The Old Barn

It was a week ago today. A Wednesday. We were browsing through someone’s Facebook page after learning they were involved in an ‘incident’ we had also been a part of earlier that evening …

Among perhaps a half dozen updates this woman had made that day:

“Happy hump day!” 

Sitting around the dining room table talking about what we had stumbled upon that night, we all absolutely bust out laughing.


It was a perfect summer night, that Wednesday night here in eastern South Dakota. Not too hot. The sun was coming down in the sky. We couldn’t have had a better evening to take senior photos for a truly wonderful young man.

Tucker 25

His mother had picked some spots around the family farm she felt would work well and that would be meaningful to them. We had a few more spots to hit and we were trying to decide which we would tackle next when the boy’s mother said, “I really want to show you this old barn. It’s a friend of ours place and we were over there just a few hours ago to look at it. I think getting his picture taken in the doorway of this barn would just be so cool. Is it okay if I take you up there?”

barn doorWe all piled in the truck. Mom, her soon-to-be senior, the Cowboy and I. We talked about the place all the way over there, about how it was abandoned and no one ever goes here and how its a shame according to the mom, because this is the most beautiful barn. We came across the neighbor who’s place it was on the way, he was picking up another load of hay bales from alongside the road. He reassured us, we could go wherever we wanted for pictures and to have fun.

About two miles further up the road, we turned into the drive. I spotted them immediately. There, far enough back off the road you wouldn’t ever really see them in simply passing by, sat two very clean, pricey and pretty cars in an area of mostly dirt roads. As we pulled further down the drive, I said to the mom, “I thought no one was ever here.”

“There shouldn’t be,” she answered. We continue to approach both the cars and the coveted barn. “See, that’s the barn,” she says to me.

I wasn’t sure if she was going to shut the truck off and get out but I didn’t give her a chance. I had been glancing around between the house and the other buildings for either any sign of life or the barrel of a shotgun pointed in our direction. My mind was thinking perhaps we were walking into any number of situations we do not want to be a part of. At all.

“I’m not getting out of the truck,” I told her. “I’m sorry .. I’ve just covered too many stories over the years where situations like this didn’t turn out well. Whoever is here obviously doesn’t want to be seen and they clearly aren’t showing themselves right now.”

I believe I may have been the only one overly concerned about it being something of that magnitude, but everyone stayed in the truck, mom turned it around and we dialed the owners number as we pulled back out toward the road. “Wait a minute,” the mom said and she backed up. “Grab the plate numbers and we’ll find out who they belong to and if there is cause for concern or if we’re just coming upon two people who are here and probably shouldn’t be ..”

“I think they’re in there hooking up,” said the Cowboy, in-between laughs, from the back seat.


The property owner met us about 15 minutes later. We had the names of the people the plates were registered to and we were relatively sure it wasn’t a meth lab we were busting up by going back to the farm. Wearing a fairly big grin, the owner stepped into the barn, listened for a moment and then said to the voices he heard above, they needed to come down. The voices stopped. There was no answer. He went in again a few minutes later, letting them know there was an employee of that particular County Sheriff’s office on the property and if necessary we’d get them a police escort.

A few minutes later, a man and a woman walked out, wide-eyed, apologizing and trying to act somewhat oblivious they might have been tresspassing.

“We just wanted to look around,” the two of them said sheepishly. “We’re sorry. We didn’t realize we shouldn’t be here.” They should have quit talking at that point and left as no one was trying to keep them there.

“I think we should call this place the No-Tell Motel,” the Cowboy said, as the two were driving off in their separate cars. We all bust out laughing ..


While there are many other details of the story that would be entertaining to share, they’re not important. Besides, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble nor am I here to judge. Point is, our senior has quite a story to tell his friends when he heads back to school in a couple of weeks about that evening. And my 12-year-old now understands, I believe, what the word hump might mean besides the fact ‘hump’ combined with the word ‘day’ means it’s Wednesday and you’re halfway through the workweek.  We are still all laughing over that post.

Including our senior. And the smile on his face for the photos at that barn, will forever be priceless.