127 S. Douglas St., Bronson, Michigan 49028
Then, there was the time a few years later when, as a young man of around 12 summers, I was the victim of a two pronged accident, or accidents which might sound rather comical now but which I prefer to call peculiar, as they were anything but comical to me at the time.
The first of these happened at my uncles farm home when a couple of pairs of meddlesome hands (my brothers and mine) were trying, without permission or knowledge of our uncle, to lift one of those new-fangled contraptions which they called a lawn mower down from a bench, where they had it stored, for closer inspection and probably a few adjustments. Well, somehow the thing got away from us and fell, the sharp edge of one of the iron wheels landing edgewise on the nail of the big toe of my right foot. The impact was so great that, besides hurting me terribly, the nail turned black and it all came loose except at the root, from where it stuck straight up. My mother tried to keep it banag-ed but to no avail as it always came off, and I'll never forget how it hurt when I tried to follow the other kids through the stubble fields, barefooted as was the custom those days.
Now, you probably wonder, just what is so peculiar about that? Lots of people lose their toenails through accidents. True, but that is only the first episode of this two pronged accident series, the second one of which brings out the 'so called' comical slant.
The following week my father was to thresh wheat for a neighbor who had stored some of his grain bundles in one of the hay mows of his bank barn and the thresher was to be set on the barn floor, with the blower extending out the back end. I was there as usual an, - as usual, barefooted.
The approach up to the big barn doors was an exceedingly steep one so that they used the engine to push the thresher up as far as the bridge, which extended from the barn doors out about 12 feet. The bridge was of several pole stringers planked over, and its capacity for extra heavy loads was questioned, so the front trucks of the engine were stopped at the planks and a team of horses was hitched to the rear end of the thresher, on the barn floor, to move it in farther. A call went out for every man to 'lend a hand' and the engine was uncoupled.
Believe me, I felt like a man as I took a position between two big brawny men at the right rear wheel of that machine; and when the orders were given to 'Heave Ho', and those horses fairly lay on their bellies as they pawed the plank floor, I forgot, for that moment, the sore toe on my right foot and, - incidentally - the position of my left foot.
It could have been worse, - I might have lost my foot. As it was, - while I was 'Heaving and Ho'ing', that big steel wheel moved slowly backwards and came down squarely on the extreme end of the great toe of my left bare foot, tearing the nail out at its very roots.
Now, if you were to see a kid hobbling around with both great toes banaged, sore and nail-less, would you call that comical, peculiar, or just a 'helluvaraess'? Dimmed by the years it seems comical now, but I'll tell the whole wide world, for ME it was anything BUT for the rest of that summer.