Sunday, January 15, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 15th Installment

Besides our clothes, we got our school supplies from the mailman and didn’t get to go shopping. Other than the small general store in Hamer where we sometimes got to pick out some penny candy, I never got to shop for anything in town. We did pour over the catalogs picking out things in the toy section, but we purchased things only in our imaginations and in no way shopped for real. Of course, we always received toys on Christmas and our birthdays – and best of all, we got our brick of bullets – life was good.

          I never went to town, not once in my young life. Well, that's not true. I broke my arm when I was six, and we went to a clinic in Rigby to get it set and in a plaster cast. I had great fun with that hard cast on my arm. It was a perfect ‘V’ shape to hook around someone's neck and hold them down and made a pretty good club too. The only other time was when I was four years old, a trip that had a profound and terrifying effect on our family. The Old Man's flat bed farm truck had been the only vehicle we owned that was legal to take on the county road until Vernon got his first automobile – a fairly new 1947 or 48 Plymouth with suicide doors. The front doors opened forward like any safe normal car, but the backseat doors opened backwards. The ‘suicide’ supposedly would be accomplished by popping the back door open while the car was speeding down the road. The wind would catch the door, jerk it open, and fling the unfortunate soul out the door. Well, we were zipping down the road one night in the jaunty gray Plymouth at about 50 miles per hour. The folks were safely in front and Linda, Russell, and I were in the back. I remember being in the car and fiddling around with the door handle, and then, whoosh – I was flung out just like the suicide guy I mentioned before. The next thing I remember I was struggling to crawl. Edith told me that as they were slamming the car to a stop she looked back in horror. There was an on–coming car passing our car, and in the headlights, she could see me crawling off to the side of the road. The other car stopped and it turned out to be Mae and Bob, our relatives. They thought I was a wounded dog struggling off the road. Edith was already out of the car running back to me. She gathered me up like a bundle of rags and turning to meet Mae and Bob, Edith just climbed in the back of their car because they were pointing back toward town and the Sacred Heart Hospital. I must have gained consciousness for a short time because I remember Edith saying “He’s bleeding all over, this is bad.” 

500 more words tomorrow

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