There Are No Hook-and-Ladders in Harrison County

Then I headed to the tallest deer stand in North America. To get there, I crossed Pole Cat Creek, and passed up the Toot Toot in Bethany, a restaurant with a rail theme. I turned north, and picked up a Cardinals ball game on the local radio. I passed a boat, a runabout stuck stern first in the ground, buried to its steering wheel, the gunwales forming a perfect planter for this fiberglass flower pot. I drove through towns like Blythedale where the population beneath headstones easily doubles the number of breathers. And then I saw it…

Up near the Iowa border, where the prairie affords long views, the deer don’t have much chance to avoid buckshot, so they just multiply like rabbits. From a mile away, I spied a wooden structure that was taller than a fire tower. The deer stand was so tall that the ladder propped against the top of the tower like a hook & ladder truck, forming an isosceles triangle with the ground, a good 30 feet per side.

You wouldn’t need a hook & ladder in Harrison County. Nothing’s that tall, save that deer stand, oh and the grain elevators. If a grain elevators catches fire, stand back until it blows up. Then bring weenies & marshmallows. In the distance, one grain elevator stood tall on this prairie landscape, maybe 20 stories tall. I circled it, on four different highways, and I could see it from every vantage point, even five miles away.

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