tomorrow, January 21, 1981, was a pretty nice day as I recall… sun shining, ice melting, typical January thaw weather…I’d fed cows and was on the phone with Delbert, a neighbor, and we were talking of doing something that afternoon. In the background I kept hearing Cindy saying things like, “I don’t think you better plan on anything” “I think we’re going to town in a bit” and similar rude things while I was trying to have a conversation with a good friend on some earth shaking matters, I am sure, probably almost had all the worlds problems solved and were planning on our final attack on all that was bad and nasty, but I keep hearing Cindy in the background, mumbling… so I eventually told him that I guess maybe I was going to town for some unknown, to me at least, reason and got off the phone. We were living down at the old place, been married almost 2 years to the day, so I asked why on earth we would be going to town when we really had no money or need to go spend what we didn’t have… Cindy replied, “I think I am in labor…” Holy Mackeral, why didn’t you say so!!!!!

I, of course, got all excited and wanted to rush off, but she of the cooler head told me that no, we were not quite ready… I am sure I paced and walked and argued, and finally she consented that maybe she really was in labor and we’d better make the trip to Deadwood… the doctor she went to, good ol’ Doc Jone, did not use the Sturgis Hospital, so we had the extra 14 miles thru’ the canyon on up to Deadwood to drive… I was trying to speed, but she kept telling me to slow down as she really wasn’t that far along.. I finally got wise, started timing her labor, which she had assured me was at least 20 minutes apart, and they were more like 5 minutes apart! Of course we had to stop at her Fathers house in Sturgis to call the doctor, as we had no such things as cell phones in those days… The good Doctor was out, but we were told he’d be there in plenty of time, seeing as this was a first birth and all… I finally got her out of the house and back in the pickup and off we went. When we got to the hospital I rushed in and told a nurse I had a woman giving birth in my pickup. That really got their attention!

In just a matter of moments we were inside, a stand by doctor was doing the fist check and assuring us, this would take plenty of time and Cindy was cussing me for hurrying her as she didn’t want to spend 20 hours in labor in a hospital… she was in a bed in a room close to the delivery room and a nurse would check how many centimeters she had dilated on a fairly consistent schedule… I wasn’t worried, I’d been around lots of first birth mothers… cows of course, but hey, anatomy is anatomy in mammals, pretty much the same…. in a short time, they decided maybe they may as well take her to the delivery room… Dr Jone, still had not arrived and pretty soon, we are having a baby! The good Dr showed up just in time to catch the baby, so to speak.. I watched it all in a big mirror and am reminded at least once a year that I wasn’t a very good birthing coach, as I was so absorbed in the process… by the way, far as I can tell,  birthing coach is there to wipe the expectant mothers brow and let her squeeze really, really hard on which ever part of your anatomy she can grasp…. 33 years later, my hand still hurts!

Our first born, a son, whom we named Tyler Roy, was born less than an hour after we got to the hospital.. about 5 pm as I recall…. Like I said, I’d been around lots of first calvers… I even had a set of calving chains in my pocket, I think, sure didn’t want to take any chances!


Happy Birthday, Fr Tyler… you have truly been a blessing to us, and so many more…