Joel McPherson

as told to
David Muxˇ
Ada McPherson Muxˇ

My mother told me that Grandpa Joel Walter McPherson would not allow this story to be told while he was alive, but she told it to me with great relish and humor. She never wrote it down so I will do the best I can. If you have heard this story and can add or correct anything, please contact me.

The story is that Walter was going into town on a wagon hitched to two horses. When they came to a river, he stopped to make preparations for the crossing. He removed his gun and clothes, and tied his clothes on top of his head so that they would not get wet during the river crossing. Although my mother did not elaborate as to whether he also removed his long johns, she always prefaced the story by saying that he was the first streaker, making reference to the college streakers of our day. In any case, Walter started across the river, and all went well until the horses reached the other side, but had not yet emerged from the water.

As the horses were about to step out onto the riverbank apparently they spied what they took to be a snake or some other percieved danger. Suddenly they bolted, and took off at a gallop, with Walter hanging on for dear life. Although he was experienced with horses, he could not manage to regain control, and they were fast approaching town.

To the astonishment of the people who happened to be on the street, the horses, wagon and Walter flew through town at top speed with his clothes still tied to the top of his head. It was not until he had exited town that he managed to regain control of the horses and put his clothes back on. Needless to say, he was quite embarrassed by the whole incident.