Bumps, bruises, and battle scars. For some reason I have been pondering my accident filled boyhood of 60-plus years. Yes, I know I'm not a boy anymore, but I've been accused sometimes of acting like one. I must admit that I am still a risk taker when it comes to manual labor issues, but I have learned to act a little smarter. The truth is, that my childhood injuries were really never my fault per se – well, on the other hand, I guess part of them could have been avoided if I would have been more cautious.
During my days as a teenager, I enjoyed mechanic work. My friends and I had built several mechanical contraptions during our times and as a youngster, I became a fairly good mechanic.
I had pulled the motor from my Chevrolet Bellaire and was doing a complete overhaul. I had the motor broke down and all that remained was the block.
This particular motor was a six cylinder called a straight six. I had just completed honing out the cylinder walls and had cleaned up the top of the block getting ready to begin putting the thing back together.
For some reason I had the block laying on the floor upside down and needed to roll the block over. Of course, I felt I was strong enough to do this on my own, so I placed my hands around the block to pick it up. As I got the thing about halfway off the floor, the inside of my fingers were sliced from the sharp, smooth edge I had just created on top of the block. As I felt the pressure of the motor slice into my fingers it left me with only one of two choices. Either drop the motor and probably crush my foot or take the pain and slowly lower the motor back onto the floor. I chose the latter.
Several stitches later, I had eight sliced up fingers near my palm. I remember wishing I would have asked for help. I still carry these scars to this day.
Another scar I still carry is on my left index finger. It was near Christmas in the 70's and we had just placed our Christmas tree in the house. It seems like every time I get a tree my eyes are taller than the room and I always used to get a tree that was too tall. This time I had cut a tree that was only inches from fitting into the room. The top needed to be trimmed to leave room for the angel.
As usual, I was trying to cut corners, so instead of getting the proper tool such as a saw or clippers I went to the kitchen drawer and pulled out a serrated knife. I stood precariously perched on a ladder trying to lean over the top of the tree. I grabbed the top and began a vigorous sawing motion with this knife. It slipped and sliced a nice gash into my finger just below the nail. Once again, as with the other scars, I still can see it on my finger.
A scar I do not remember receiving is one on the back of my leg. According to my mom I tried to sit on one of those pointy little oil cans as a child. The can was one of those kind seen in the Wizard of Oz movie when Dorothy is oiling up the Tin Man. I have no idea why I thought I could sit on this can. I guess I was just tired and wanted to rest. The thing stuck in the top of my leg and my mom said the can stayed temporarily stuck in my leg as I stood up. It then just slipped out.
Another story told to me is that while crawling around on the floor as a baby, I stuck my finger under a rocking chair that was being occupied by one of my family members. I know the story is true because that scar still vividly appears on my left hand.
Unfortunately I have many more stories to share of my injuries. I still carry the scars in my leg from several dog bites while working as a meter reader, another scar in my arm from throwing a throw line over handed and getting hooked in the arm while setting some fishing lines and I also have a big toe that was cut so deep while swimming in Spring Creek that the muscle no longer functions.
Next week I will share with you the story of all stories about my injuries. It will carry a warning however, because it may be a little gross to some of you.