My father always had a car, parking it wherever the paved road ended. From there we walked home. When I was a preschooler, the road was paved further south to within a mile from home. How much easier that was for small children!
I do not remember, of course, when Alois Edmund was born on July 21, 1929, nor Elsie Mae on Christmas Day, December 25, 1930.
The fall of 1932 I remember well. I was only four but wanted so much to go to First Grade. My father was the teacher at the Morris School one room school one mile south of us when we were old enough to start school. The school was to be closed at the end of the 1932-33 school term because they lacked two students having the minimum students to keep a school open. Dad persuaded the School Board to let a boy, Charles Criss, and me begin school in January in order to keep it open that year. The school would be open another few years. Charles turned 5 before the end of December and I turned 5 in February. Needless to say I had the advantage of Charles for Dad began working with me evenings and weekends so I would be caught up with other First Graders when I started school in January of 1934. Also, I loved playing school with Bond and learning all he could teach me day by day. I was ready when second semester began.
The worst part of preparing to attend school was definitely all the shots we were required to have. The County Health Nurse stopped at our home as she went by to give these shots. After the first shot I knew what to expect when I saw her coming. Each month for three months I got a shot. We only had diphtheria and typhoid immunizations, maybe tetanus at that time. Soon after I had smallpox immunization also. Whooping cough, polio, pneumonia and measles shots came later when we were raising our children. But getting the shots was no fun! In mid-October the nurse stopped. Edna Ruth had been born October 12, Columbus Day. I saw the her coming so I crawled way back under the house through much soft dirt where I often played “make believe” with my toys. I refused to come out and no one could reach me so I felt safe! Mom was still in bed but called out the window that was open above me to come inside “right now” and get my shot if I thought I was big enough to sit on the bed and hold Edna Ruth who was born about a week before. I gladly emerged from under the house for my shot and then my treat – holding my newborn baby sister. This was the first of many times holding her. Holding little babies was a joy to me clear back then – I loved them then and I still do. It is no wonder I love that still today and watching them grow into man and womanhood.
God is so good. He is “love,” God’s Word tells us, and “we are His workmanship.” No wonder we “LOVE because He loves us” I have learned many valuable lessons in life.
Christmas Day Blizzard
I remember well one Christmas Day when we all drove to Grandpa and Grandma Bond’s at Roanoke, south of Weston. It was an enjoyable day with cousins there. By noon clouds began to roll in and it began to snow. So we started home hoping to get there before dark. The car did not have a heater so we were cold when we got to the end of the paved road. The snow had turned into a blizzard with strong wind. So we stopped at the Weekly’s to warm up before trudging on home in the blowing snow. I remember warm chocolate and cookies around the wood stove as we warmed up. Nice and warm again we put on warm coats, snow pants, boots, hats and mittens to walk over the hill on home. Just over the hill Coffindaffers lived. We were frozen and Bond and I crying as we walked beside Mom and Dad who each carried younger children. Their lights at Coffindaffers looked so good to us and we stopped. Again we unbundled, warmed ourselves around the fire, drank more hot chocolate and ate more cookies. Once warmed up and wanting to get home, Mom and Dad thanked the neighbors for warming us and inviting us to stay all night, and we braved the storm again. We could almost see home and got along well until we had to cross the creek and crawl up the last bank to our home at last. On the way I dropped my mittens in the snow. I climbed the hill slowly again crying with the cold. How well I remember Dad bringing in snow to rub on my hands as he slowly thawed my hands and fingers. The pain was severe as my hands thawed.
Our living room quickly warmed us with our nice fireplace heat. We all crowded near the heat to warm up thankful to be safely in the shelter of our own home. This had been a Christmas our family would never forget! I cannot remember ever again traveling to Grandpa and Grandma Bond’s home for Christmas after that.
There was a gas well on the farm that Dad bought. Hope Natural Gas Co. bought the gas and gave Dad free gas to use. That use went with the land to any future owner of the homestead. We had good gas heat, gas lights and a gas cooking stove. The company was generous in the amount of gas our family could use monthly or yearly. We never once had to pay for gas through the years, even when boiling down maple sap from our sugar maple trees to make maple syrup each year, usually in February, on the gas stove.
