Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All I needed was a new chair . . .

. . . but what I got was a whole new corner.

The vinyl on the stool I had used for several years was split in a couple of places and, to be honest, the thing never was comfortable anyway. It came with my keyboard and the price was right (free) so I had made use of it. I decided now was the time to treat myself to a new chair so I could work on my scrapbooks and surf the net in comfort. I checked around for prices and styles. I especially liked the ones that reminded me of the teachers' chairs when I was in school. However, that style was expensive. I looked on theEclassifieds.com [shameless plug for our website] and found a chair - with a matching desk and filing cabinet - that I could afford. I called the person who had placed the ad and made arrangements to go look at it. My mind was already made up, provided it was as nice as the photos suggested. I would have paid for the chair what she was asking for all three pieces.

If I bought the set, I would need to make room for more furniture. I had used an old drafting table for a desk so that would have to go. I didn't have much storage space for my scrapbooking supplies. While I was cleaning out my corner, why not go ahead and de-clutter? One thing led to another and, before I knew it, Keith and I were at Lowe's buying shelving. We measured, marked, and mounted. To my surprise, the shelves came out level . . . almost . . . well, let's just say things don't slide off.

The week prior, Amanda had reorganized her room and somehow had a chest of drawers left over. (I still haven't figured out where she put all her stuff but now I'm afraid to look under her bed.) Keith and I dragged the chest into my room. I put my scrapbooking paper and embellishments in the drawers. I loaded the wall shelves with the remaining supplies and filled the empty spots with knickknacks. I had a place for everything and everything was in place. I could hardly wait to get the desk and chair.

Keith was working the day the seller and I had planned to meet so I took his truck and drove to her house. The furniture looked just as I anticipated so I paid her and she offered to help me load it in the truck. It's a good thing because it is much heavier than it looks. It took all our muscle to get that desk hoisted into the truck bed. After wrapping the furniture with a quilt and tying it down, I headed home. Amanda, who won't weigh 90 pounds soaking wet, helped me unload it. We rolled the chair and filing cabinet into my room but we could only manage to get the desk into the garage. It had to wait there until Keith got home so he could help me get it into the house.

I was pleased with the way everything fit into the corner. The filing cabinet drawers open all the way without hitting the chest. While it doesn't match exactly, my old filing cabinet blends in well enough. I even treated myself to a mousepad customized with one of my favorite photos from our trips out west. The larger desk drawer is intended for a keyboard but I put my makeup in there so it now doubles as a vanity. I hope I can keep things this organized but, knowing me, it won't look this way for very long. I decided I should take a picture of it while it is still tidy. Now I'm ready for my next project. I need to move the tv but that would mean taking everything off the tv stand so I might as well upgrade to a Blu-ray player while it's disconnected . . .

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shake Shack

We traveled through the little town of Monticello, Utah, on our recent trip. There weren’t many restaurant choices so we decided to give Shake Shack a try. Jim and I went inside to see what was on the menu. While we were gone, Gloria watched as a couple of deer tried to cross the street in front of where the car was parked. After not being able to maneuver around traffic, the deer gave up and walked back to the nearby field.

Meanwhile, Jim and I were looking over the menu and noticed something called a "Shack Attack." It is an eight-patty cheeseburger, fries, and large milkshake. If you can eat it in half an hour, your next regular meal is free. A wall board displays photos of people who have tried. Several have been successful but many have not. They are called the "Hall of Fame" and the "Hall of Shame." A young boy ordered the Shack Attack while we were there, but he got it "to go" so we will never know if he ate the whole thing.

I placed my food order and asked for a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato only. The clerk told me, “It comes with everything on the side.” When I ordered Gloria’s and Daddy's food, I again had specific requests for accompaniments. The clerk repeated, “It comes with everything on the side.” Jim, who had been reading the menu and not paying attention to the clerk, gave his order and asked for no tomato on his sandwich. The clerk, in a higher pitched voice and through slightly clenched teeth, told him, “It comes with everything on the side – no matter what you order.”

Once the food was ready and we were preparing to leave, a herd of 8-10 deer came back from the field. They walked down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street from where we were parked then disappeared into the darkness.

