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Drunken Hired Hand Falls Off Horse, Sleeps in Ditch

Sam Cherry was a hired man who worked for a number of ranches in the Shasta Valley east of Yreka, Calif.  Originally from the Ozarks, he moved to Siskiyou County from Oregon in 1930.

Cherry’s drinking got him into a lot of trouble. One day he arrived for work at the York Ranch, hung over and itching for a fight. As he climbed up the ladder onto the harvester, Leonard York was oiling the chains on the rig and could see trouble coming. Before Cherry reached the top of the ladder, York dumped the whole pot of oil on Cherry’s head.  Startled but subdued, Cherry quit and left the ranch.
In another escapade, while working on the Morton ranch, Cherry abandoned his assigned horse in a grain field. Matt Morton, furious, locked up the saddle and bridle out of Cherry’s reach. The enterprising Cherry cut the lock, saddled and bridled the horse and headed for town. Drunk again, he fell off the horse and landed in a ditch. That’s where he spent the night. The horse wandered home.
Sam Cherry sure loved to drink.

Source: Fiock, Norman E. Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook. 1985th ed. Vol. 5. Yreka: Siskiyou County Historical Society, 1958. 141. No 8 vol. Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.