In the 1930’s electricity became available as electric lines were extended down Ten Mile Creek. We were in no hurry for it because the gas heaters kept our home warm and the gas lights were almost as bright as electric lights. Neighbors who used kerosene lamps and wood stoves were quick to change over to electricity, a big step forward for them.
The winter of the Christmas Day blizzard was very cold. We lived in the two front rooms of the house. They had the only gas fireplaces which backed up to each other in the wall. Those rooms also shared a “walk in” clothes closet and when the double doors were open we could walk through from room to room.
Mom and Dad put the kitchen table and benches in the living room so that we could stay warm while eating meals. We all slept in the other room. There were two double beds – one for Dad and Mom and one for all of us children. We kept each other cozy warm as we curled up together to sleep. I remember eating snow that had blown in through cracks around the windows through the night. We often scraped frost from the window panes to eat in the morning.
Mom would put on her coat and stocking cap before going to the kitchen to prepare meals and bake bread. How good hot biscuits soaked in sausage and milk gravy tasted for breakfast in that warm room. Then later in the day we sometimes had cornmeal mush which I loved with butter on it and milk with it. We often had a big pot of soup with fresh warm bread for a wonderful main meal. We never lacked for food! Mom and Dad raised a garden and Mother canned fruits and vegetable to last us through the winter. They stored potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash and apples in our cellar, which was dug into the hill behind the kitchen. Mom also canned or cured all our meats when they butchered pigs, calves or chickens.
There were four beautiful sugar maple trees around our home, one at each corner of the house, and we loved playing in the shade of those trees in the summer time. There were four rooms in the house and a long room with porch attached across the back. On the porch was a pitcher pump from which we drew water to drink and use for cooking. We had to prime the pump so kept a metal pitcher of water close by for that purpose. We started to pump the handle as we slowly poured water in the pump and suddenly the pump took hold and began to draw water up through the pipe from the well some feet below the surface of the ground. We could only get a big bucket of water at a time but soon we could get another bucket. One dry summer our pump went dry and we carried drinking water from a “spring” on our neighbor’s property a quarter of a mile around the hill. We usually had rain water stored for washing hair and doing laundry but that was long gone so we brought water from the creek and heated it outside in the copper kettle for laundry day. After I left home Dad had a deeper well dug and a bathroom with plumbing put in the kitchen also. They never had a water problem again after that. The back porch later was developed into the bathroom.
There was a nice deep front porch full length across the front two rooms. We could play on the porch, or even under the porch was a favorite play area in the deep soft dirt. Our imaginations were great and I well remember Bond and I taking hunting trips and Bond always being able to kill rabbits and squirrels. He would say “there goes a rabbit – POP I shot it. If I dared say “I shot it” he would say “oh, it is not dead – POP there I got it”. I can remember running to Mom to “tattle” on Bond and being told that I could revive a rabbit and then kill it also if I wanted to do so. I am sure I tried it but memory tells me I could never “out imagine” Bond whether we were eating imaginative goodies or killing game for a feast.
My mother tells me I watched out for my younger brothers and sisters like a mother hen her chicks. She tells me of a time Bond and Alois and I were playing in the back yard and happened on to a hornet’s nest in the ground. The hornets were frightened and wanted us to move away from their nest so they swarmed us and began to sting us. We screamed and Bond began running for his life as he hollered for Mom. I was close on his heels. Mom said as she came into view I suddenly stopped, ran back and picked up Alois to carry him to safety. She always said, “I knew then you would make a good mother one day.” I am not sure how “good” a mother I have been, but God has blessed us with eleven children and we have been happy and proud parents of each one thanking God as each grew into the adults they are today. We continue to marvel and thank God for His Presence and leading as He gave us health, strength and wisdom one day at a time through the years.
There was a picket fence around our home to keep us in the yard. Mom turned her canning jars upside down on the pickets. As we children grew, the fence was removed and we began to explore the farm. There were two huge nearly flat rocks peeping out of the ground on top of the hill behind the house. One was Elsie Mae’s home, one mine, and one Edna Ruth’s when we “played house,” which was often. We visited each other in our “homes.” This meant we must prepare meals, of course. We ran down to the house to get food. Sometimes Mom would pop corn for us. At other times we got carrots, radishes or turnips from the garden to wash and eat. At other times we got a jar of canned fruit, sauce dishes and spoons to take to our “homes.” It could be sweet or black cherries, pears or blackberries that Mom had canned. How we loved to play house. The boys even got into the game, especially at “meal time.” Precious memories, indeed.
