informed the boys their bed would be in the barn that night. You car sounds like some of my early cars. My very first car was a 1953 station wagon with a big Indian Chief painted on the side. It was once the go to vehicle to pick up folks from the airport and take them to the hotel. Top speed was about 60 going down hill with a tail wind. It had a mighty six cylinder that was worthless as far as power. My next car was a 1957 Ford rust bucket. It, however, had a 300 cubic inch six cylinder engine. The six cylinder engine was larger than the popular chevy v8 engines at the time. Imagine their surprise when the hot chevy v8s had just been beaten by a rusted out greasy six cylinder. I had more fun with that old car. It just wouldn’t die. I think Dad finally pushed it into the creek to help prevent erosion. Anyway those were all good days just like the days of today. There all good if you want them to be. Have a great day filled with good memories of the past.


cindy murphy
12/8/2010 12:18:02 PM

Sweet story, Dave....despite the possible stinky outcome! Funny courtship stories, eh? Hhmmmm...there was the one about my '78 Mercury Cougar. I loved that car. I'm not sure if it would've been considered one of those muscle cars you mentioned, but the 350 engine was HUGE - so huge, the hood of the car was longer than the front and back seats, and trunk combined. It idled at 40mph, and went from 0 to breaking the speed limit with just a touch of the gas. I bought it used with 150,000 miles on it, and it was constantly in need of repairs. It became known by a term of alliteration: Butterscotch for its color, and the second b-word for its temperamental attitude. Hubs and I just recently met, barely twenty, when the Butterscotch B.... needed brakes. He offered to do it for me. It seemed to be taking a VERY long time, I thought, as I handed him the tools and parts, while he did whatever he was doing, which included a whole lot of muttering under his breath. Finally, after hours, he finished. It was much later I learned he'd never changed brakes in his life, but wanted to impress me with his manly know-how. He continued to do minor repairs and maintenance on the car, but I was thankful that when it needed transmission work and a new exhaust system, he led me to a good mechanic instead of trying to impress me.