My cheeseburger, fries with dipping sauce, and pineapple milkshake were delicious!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Medicine Wheel

We took Medicine Wheel Passage (US-14A) eastward from Lovell, Wyoming, toward Sheridan. When we saw the sign that pointed to Medicine Wheel National Historic Site atop the Bighorn Mountains, I told Jim and Gloria what I had read about the rock formation. It is a wheel-shaped structure made of stones. Measuring 80 feet in diameter, the wheel has 28 spokes. It is assumed to have been constructed by indigenous peoples of North America for astronomical, ritual, healing, and teaching purposes. I had it on my bucket list but I didn’t think there would be enough time to stop on this trip so it was not on “The Plan.” Gloria said she would like to see it. Jim turned onto the unpaved road and drove the three miles to the parking lot.

There was a gate across the road leading to the site so Daddy was going to wait in the car while we walked the rest of the way. We met a couple on their way back and we asked them how far it was. They told us it was about 1½ miles. Gloria and I knew we couldn’t walk that far. The couple suggested we open the gate and drive on out. They said persons with a handicap were allowed to take their vehicles to the site. I walked to the gate as Jim brought the car around. I ducked under the telephone pole-sized gate to get to the other side and released the hasp. The log was so heavy and it swung open with such force that I barely had time to get out of the way. Jim drove through and, with a struggle, I closed the gate and got in the car.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t going to enjoy this ride. The road was wide enough to pass a pedestrian but probably not another car, there was no guard rail or shoulder, and it was on the side of a mountain. I said, “Jimmy! I don’t know about this!” He asked, “Do you want me to back down?” I looked behind us at the narrow dirt road. I told him to keep going. I turned my head toward the bank on the left.

We finally reached the Medicine Wheel and Jim got the car turned and parked. He, Gloria, and I walked over to the rock formation which was enclosed by posts and rope. We walked around the circle to the left, as the sign instructed, so we wouldn’t disrupt any karma. We wondered what ceremonies might have been performed here by ancient peoples. Other visitors had left mementos, such as scarves, beadwork, and amulets, on the rope. As a show of respect, I sometimes place trinkets at places I visit so I decided to leave something here as well. Remembering that I had broken the charm off my bracelet the day before, I went to the car and retrieved the chain. I squatted down to wrap the bracelet around the rope and fasten it. Jim said he felt he should say something and began chanting, “Mekka lekka hi mekka hiney ho.”

Gloria said she was going to pray for me because I was dabbling in spiritism. She said, “Jehovah God, forgive her because she knows not what she does.” At that very moment, a great wind blew from the north, pushing me off balance, and I fell flat on my behind. I was startled and embarrassed at first, but when I realized I couldn’t get up, I started laughing. Jim and Gloria stood there laughing at me until Jim finally felt sorry for me and helped me to my feet. Gloria said she was glad to see me get my comeuppance. Was I being punished for “dabbling in spiritism” or for leaving a broken bracelet at this sacred site?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Day in August

The August day dawned hot and muggy in much the same way as the one before it and the one before that. Like their neighbors, the young couple was trying to scratch out a living from the southwest Virginia dirt. They eagerly anticipated the birth of their first child but, times being what they were, the mother-to-be kept working in the field even though her due date was fast approaching. From all indications, this might even be the big day.

By late afternoon, she was sure it was time. She sent her husband to fetch her sister and two sisters-in-law who lived nearby. She rested on the bed – the same bed in which her mother had spent her final moments on earth six years earlier. There would be no trip to the hospital. The birth would take place at home. Once the three ladies arrived, her husband was all but banished from the room. He took up a position in the kitchen to wait for the blessed event – and to be nearby in case the request came for boiling water like it always did in the movies.

The evening wore on with no word of any progress until one of the ladies came and told him to call for the nurse. There was no phone in their little four-room log house so he walked half a mile to the nearest telephone. He called the nurse who agreed to come right away. Once she arrived, she disappeared into the room with the other ladies.

After some time had passed, the nurse came out and said the doctor was needed. He walked up the hill once more to the house with the telephone. He called the doctor and told him of the nurse’s request. The doctor wasn’t familiar with the area where they lived so he asked the husband to meet him and be his guide. They decided on a location and he went back to inform the others. The next thing he had to do was figure out how to get to the meeting place since they had no vehicle.

He went to his brother-in-law who readily agreed to let the fretful father-to-be borrow the only mode of transportation available. He then headed up the road as fast as the farm tractor would take him. By that time, it was pitch dark, a thick fog had developed, and he could barely see the way. He reached the designated location and waited for the doctor to arrive. An hour elapsed between the time the doctor had been summoned and the time they reached the little house.