Our mailing address was Wolf Summit and our mail box was on the hill above our “homes.” The mail carrier rode a horse to deliver mail. It was exciting when we could take a letter or a Sears or Wards catalog down to the house. We could spend hours looking at the catalogs but always they ended down the well-worn path beside the house in the “out house” or “toilet.”
And I remember so well early spring walks through the woods and across the fields with Mom and Dad looking for the first signs of new life everywhere. Nature was reawakening! Edgar and I still enjoy our daily walks observing what is going on around us and marveling often.
I do remember an incident around getting our mail from that mail box on the hill. Beginning at young ages we children had “jobs” that were our own to do regularly. That week it was my job to bring the mail down to the house from our mail box every day. Dad got home from school just about dark and asked where the mail was. I had forgotten to bring the mail in. Dad told me I had to go get it, which I started out to do and then came back saying it was too dark and I could not see. He gave me a flash light and away I went again, cautiously. I went up the hill and across the flat, past we girls’ rock play houses and finally up the hill to the rail fence at the dirt road. I climbed the fence as I heard screaming in the thicket and something flew out at me. I jumped off the fence and streaked to the house as fast as my legs would carry me, screaming all the way. No way I was getting the mail – I thought. I was wrong! Dad assured me it was only a quail that I had frightened and it makes that noise when it is frightened. He made me turn around and once more go to the mailbox for the mail. I was so frightened to go that Dad finally said he would go with me “to the top of the hill behind the house” and watch me from there until I returned. I was still reluctant and very watchful leaving Dad but did again make my way across the flat and up the hill to the road. Across the fence I climbed and quickly removed the mail from the box, closed the box and lost no time retracing my steps back down to Dad. I do not remember forgetting to get the mail when it was my turn again. As soon as Bristol Post Office began a rural route in front of our home Mom and Dad changed their address to Bristol. This remains to this day.
Another lesson I learned the hard way was “obedience”. Disobedience always ended in some manner of punishment. At times it was spanking. This time it was even worse. My brother Bond and I were “rubbing snuff”. Many country people had “spittoons” (an earthenware crock with sand in the bottom) beside their door on the floor and maybe one inside beside their favorite chair. Snuff was powdered tobacco stuffed inside the lower lip and left there to melt and bring about a brown saliva one wanted to spit out into the spittoon. It was a filthy, dirty habit, my parents said, and it ruined ones teeth in time and could stunt ones growth.
I remember one Sabbath afternoon Mom and Dad were sitting in the yard reading aloud. Bond and I secretly made “snuff” (white sugar with a teaspoon of cocoa mixed with it) and were “rubbing snuff” a little too gleefully, and Mom caught us! We knew better for we had been “caught” in the act before and each received spankings. This time we each were switched with a willow switch Dad kept handy for that very purpose. This was much worse than spanking. I do not remember ever being punished like that again. I am sure I never mixed up “snuff” again either.
Summers of drought our pump would go dry until we had some good rains. These times we must carry water from a spring on the neighbor’s farm just west of us. We children walked along the creek around the hill to the hollow. A nice cool spring was near the bottom of the hills where they were joined together by a small stream. We carried buckets proportioned according to our size – larger children had larger buckets. One summer we trudged along the quarter of a mile to the spring several times a day. All our drinking and cooking water came from this spring when our well was dry. Our running water, hot and cold, that we have today has us spoiled for sure.
There was a smaller spring just east of our home where the two hills met. This was a nice, cool spring and Mother kept our milk sitting in that water in gallon earthenware crocks – bowls with slate for a lid, held down with a stone or brick so no animals might steal our milk. Other foods we wanted to keep cool would be placed in the spring water also.
When the cream raised on the milk it was skimmed off to let clabber for churning butter in our gallon Daisy Churn, turned with a crank. Some cream was used on cereal – I did not know until I got married one could eat cereal without cream. I learned rather quickly though. Of course some of the cream was saved also for whipped cream to go on ginger bread, jello or chocolate pie.
