Siblings celebrate life’s ups and downs

Rudolph Bradberry took a nasty fall but kept moving and it wasn’t the first time.

“I had fastened a cable to my pickup bumper, then climbed the ladder to loop it around a limb and the ladder shifted,” said 92-year–old Bradberry, explaining how he fell out of his pecan tree.

He was planning to use the truck to shake down pecans, he said.

“I was trying to gather them before the squirrels got them.”

This is not the first time Bradberry has fallen from a tree.

“One time he was cutting a tree and it fell on him,” said his sister, 90-year-old Ovelle Rasco.

“I couldn’t get it to fall and climbed it to ride it down and break it off,” he said.

“We were just kids,” Rasco added. “And I told him it would fall on top of him, and he said no, he would be on top of it. But it fell on top of him.”

Bradberry and Rasco were reminiscing at their recent joint birthday celebration held at the Chelsea home of Bradberry’s daughter Doris Ward. They celebrate together, Rasco said, because Rudy’s birthday is December 17 and hers is December 16.

Celebrating with them were several family members including their sister, 88-year-old Earnestine Bentley.

I was fortunate enough to be included, too, and I asked Bradberry what he does besides climb trees. He stays busy, he told me.

He built his house a few years ago. Now, among other things, he takes care of his dog, raises a big garden and works on his tractor.

“Whether it needs it or not,” Bentley interjected.

For several years he had trouble keeping deer out of his garden, he said. Even an electric fence couldn’t keep them out because they could jump it.

Then he read on the internet a way to keep them out: smear a little peanut butter along the top of the fence. When they smelled it they would stick their noses to it, get a shock and run away.

“Deer must have a good memory,” Bradberry said, “because now they stay out.”

Bradberry is doing well after his October fall, but still has to go for treatments on his arms where they were skinned really bad, his daughter said. It hasn’t however slowed him down. Although, he might not climb try to climb into any trees for a while.