The doctor allowed the nurse to leave and he assessed the situation. By now, the mother was tired, weak, and in excruciating pain. He decided the best course of action would be to let her rest. He administered the ether and she drifted off to sleep. The combination of oppressive heat and humidity added to the daunting task ahead of him. Two lives were in his hands. With the mother asleep and unable to assist, it would be a difficult delivery. The three ladies stayed tirelessly by his side.

Finally, at 3:45 a.m. on August 3, 1956, the baby girl was born. She never cried nor even whimpered, yet she appeared healthy in all respects. After she was cleaned and swaddled, her aunt carried the newborn to the kitchen to her waiting father. She was gently placed into his outstretched hands and she lay there quietly. He looked into her eyes and, at that instant, she became Daddy’s little girl.

The mother recovered quickly and was soon able to go about her daily routine. They continued to live there in that little log house.

That’s the story of how we became a family as related to me by my dad and my aunt.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Colorado for Coffee

“Where’s the nearest Dutch Bros. Coffee?” That question got my attention.

“Lemme look,” I replied. Jim was surprised that I didn’t have it memorized. We had both got hooked on their coffee while we were in Oregon last year. A large blended Caramelizer sounded good.

Colorado Springs seemed to be their closest store with two located there. “Colorado for Coffee” – it had a nice ring to it. I couldn’t get Jim to commit. He kept telling me it would be an unplanned trip. We both took off some extra time on the Fourth of July weekend. I picked up Daddy and we headed to Jim’s.

We left the Nashville, TN area around 7:00 pm CDT on Thursday, June 30 with the trip meter set at zero. We stopped and got supper then took I-24 westbound through Kentucky. Jim played the music on his phone through the car’s radio and we sang until I got hoarse. We entered Illinois at 9:53 pm. We took I-57 northward and stopped in Marion to get a motel room but none were available. The Miss Illinois beauty pageant was being held there that weekend. We continued on to Mount Vernon where we stopped for the night. It was 11:45 pm and there were 252.5 miles on the meter.

We left Mount Vernon, IL at 8:05 am CDT on Friday, July 1. We took I-64 westbound to St. Louis and then got on I-70. We ate lunch at 87 Diner in Boonville. We bypassed Kansas City on I-435 and then took I-29 northbound. Extreme flooding of the Missouri River had caused closure of I-29, US-136, and IA/NE-2. We had to detour onto US-136 eastbound and then took US-59 northward into Iowa. We got back on I-29 and then took I-80 westbound through Omaha. We stopped for supper at Runza just east of Lincoln. We do like our “regional favorites” and no trip through Nebraska is complete without a Runza. We continued westward until we reached Gothenburg. It was 11:28 pm and the trip meter read 1,030.3.

We left Gothenburg, NE at 8:40 am CDT on Saturday, July 2 on I-80 westbound. We ran into rain near North Platte and it continued to rain off and on for several miles. We hit the Mountain Time zone at 9:54 am at the Keith County line. Near Big Springs, we exited onto I-76. We entered Colorado at 9:36 am MDT. We exited onto US-34 and stopped in Greeley for lunch at JB’s Drive-In, a classic from the 1950s. We continued on US-34 through Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park where we arrived at the Rocky Mountain National Park entrance at 3:00 pm. We drove across the Rockies via US-34 which is also known as Trail Ridge Road. The scenery was amazing but I sure felt the effects of the altitude. We exited the park near Granby where we got on US-40 which took us to I-70. Daddy wanted to see Denver so we drove up I-25 and then down Colorado Blvd through town. Back on I-25 southbound, we stopped in Castle Rock for supper at Red Robin. We spent the night in Colorado Springs after driving 563.2 miles.

We left Colorado Springs, CO at 8:54 am MDT on Sunday, July 3. I had overslept – that was 10:54 my time! Our first stop was at Dutch Bros. Coffee. We had driven over 1,600 miles and it was well worth it. We took US-24 toward Manitou Springs and started up the Pikes Peak road. There was construction and traffic was backed up so Jim turned around at the North Pole (a tourist attraction). We had attempted to go to the summit of Pikes Peak in February 1977 but were stopped then because the road was closed due to snow. I am determined to try again in another 34 years, if Jim will take me. We went to Garden of the Gods and enjoyed the splendor of the red rock formations. After leaving there, we drove through Old Colorado City and back to the second Dutch Bros. location for another coffee. Jim and I had drunk coffee all the way from Tennessee. By this time, I was in caffeine overload. I could only take a few drinks and had to throw away the rest of it.