There was a day when wash day was real work. It began early in the morning. When we were short of rain water in the rain barrels under the eaves we had to carry creek water for washing clothes and two rinses. The copper kettle outside was filled with water. It had a wrought iron stand it sat inside of and we built a fire under it to heat the water. Another kettle was half or more filled with water and placed on the kitchen stove to heat. This water had shaved lye soap and bar soap in it. White clothes or dish towels made from white sugar or flour bags were placed in it and it was brought to boil for fifteen to thirty minutes. When those were removed one by one with a two-foot or so piece of an old broom handle the sanitary napkins were placed in the water to boil a while.
We never heard of disposable sanitary napkins. Our sanitary napkins were made from old sheet blankets cut in 1½ X 2½ foot pieces. These were folded in from each narrow piece to maybe three inches wide and pinned to a garter belt when needed. When removed they were placed in a washbasin of cold water, left to soak a while, then rinsed out and dried and placed in the laundry basket ready for washday next week.
When I was young Dad got Mom a gasoline powered Maytag washing machine, which really sped up her wash days. The first two years after Edgar and I were married I did all our laundry the “rub-a-dub” way on the washboard, placed in a tub of hot water. I had hot tap water and cold rinse water so did not mind leaning over the rippled washboard to scrub clean each thing then rinse it carefully, wring it out by twisting and folding it until no water escapes, then hanging it on the line to dry outside.
Every cotton shirt, dress, pillow case, table cloth and doily had to be starched after rinsing, then hung to dry. Starch was made of corn starch or flour to thicken in a quart or so of boiling water. The corn starch was poured into a small tub of water large enough to rinse one thing at a time. When dry, these clothes were very stiff so we placed a towel in a basket, dampened each piece by getting a pan of warm water, dipping my right hand in the water then sprinkling each piece before folding, then rolling into as small a ball as possible. These were packed into the towel and wrapped with the towel to let them become evenly damp ready to iron next day.
Ironing day was just that – a full day of ironing. As a child we used metal irons heated on our gas stove. The handle came off and moved from one iron to the next keeping our iron hot for fast ironing. Soon after I was married I had an electric iron which controlled the heat. Made ironing very easy. I can remember days when our double doorway between the living room and dining room in DeRuyter and Salemville were filled with hanging clothes ready to be worn. There was a rod across each doorway where drapes probably once hung. I was glad when ironing and mending could both be done in one day.
Finally, the day came to start school after Christmas vacation. I walked to school with Dad and Bond beside me. How happy, proud and excited I was. We took individual lunches in a little bucket with lids on it and a handle. How well I remember lunch time as we each sat at our desks to eat. Strangely children around me kept taking part of other children’s lunches. Before long I decided to get into the act. Eugene Matthey had a doughnut laying on his desk and I wanted it. “I will take that boy’s doughnut and leave him my cookie and fudge”. No sooner thought than done when he was unsuspecting. Eugene was in Second Grade. He began crying because I “stole” his doughnut. Dad called me to his desk and explained to me that the children around me were “trading” lunch items. He said, “One asks, ‘Do you want to trade my apple for your doughnut?’ If he does not want to trade you must not take it. That is wrong. That is stealing.” Then I cried and gave it back. I was embarrassed more than hurt. An older cousin of Gene’s gladly gave me her doughnut in exchange for my cookie and fudge and we were both happy. I never made that mistake again! I do not remember trading very often. Mom fixed us good lunches every day. My first lesson learned.
School was exciting for me. I felt so grown up and happy to be going to school. Everything about school was fun: reading, simple math, recesses, lunch times, nature walks, Easter egg hunts through the meadow and woods, making kites and flying them, preparing special holiday programs for our parents, community picnics and Field Day activities. Every day was a new adventure and I thrived on it. Soon it was May and warm enough to remember the thrill of picking wild strawberries ripe enough to eat and enjoy as we walked the creek going to and from school. Now was time to “play school” at home. Our younger brother and sisters were happy students some of the time. Bond and I did not tire of playing school. Of course Bond was always the teacher unless Mom intervened and made Bond let me have a turn being “teacher.” Summers were soon gone and it was time for school to open again the first Tuesday after Labor Day, the first Monday of September. I went to Second Grade and Third Grade at Morris School also.
