When our kids were little, they used to love to ask me for what they affectionately called “snake stories.” Growing up in the hills of California, and having adventurous brothers, I did have more than my fair share of snake encounters. Once I somewhat innocently shared a few of those stories with our kids, the stories became favorites, to be retold time and again.
There was the time a large section of a large, old pepper tree fell down in our yard and we begged Dad to just leave it for awhile. My brother and I took some sheers and chopped and hacked the smaller branches to form little rooms for our “house.” We played all week in that thing and were so sad to discover on our return home from school one day that Dad had some men haul the large section of the tree off. The dismay quickly turned to relief and horror when he told us that as they were removing the tree, the men had discovered a large rattlesnake coiled in the tree.
Despite the fact that I just hate snakes, I have loads of snake stories. But my real purpose today is to share my grandpa’s snake story.
A couple of years ago on our visit to Sanford, Colorado, my Uncle Gaylon shared a story about my Grandpa Ganus and I am so glad that he did. Grandpa Ganus died when I was little and the stories that I know about him are few and far between.
When this incident occurred, my Grandpa, Heber Ganus, was working as a mechanic at a garage in Sanford. This particular day, Boyd Poulson was pulling weeds down by the river, a little ways out of town when he saw a snake. Water snakes and garden snakes are a common sight there in the San Luis Valley, so he thought it was just another harmless little garden snake and was not too concerned. But Boyd was mistaken and he realized his error when the snake struck him on his hand. He had been struck by a rattlesnake! Boyd was out by himself and seeing no other option, he ran three miles to Sanford. By the time he reached town, he was woozy and his hand had become very swollen. Frantic, he couldn’t think at first what to do, so he ran to the garage where Grandpa Ganus was working. Grandpa could see how bad the situation was and he hurriedly loaded Boyd up in the car and drove as fast as he could to the nearby town of Alamosa for medical help. Grandpa’s quick action was credited for saving Boyd’s life.
|Grandpa Heber Monroe Ganus
and Grandma Hazel Ganus (nee Mickelsen)
It’s a simple story, but it warms my heart to think that Grandpa’s quick action helped to save someone’s life.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014, All rights reserved