Sam Allen, 79 of Devine, finds a way to do just about anything he puts a mind to. Lately, people driving through the neighborhood have been admiring his giant and unique sprinklers on wheels. They roll across one of the greenest fields in Medina County, and it didn’t happen by accident or by giving up.
“I made them myself,” Allen said. “The reason I made it is because I’m handicapped and can’t get around to water the fields in my scooter with all that mud. So I didn’t have any way of watering. Now that I have those two sprinklers, that little field is the only green thing around!”
He has the small field planted with Oats and Rye Grass mix in order to have some good grazing for his sheep and goats.
“When you get handicapped, you learn to invent a lot of things. You figure out some way to do it. These sprinklers pull the water hose real easy. I’ve got two of them, and going to build a couple more. That field is about ¾ of an acre and it takes about 2 days to get them watered,” Allen adds.
The giant sprinklers on wheels look mechanical, but they are not propelled by an engine, they are all manpower. Manpower of a man that a disability can’t stop. Using the hose attached to the sprinkler wagon, he pulls them along slowly toward the edge of the yard, stopping to water each area.
“Big weed eater wheels, PVC pipe, angle iron, a few fittings here and there, a sprinkler head, and a hose,” Allen said. “I had a lot of that sitting around, so I really only had to buy the sprinkler head and a few fittings to make it.”
He shared a little about what happened to his foot as he talked about the many ways he has overcome the disability. It all started with a little infection in August of 2018.
“I had a bacterial infection on the right foot and they took care of it, but I had an open wound and while I was out working in the field one day…it got infected again and by the time I went to the doctor, they told me they had to cut it off. So they cut off my leg from above the knee down. That was about three and a half years ago.”
He has invented simple and adaptive ways of doing just about everything from pulling gates open (using a long string), to climbing up in the deer blind, to watering his farm.
“It isn’t always easy, but I manage. When you have something like that happen, a lot of people give up,” Allen said. “But I’m not giving up.”
By Kayleen Holder