Logan StoryCorps: The tale of Ol' Stinky
JASON KIMBER: My name is Jason Kimber. I'm inside a beautiful Airstream trailer.
DAVID SIMMONS: I'm David Simmons.
JASON KIMBER: Basically, we're best friends. And Dave will be my interviewer.
DAVID SIMMONS: Jason, you grew up in the beautiful sage-y unincorporated community Grouse Creek.
JASON KIMBER: My ancestors were some of the very first people to go out there. People say how big is that? I would say it's a population of about 100 people and I always round up.
DAVID SIMMONS: So what was it like growing up out in Grouse Creek?
JASON KIMBER: Oh, I had about 70 sheep. Beautiful fall afternoon, my brother and I were raking leaves, crisp in the air. My sheep were just out kind of —
DAVID SIMMONS: — grazing —
JASON KIMBER: — grazing in the field to the south.
DAVID SIMMONS: Beautiful.
JASON KIMBER: Their wool coats had really started to grow in and preparatory for the cold winter ahead. I hear ... I hear a little lamb in distress.
DAVID SIMMONS: What does that sound like?
JASON KIMBER: Ba-a-a-hel-el-p! Something like that. It's coming from the direction of the cesspool.
DAVID SIMMONS: Oh no.
JASON KIMBER: I know. I run over there. Huge, tall weeds have grown around it. I get closer. I peer over the weeds and my lamb has stumbled into this cesspool. It's disgusting. Can you think of a worse way to go? And so I run over to... I'm like, “Wade! Wade, you gotta help me; like we've got a problem. One of my lambs is in the sewer.”
DAVID SIMMONS: Wade is your brother.
JASON KIMBER: Wade's my older brother, by five years. Great protector, great brother. Until this day.
To his credit, he dropped his rake and ran over quickly. He looked in the cesspool, he saw the sheep. He looked at me, looked at the sheep, he looked at me. And he's like, “Nope.” I'm like, “What a jerk. Put some time into the schedule later to hate him for this.” I mean, this little lamb was just doing its best to keep his little lamb nose above...
DAVID SIMMONS: Not water!
JASON KIMBER: Above that stuff.
DAVID SIMMONS: Yeah.
JASON KIMBER: I couldn't do it. So I just ... I smashed all the weeds down with my little 10-year-old body. I'm kind of like army crawling, getting close to the edge. I reach out Dave, but I'm just stretching with all I'm worth to just reach for my lamb. We're locking eyes. Like, he knows that I'm going to save him. And I ... I just will my fingers to grow just a little bit longer. And buddy, I just clenched my fingers into his wooly little shoulders, you know what I mean? And I start to pull ... and I start to pull ... and he gets closer to me, and I'm like, “I got this.”
Well, we get to the edge. He was a heavy. Heavier than he normally would have been because he's now saturated. And with all my 10-year-old strength, I pull him up out of the bog of eternal stench. It just smells so bad. I pull that lamb up. And I basically pull him right into my chest and I fall down onto my back and he's just sitting there. And Dave, it would be disingenuous for me if I didn't say there was a moment where I was, “Would it have been so bad if I lost one?”
But that was a fleeting thought. He jumped off — kind of rolled off. Stood and I think this must be something in the animal kingdom — the lamb starts to shake.
DAVID SIMMONS: Oh boy.
JASON KIMBER: And I'm just right there. It's just all over me.
I just lay there wiping the stuff, basically from my eyes. And I look up and I'm like, “What just happened?” And then I hear another noise and it's my brother. He is leaning on his rake for all it's worth because he is laughing harder than I've ever heard him laugh before. The rake gives way, he rolls onto the ground. He's into the leaves, like it's a mess. I'm like, “You know what, I'm gonna go in the house. My mom will save me.” And she saw me coming and she met me at the door. She didn't have to say anything. But in my mind, I heard it. “Don't even think about coming into my home after what just happened.”
Fast forward to the spring when it's sharing time. And we had the sheep shearer come — a professional sheep shearer. He was so fast and so fun to watch. My job was to just make sure that he always had a sheep
DAVID SIMMONS: Assembly line type of deal. You're just passing him sheep.
JASON KIMBER: Yeah, I'm just passing them on. And I knew Ol' Stinky was coming. You know what I mean? So I didn't want to tell ... but like his wool was stained. I made sure that he got to him.
He, he grabs him. He's like, “What?” he sheared him real quickly. My job was also to take the fleece and to put it in the sack and I just want ahead and took that pleace and put it ...
DAVID SIMMONS: In the garbage.
JASON KIMBER: In the garbage, yeah, because what are you gonna do with, like, stinky wool?
DAVID SIMMONS: Not making a T-shirt out of that! Poor guy.
JASON KIMBER: But I love … I love animals.
DAVID SIMMONS: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and go down a little memory lane and do this interview.
JASON KIMBER: Thank you, Dave.