We took I-25 southbound to Pueblo and exited onto US-50 through La Junta. After lunch at Carl’s Jr, we stopped at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. Jim and I both collect National Park Service passport stamps and neither of us had this one. We continued on US-50 and entered Kansas at 4:16 pm MDT. We hit the Central Time zone at 4:45 pm at the Kearny County line. Before reaching Garden City, we stopped for photos of the Santa Fe Trail wagon ruts. It began to rain near Dodge City but we still stopped at Boot Hill for some photographs of the famous Front Street. We got supper at Taco Tico then took US-400 eastward through Pratt. We could see their fireworks display for several miles and it was rather impressive for a small town. We reached Wichita around 11:30 pm CDT and the trip meter read 2,108.0.

We left Wichita, KS at 8:45 am CDT on Monday, July 4. We took I-35 northbound until we came to the exit to the Flint Hills Scenic Byway. “There’s stuff to see in daylight. We can stay on the interstate after dark” was Jim’s way of thinking. We drove on KS-177 past gentle rolling hills and entered the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. To our surprise, there was a visitor center – with an NPS passport stamp! After getting our stamp and photos, we continued to Council Grove where we took US-56 eastward to I-335 and Topeka. From there, I-70 eastbound brought us through Kansas City and back into Missouri. Jim and I decided we were going to have a late lunch / early supper at Lion’s Choice, which is only available in the St. Louis area, so we got Daddy a hot dog in Oak Grove and we just snacked until we got to O’Fallon. We retraced our route to Mount Vernon, IL through Paducah, KY and into Tennessee. We arrived at Jim’s house at 11:25 pm. The trip meter showed we had driven 2,885.3 miles to Colorado and back. Not counting the partial day on Thursday, we averaged 658.2 miles and approximately 14.75 hours per day.

Some – actually many – people tell me they couldn't travel like this. They question why I take Daddy on these trips. The truth is I wouldn't want to travel any other way and Daddy wants to go any time the wheels are rolling. Give us about six weeks and we'll be on the road again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ten Years

It was on June 2, 2001, that I told my mom good-bye for the last time. She was surrounded by her family as the angels came to take her home. My heart still aches as I remember it. I think about her every day.
Sometimes when I look at my hands, I think of hers. She had strong hands and they were always moving. I’ve watched her hands while she peeled potatoes, stitched a quilt, set tobacco, squeezed out cat-head biscuits, planted a garden, or played “Rooster, Pullet, Hen” with an unsuspecting child. If you’re not familiar with that little game, it went like this: She would touch a youngster’s forehead and say, “This is the rooster.” Then she’d touch his nose and say, “This is the pullet.” She would touch his chin and say, “This is the hen.” She’d touch his nose once more and ask, “What’d I say that was?” When he answered “Pullet” . . . she would.
She could tie the prettiest hand of tobacco. She tied backwards, but the hands were neat and tight. After Daddy packed them on the basket, it was almost a work of art. Daddy told me that he never once asked Mom to go help him on the farm. She would ask him every night about his plans for the next day. She would be up the following morning and ready to go by the time he got out of bed. She loved to work, whether it was in the field or in the kitchen.
Mom was the best cook I’ve ever known. It was old fashioned country cooking, much of which came from the garden, either fresh or canned. New potatoes, fried corn, green beans, peas, sliced tomatoes – I can taste them now. Sometimes she didn’t even have to go to the garden, for example when she cooked dandelion greens or fried poke stalk. She would bake a pan of cornbread every evening. When there was work to be done on the farm, she made a big breakfast, including biscuits and gravy, so they would get a substantial start to the day. I can’t imagine cooking breakfast, packing lunch (which was called “dinner”), working all day in the field, cooking supper in the evening, washing dishes, then doing the household chores – and never once complaining about it.
I don’t know how many quilts Mom made. It seemed every winter she would piece a new top. She and other ladies in the neighborhood would set up a quilting frame in an empty room or even a vacant house. They would then meet to put the quilt together. I was amazed at the way Mom’s hand rocked back and forth as she made the quilting stitches. The stitches were so tiny, they looked as though they had been done on a machine.
Mom loved to sleep so she could dream. That was the only time she could see. If all the things above weren’t amazing enough, she did them even though she was legally blind. During the last several years of her life, she could only distinguish light from dark. As she held my newborn daughter on her lap twenty years ago, she said, “I can see the light shining in your eyes.”
Mom started losing her eyesight just a few years after I was born. It never stopped her – it just made life more challenging for her. If she wanted to see your facial features, she would “look” at you with her hands. If you were a man with a beard, you could expect to have it pulled as she felt of your face. When the electricity goes off and I’m groping around in the dark trying to find a flashlight, I think about how her every waking moment was like that. I don’t think I could ever be as brave as she was.
I admire my mom for her perseverance, her strength, her love of hard work, and her love of family. I miss her so much and I still love her with all my heart.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Classic Commercials

