Saturday, February 04, 2006


Dan E. Randle

Most people don't remember how wild and crazy I was with speed in high school. Speed is something that stayed with me for most of my life. I think I was finally able to get it out of my system with my rotary powered Madza GLC. I would make a 5 hour trip in 3.75 hours consistently. After having so much fun with the little car, I settled for a respectable 70 mph on the freeway. Or at least I thought I had gotten rid of the need for speed.

A few weeks ago my youngest son, Sean, talked the whole family into getting quads. He and his wife, her mother and father, my ex, a couple of his friends and I all bought Kawasaki quads. Most of us bought the 750 Brute Force quad equipped with a winch. The winch was in insurance policy to make sure we could get out of a problem if we ever needed to.

When I went down to try it out, I gave it a little too much gas (not used to the thumb throttle) and it did a wheelie for me. It had me right there.

Since we bought so many at one time, we got a very reasonable price for each unit. Loretta didn't want one, so she is riding double behind me.

The first trip we made was up into the mountains just about 10 miles south of town. We went back into the forest on cat trails, animal trails, anything wide enough to get the quads through. Lots of mud and water, since this is the rainy season on the coast. It was also raining the whole time we were out. Not the torrential downpours you’re used to in the south, just a steady drizzle.

Coastal Oregonians don't pay any attention to rain.

During the run, there were a few times that I thought the quad was going to flip back on me, but it didn't. By shifting my weight forward, it would keep going and get up and over the obstacle. This first run was just a baby run to get used to the quads. All I could think of was how much fun I could have had on one of these during my high school days.

The next week Loretta didn’t want to go, so I went alone. It’s a good thing she didn't accompany me, because we went places that I couldn’t walk without slipping down. By putting it in four wheel drive and locking the front axle, it goes about any place a deer can go. The main requirement is enough width to pass through. One place I went through, the water was up to the bottom of my seat. Luckily the breather air cleaner is higher than the seat so it didn't get drowned out. I couldn't get my feet high enough so my shoes were full of water. The worst part was we couldn't get much farther up that path so we had to turn around and go back through again. More water in the shoes.

Then my daughter-in-law didn't think my quad was dirty enough so she spun out in front of me and doused me with mud. I got her back later by pulling the same trick, and all she could do was try to cover her face to keep the mud out.

All in all it was a crazy and wild ride. I learned to do cookies in the mud, get all 4 wheels in the air by jumping obstacles, power sliding around corners. Sean thought he could run off and leave me but, as I explained to him, I taught him to drive.

If you have a fear of driving down a path only 4 to 5 feet wide at 20 to 30 miles per hour, don't try to keep up with your kids.

The picture I have enclosed is the results of the drive that day.

The next day we went out to the dunes for a run through them. Though not as hair raising as the cat trails, it can be a lot of fun screaming up the sand dunes and then back down again. When I moved to Coos Bay in 1974, you could go anywhere you wanted to in the dunes. Then environmentalists started lobbying to reduce the area we can go in to the point that, now, there are just a few miles that can be used. We also now have to have a license for being in the dunes, along with paying a fee each time we go.

Things have changed since the first time I saw the Oregon Dunes in 1968. It's still a lot of fun just beachcombing. You can find all kinds of driftwood and occasionally you might find a glass float used for fish nets. Then, when it’s mushroom time, you can find a variety of them, if you know where to look. This happens to be one of the neat things about the quad, I can now get into places where I never was able before.

Another thing I can't wait to try it out is for hunting season: should make packing out a deer much easier.

I wonder if any 67 year old living in the 1950's would have been so crazy? Exposure to different things and longer life span sure do make a different, or am I just crazy? I leave that up to you.

(No, Dan, not crazy. See there’s this thing called a “second childhood.” -tlp-)

Last week was a weird week for me. On the way home from work Thursday, one of my molars started being sensitive. By the time supper was on the table I couldn't chew on the right side of my mouth. Since Sean's father-in-law is a dentist and his wife works there, I called her to see what she suggested. I don't like calling a dentist at home about a problem. Her dad had gone to Medford and wouldn't be back until Friday. She called in a prescription for penicillin and codeine for pain.

Since it was late at night, I just barely made it to the pharmacy on time to get the prescription. Took the meds per instructions. Friday the tooth was really hurting, so I only spent a half day at work. When I got home. I couldn't even eat some soup I had made. Trying to chew only on the left side was actually hurting my tooth on the right side. So into the blender the soup went and was liquefied. At least I could drink it. Took more meds. Then my stomach started bloating and continued to get worse. Went to my regular doctor and he thought it was the codeine so prescribed another pain killer. When Ray (dentist) got back into town he met me at this office around 7:30 pm to take an x-ray of the tooth. I had a root canal done on it in 1992 and, according to Ray, I’d bitten down on something hard and broken the tooth away from the little fibers that hold the tooth to the bone and flesh. This allowed bacteria to get under the root and raise havoc thereby pushing up on the tooth and causing severe pain. Since Ray had gone out of his way, I took everyone out for dinner. Everyone, that is, except for me. My stomach was bothering me to the point I didn't want to put anything else in it. One of the problems I was having was not being able to equalize the pressure in my system, could not release gas from either end. The old finger down the throat allowed me to get a little sleep that night.

When I woke up the next morning (5 am), I was really worried. Once before I had a twisted intestine and was opened up so they could untwist it. Took me three weeks to recover. I thought I had another twisted intestine. so I had Loretta take me to the hospital. We got there 10:20 am, they x-rayed me and discovered that a portion of my intestine had shut down. Finally at 5:30 pm they admitted me to the hospital for overnight. I tried to get them to give me something to vomit but they wouldn't. Wanted to pump my stomach. Remembering the sorer throat I had before, I opted out. Of course things got worse, so I finally said O'K.

The nurse that was trying to put the tube up my nose didn't know how to do it because she just about killed me. I finally told her to stop, I'll live with the pain. Again the old finger down the throat finally worked where it hadn't earlier that day. At least the pain was gone from my stomach. The doctor told me to walk around and it would help so I walked a couple of miles around the hospital before I went to sleep. With all the walking and fingering, things started to get better since I was finally able to pass a little gas. The worst part was they wouldn't let me have any liquids or food. By this time, my last solid food was consumed Thursday night. You would think that I would be hungry, I wasn't. All they would let me have was an ounce of water to take my meds.

Anyway Sunday came and I was feeling great again, but they still wouldn't let me have any water or food. Finally, around 12:30, the doctor came by, ordered a lunch and said that, if I could keep it down, I could go home. It did and I did. The pain in the tooth was also almost gone. By Tuesday it was gone and at 10:00 am, I was in the dental chair getting another root canal on the old root canal. The thing that really bothers me is trouble usually comes in three. I still have one more to go!


Also another story comes to mind about Ruth Fuller. I remember taking Drama class in the 11th grade. One day we were going over stage make up. After checking things out, I used some putty over the skin between my right thumb and forefinger, then worked it to look like a nasty cut. After painting it and blending it in with my skin tone, it was so real it almost fooled me. I went into Ruth Fuller’s room holding my right wrist as if I were trying to stop the bleeding. I told her I had just put my hand trough a glass window. She thought it was real and was going to do first aid until we could get to the hospital. Then I had to break the news to her that it was only stage makeup. I think she could have killed me right on the spot.

This memory was brought out by watching an episode of Nip Tuck. It's funny what triggers memory. Everything is there, just covered by a lot of dust and cobwebs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dan, I'm wondering if you are my father inlaw. Your picture and your thoughts makes me think so. I would have met you prior to marrying your son Dan Randle,III. Please respond via email to me at


11:12 PM  

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