Billy is going in for an MRI on Thursday. The x-rays they took on his last visit indicated he may have a fractured vertebra, so they’re going to check it out. We’re hoping it’s just one of his old fractures. Many years ago, when he was having back problems, the doctor found three different healed fractures in his back — all acquired at different times. He’s also had a fractured pelvis and jaw. He spent a lot of years breaking colts, and that’s a rough business. He knows he got the pelvis injury when a colt went over backwards with him, and the jaw when one stepped on his head. (Luckily, that was in soft river sand.) He has no idea when he acquired the back injuries. In those days, he didn’t go to the doctor, because there wasn’t enough money. (That’s why he became a teacher, instead of a horseshoer. Health insurance is a wonderful thing.)
He’s not in a great deal of pain, though he’s been instructed not to move around more than he has to. With a heating pad, a heated throw, his recliner, and some nice painkillers, he’s comfortable. He’s fighting boredom by making a list of all of the boarders and the pens their horses are in — this while seated in his chair. There’s nothing wrong with his memory; no one else knows all of them, even when driving past the pens.
I don’t have many pictures of him, because he seldom was still long enough for me to take one. Here’s my favorite, though. He’s on his last horse, and one of his favorites, Skip. This would be sometime in the ’90s. By this time, he wasn’t riding colts any more, but still ponying them for others to ride. He and Skip were very good at it, too.
Like many men of his generation, he hates fuss. He probably won’t be happy that I wrote about him, but everyone who comes in already knows about it anyhow.
Don’t tell him I said so, but I know he’s a great man.