The “See the USA” commercial on Glee reminded me of other classic television commercials that I miss. Once I got started making this list, it was hard to stop! How many of these products can you guess from the slogan? It helps to be older’n dirt, like I am.

1. See the USA in a __________.
2. It’s the real thing.
3. Double your pleasure, double your fun.
4. __________ tastes good like a cigarette should. (Yes, they once advertised cigarettes on tv!)
5. The music goes “Zoom zoom”; the drummer goes “Boom boom”; and everybody shouts “Hooray for __________.”
6. Oh, __________ I’m glad they put real borax in you.
7. Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us, all we ask is that you let us serve it your way.
8. Does she or doesn’t she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.
9. The quality goes in before the name goes on.
10. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!
11. No one can eat just one.
12. Ancient Chinese secret, huh?
13. Is it live or is it __________.
14. __________ has a better idea.
15. Taste that beats the others cold, __________ pours it on.
16. Stronger than dirt.
17. __________ is your kind of place.
18. Come to where the flavor is.
19. I’d like to buy the world a __________.
20. Fill it to the rim with __________.
21. You’ve come a long way, baby.
22. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz; oh, what a relief it is.
23. From one beer lover to another.
24. __________ melt in your mouth, not in your hands.
25. Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.
26. When you’re number two, you try harder.
27. Reach out and touch someone.
28. Look, Ma, no cavities!
29. Put a tiger in your tank.
30. Good to the last drop.
31. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.
32. When you’re out of __________, you’re out of beer.
33. __________, __________ tastes great. Wish we had some, can’t wait.
34. Wouldn’t you really rather have a __________?
35. In the valley of the jolly, “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
36. Aren’t you glad you use __________? Don’t you wish everybody did?
37. You can trust your car to the man who wears the star.
38. Get a little closer, don’t be shy.
39. Bring out the __________ and bring out the best.
40. You’ll love those tiny little tea leaves in __________ tea.
41. Nothing says loving like something from the oven.
42. My wife, I think I’ll keep her.
43. Everybody doesn’t like something but nobody doesn’t like __________.
44. Fly the friendly skies of __________.
45. The dogs kids love to bite.
46. You’re not fully clean unless you’re _____-fully clean.
47. Us __________ smokers would rather fight than switch.
48. You get a quick tan, a double tan, when you use __________.
49. Please don’t squeeze the __________.
50. So complete, all you add is love.
51. No more ring around the collar.
52. If it says __________, __________, __________ on the label you will like it, like it, like it on your table, table, table.
53. Tastes so good, makes you feel like a king.
54. Sorry, Charlie, __________ doesn’t want tuna with good taste. __________ wants tuna that tastes good!
55. There’s always room for __________.
56. Nothing beats a great pair of __________.
57. Take __________ tonight and sleep. Safe and restful, sleep, sleep, sleep.
58. All of my men wear __________ or they wear nothing at all.
59. Raise your hand if you’re __________.
60. Be careful how you use it.

Here is a bonus for the locals:
Stop, shop, and save at the sign of the shears and the name __________.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grandma's Bed

It's old. It's too small for today's mattress sizes. The finish is scratched and worn. It belonged to my grandmother. I wouldn't part with it for anything. I was three years old when she passed away. Grandma always wore a headscarf, she dipped snuff, and she was living in the house with us. I once thought my head was stuck between the rails of our stairs. I cried and screamed until Grandma told me to straighten my head and pull it back out.
Grandma enjoyed playing with me and my kittens. I would bring a kitten to her and she would swaddle it in one of her scarves. One day, she was sitting in her rocking chair, trying so hard to wrap my kitten but her hands just weren't able to get the scarf folded correctly. I looked up at her face and she was staring straight ahead. A little bit of ambeer was trickling from the corner of her mouth. Even though I was only three, I knew something was terribly wrong. I ran and got my dad. Grandma had suffered a stroke. She passed away in the hospital sometime later.
My cousin once told me that when she gets really lonesome for her mother, she takes her mom's sweater from the closet and puts it on. It still has the faint aroma of her mother's favorite perfume. This gives her the feeling of being wrapped in her mother's loving arms. When I get sad, I lie on this bed, close my eyes, and let the memory of my grandmother's love console me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Since When

When was the last time you heard someone say . . .

