South Dakota, winter 1973

My good buddy Moses Little Dog was piloting his '65 Barracuda at full speed west of Rushville, Nebraska one snowy winter day. With a loud clank the U-joint broke and his drive shaft hit the pavement, dragging along beneath us. We pulled over and got out. No traffic in sight, and it was starting to blizzard. A quick search of the trunk turned up only two tools: a jack and a pair of pliers.

I was thinking we're in for a long cold walk. Moses, a fullblood Lakota, thought differently. He looked at the pliers. He looked around and saw absolutely nothing in all directions except prairie and a barbed-wire fence. He walked over to the fence and with the pliers cut off a six-foot length of wire. Then we jacked up the car, Moses crawled under it, and he wired the U-joint back together.

We jumped back in the car, started it up, and managed to drive a couple of miles before the drive shaft threw off the wire with another loud clank. Got out, and repeated the whole operation. Again and again. Those barbed-wire fences go on forever in northern Nebraska. Eventually we made it to Chadron.

Larry Hamilton, 2003