PROMO Community - Words Letters Share Your World Story - ChristianChan iStock-476118892

A Tribute to Judy – Part 18

© ChristianChan - iStock-476118892
Ernest Hammer


MAY 31, 1938 – AUGUST 8, 2023

Part 17 was published December 18, 2023, and can be viewed here.

More Cattle Stories

One time I was looking for strays close to the Fort proper. I touched my Dad’s horse that I was riding in his flank and he bucked me off. It knocked me out. When I woke up, my Dad took me to a hospital in Colorado Springs. I had a concussion. He had to call Judy and tell her that I wouldn’t be home that night.

One time Dad and I were helping Uncle Forrest brand cattle about ten miles west of Pinon. There was no electricity, and it was getting late. We were working cattle with flashlights. There was no way I could call Judy. It was 10:00 p.m. when I got home. She was very relieved to see me.


In 2000-something, we were having a drought in eastern Colorado. We were selling some of our cow herd.  Tony thought we should see if we could find someone interested in leasing our cows. We put an ad in a national livestock paper and got an answer from a guy who lived twenty miles east of Fargo, North Dakota, in Minnesota. Judy and I drove to Glydon, Minnesota, to check out the possibilities. The guy had the grass needed. His name is Ron Morkan He had good summer grass, and he put up hay all summer for winter feed.

While we were checking the grass, Judy had Ron Morkan, his wife, Sandy, and I cutting cattails.

We had already sold most of our cows. I found some good, bred heifers for sale in North Dakota. They were black. We sent two semi loads of cows. Judy and I took two bulls from home in our stock trailer. We drove to Winner, South Dakota, to stay there overnight. We were able to keep our bulls overnight in a corral at the Winner Livestock sale barn.

When we headed home, we went on a different highway, straight south on Highway 29. North of Watertown, we ran into some bad weather. There were tornado warnings and heavy rain, with water running over the highway in places. We stopped at a truck weigh station for a little while. When the rain let up, we started on. We pulled off at Watertown at a truck station. As I turned into the station, I turned a little short and the trailer rubbed against the back of a flatbed semi coming out. There was no damage done but I stopped to check with the truck driver. He jumped out of his cab and came running back saying it wasn’t my fault. He got a little carried away.

As the weather cleared up, we went on down to Sioux Falls and got a motel room. I was starting to get really sick. We were getting in a panic mode. I thought I was going to have to see a doctor. We couldn’t drive to the hospital pulling a stock trailer in a strange town. If they came to the motel to get me with an ambulance, Judy would want to come with me, and what to do with her dog, Sissy. I started to feel a little better, so we laid on the bed with our clothes on. We got through the night and headed to Colorado.

When we got to Cheyenne Wells, we went to the hospital. They found that I had two arteries that were almost clogged.  One was 98 percent clogged and one was 97 percent clogged. Early the next morning, I was taken to a hospital in Colorado Springs by ambulance. Two ladies oversaw this ambulance. Mrs. Pharo was the driver.

In Colorado Springs, two stents were installed in my arteries. I wasn’t in the hospital very long and I was back to normal.