Regular or high-test?

You go turn the antenna and I’ll holler when the picture is good.

I can’t do laundry today – it’s supposed to rain.

How many are on your party line?

Bring in a bucket of coal.

It’s a brand new 45 and it skips.

How long is your gum wrapper chain?

Don’t forget your earmuffs.

We’re almost out of lard.

Bank the fire before you go to bed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Vaguely Remember

This is the type of winter we had when I was growing up: snow after snow after snow. Oh, how I enjoyed making a snowman, eating snow cream, and taking turns riding Randy’s and Larry’s sled. I have fond memories of my childhood but I don’t have many of them and the ones I have aren’t detailed. I blame that on Butch Harless.

I was in the second grade at Flatwoods School. Flatwoods was actually two schools in separate buildings. The older building was the elementary school (grades 1 – 7) and the newer building was the high school (grades 8 – 12). There was no kindergarten back in the olden days and I had only heard of “junior high” in books. The driveway for buses and cars made a loop between the two buildings. I once got hit by a car as I was coming back from buying ice cream in the high school building at recess. That doesn’t have anything to do with my poor memory – just my poor judgment.
Elementary and high school shared the same principal, Mr. Samuel Chester “S.C.” Hobbs, and his office was in the high school building. There were different rules for the elementary students than for the high school kids. For example, the boys in high school were allowed to carry pocket knives and they could smoke at the gate out back. This helps explain my confusion when the song “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” became popular. “Everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school” so why didn’t they just go to the gate?
Butch Harless and his buddy, Mack, had failed a few grades. They had been “held back,” as it is called nowadays. They were the only students I knew who drove to school . . . in the seventh grade. Mack was taller than the teachers so they had long since stopped trying to discipline him. Paddling was out of the question for either of them. When they got in trouble for smoking at the gate with the high school boys or for playing mumbly peg, they were sent to the principal’s office. It was common for one or both of them to be expelled for three days.
It’s not surprising then that the rule against running in the halls was largely ignored by Butch and Mack. During recess on that fateful day, I had gone to Mrs. Bertha Taylor’s room. The bell rang and I headed out the door to get back to my own room. Just as I stepped into the hallway, Butch came running in from the outside where the usual gang had been playing ball. He knocked me down and the back of my head hit the tile-covered concrete floor.
Have you ever seen or heard something that reminded you of a dream you had the night before but you can only remember bits and pieces of the dream? That’s the way it is with my memory of this event. My BFF, Lucy, walked me to our classroom as the tears streamed down my face. (Of course, we weren’t called BFFs back then but we had made a pinky promise to be friends for life.) I started going blind so someone got my cousin, Bunny, since I have no brothers or sisters, to come help me. While I was sitting in the classroom, the other kids were testing me with “How many fingers am I holding up?” or “What kind of book is this?” to find out if I really couldn’t see them.
Someone called my aunt Emma and told her what had happened. We didn’t have a phone at our house so I assume either Emma or J.C. went down to tell Mom and Dad. Meanwhile, I got sick at my stomach so Bunny had to lead me to the girls’ restroom. I didn’t make it in time. I wonder how many sick school kids our janitor, Mr. J.B. Horton, had to clean up after. I still recall the smell of that red compound he would push up and down the halls with his dust broom.
When Mom and Dad got to the school, they took me to the hospital at Pennington Gap. My sight slowly began to return. They did a skull X-ray at the hospital but, back then, the results weren’t instant like they are now. Since I seemed to be doing better, they sent me home. Three days later, we got the report that there was a hairline fracture in my skull. There you have it – dain bramage.
The story you have just read is true. Some of the names were changed to protect the innocent. More accurately, they were changed to protect ME in case “Butch” or “Mack” ever gets wind of this.