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Sunday December 5, 2021

Shooting Your Anvil

Written by Mike Knowles
Category: Humor
Hits: 5223

Gold Hill Colorado (outside of Boulder in the foothills) has a unique 4th of July ritual for which I was once called upon to offer my services. The organizers of the annual Gold Hill 4th of July celebration needed my anvil for a few hours.

The phone rang the evening of July 3rd. "Hello, Sir, this is Trish, co-ordinator of the the town of Gold Hill 4th of July Celebration, and we'd like to borrow your anvil." "My Anvil?" I asked. "Yes, what kind do you have?" "A GE, the new model with the clip horn," I replied. "How much does it weigh?" the friendly female voice asked. "A little over a hundred pounds, I guess". "Good. Can you be there by 12 noon so we can test it?" I thought to myself, test it? "Sure! But I assure you that it works just fine!" I was stumped thinking about what they wanted it for.

The next day I drove my rig over from my place to Gold Hill, to their softball field, where there was a stage being set up, banners were being strung up and a ball game was winding down. This must be the place. The view was spectacular. The Continental Divide was visible to the west with it's snowcapped mountains, and to the east, the plains were clear all the way to Kansas.

One of the town's oldtimers, a well weathered ex-miner named "Red," came up to me as soon as he saw the forge in the back of my truck. "You must be Mike. My anvil's over there. I'll help you move yours over to mine," Red said, the Red Man drooling out of the corner of his mouth onto the suspender of his overalls. I was really stumped now about this whole thing. When we got over to Red's anvil, I noticed that it was half buried in the ground, with the base sticking up. He had an old one, and the center of the base was partly hollow. After bringing my nice new GE anvil over, (it was a beut!) Red got out some black powder (gunpowder) and filled up that hollow center in the base of his inverted anvil. After laying a 1 foot length of fuse across the base, I gently set my anvil on top of Red's anvil so they were base-to-base, with mine right-side-up on top.Red sent me to clear the area. "Now we're going to shoot your anvil" he said. "Fire in the hole!" Once clear, he lit the fuse. We ran for cover. Blam!

My GE was airborne! It went so far up that it was just a little dot in the sky. Kinda looked like a bird! Then it came down with a vengeance! Spinning wildly, it took a curve and headed straight for Trish's old '72 Duster. With a loud slam that sounded like a big can opener, my GE anvil sliced through the top of her car, through the front seat, through the floor and buried itself halfway in the ground. Cheers roared from the crowd that was watching. Red and I walked over to the car. I looked in through the hole in the roof. "Looks like your anvil will work just fine," Red drooled. Trish came over and agreed, mentioning something about wanting a sunroof anyway.

Soon Red and I were getting this anvil trick ready for the finale. When we shot it off just before dusk to kick off the celebration, it flew high and made a wide smooth arc. Cheers and applause echoed across the field. Without any obstructions, it came down hard and completely buried itself in the sandy ballfield. I ran over to dig it up. When I did, I saw that it didn't have a scratch on it. I continued to use that anvil until I quit shoeing 7 years later! Disclaimer: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME! My applause to GE for a fine anvil!

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