I'll Never Do That Again

A Recuerdo                                        
I'd Never Do That Again"

By Dick Mauer

James MCFadden's recent recuerdo on Rattlesnakes is similar to
experiences that we have all had with these devils. I am reminded of a
couple of brushes I had. I've recorded one encounter in a recuerdo I
wrote "We've Never Talked About Rake Work", where a Calexico P.I. left a
good sized rattler he killed coiled up on a path beside a deep hole.
(RIP Charley Mack Porter)

This other encounter involves sign cutting on a drag road in the
Calexico west desert area. Calexico was using International Harvester
Scouts in 1966 with a sign cut light mounted on the rear bumper that lit
up the area by your window. We frequently encountered sidewinder
rattlesnakes in the west desert and the biggest I recall seeing was less
than 2 feet long. On top of that, from the vehicle window, not a problem
until I chose to make one a problem. I was chugging along at my
customary 7mph, being duly attentive for sign. All of a sudden here's a
sidewinder in the middle of the drag making his customary "S" sign on my
drag. I drew my newly issued S&W .357 (which I had just exchanged for my
original issue .38). I swiftly removed the .357 rounds and loaded .38
wad cutters from my trique bag. I was upset that little bastard was
screwing up the drag road.  Keeping him (her?) in my small area of
light, I extended my arm out the window, took careful aim, and fired. My
round must have hit right under the snake and that little SOB was
flipped up in the air until we were eyeball to eyeball right outside the
window. I thought he was getting my arm or coming into the Scout.
Anyway, I thought I was gonna' have to go home to change my uniform
pants.  Needless to say, I'd never do that again!