Before school convened each morning we had a flag-raising ceremony around the flagpole. The flag was carried carefully, attached to the rope on the pole, then raised into place by an honored student. We sang the National Anthem and pledged allegiance to our nation’s flag. We then got in line and filed into our classroom quietly, taking our assigned seats.
Our teacher, Dad, always read a scripture passage and had prayer to open our school day. Once we came inside our door we could no longer whisper or speak aloud unless called upon. Dad had finger signals for making any requests. “I need to go to the toilet” (hand in shape of a fist with one finger in the air). “May I go use the dictionary?” (two fingers making a V). “May I speak to another student about some class work problem?” (four fingers up). “May I go to the library section to get a book?” (all five fingers extended). This worked well. After the first week Dad said his discipline problems were over and he could concentrate on teaching. If Dad was hard on anyone it was his own children because he did not want to be accused of showing partiality to us.
During recesses Dad did not send us outside, but rather he took us outside for organized recreation and exercise. We played hard so that we would be ready to sit still when we returned to the classroom. Sometimes we played a game. Spring and Fall it would be softball, volley ball, ring tennis, dodge ball, “ring around the roses,” or “drop the handkerchief.” Whatever each age group played no one sat on the sidelines without written request from parents. In the winter snow we often played “Fox and Geese” (a big path of spiral rings with crisscross paths across the center). One had to stay on the path and not let the chosen “fox” catch him. The last person to be caught could be “fox” next time.
We often had spelling bees and “ciphering matches” which were math competitions. At the end of each school year we had a community picnic and invited another school to compete with our students in softball, spelling, math and some leg races in our Field Day activities. Parents were invited to this making it a grand climax to our school year.
Dad had Parent–Teacher meetings monthly in the evening when different classes entertained or different subjects were demonstrated to the parents to inform them of what was being taught in school. Special holiday programs were also planned – Christmas, Easter, etc. At Christmas, Santa always arrived to hand out a gift to each student. Sometimes we drew names so that each student brought a gift or made one for that student. I especially remember one program. We had a play, recited memorized poems, had group exercises, then sang lots of Christmas carols ending with Jingle Bells. We had bells to ring and we sang our loudest. Santa did not show up as expected, so Dad suggested that we did not sing loud enough for Santa to hear up at the North Pole. He opened the schoolhouse door and we sang our loudest. Sure enough, here came Santa with a “Ho-Ho-Ho” and a bag of gifts for each person present – apples, oranges, a box of candies and popcorn balls. What a Christmas! When we got home Uncle Elmo was there and how excited we were! He was in his late teens or early twenties and was our favorite uncle. He knew lots of fun songs, stories and poems. He took us on nature hikes and we would find mushrooms for Mother to fry. We only had mushrooms when Uncle Elmo picked them, as Dad didn’t trust himself to pick the right ones.
While we were still in Morris School an epidemic of scarlet fever attacked the community. A boy in my class got pneumonia along with it and died. His family and ours did a lot of visiting back and forth and Mom and Hazle Burnside helped each other a lot on canning and butchering days. They made Christmas candies and cookies together each year. So the death of their son was like losing one of our own family and we all cried and comforted one another.
The week after school was out, Dad started summer school at Salem College. Bond got real sick with a sore throat and a rash. The doctor said “scarlet fever,” so the Health Department sent a representative to quarantine all of us in our home for six weeks, putting a “Quarantine” sign in our front yard warning people not to go into our home.
When we came into our front door we were in a small entry room with a door to the bedroom on the right and a door to the living room on the left. Dad was given permission to go and come as long as he never came into our part of the house. He lived and slept in that bedroom all summer. I am sure this was hard for Dad and Mom, but they sacrificed so that Dad could stay in school. He had one more year of summer school before he could finally graduate with his BA in education. Dad communicated with us through the windows daily
We children came down with scarlet fever one at a time, and each was very ill with sore throats, high fevers and rashes, and with each new case six weeks was counted again for our quarantine. I can hardly imagine how difficult this time was for Mom and Dad. Aunt Doc made a cream of camphor that she called white liniment and she kept Mom well supplied with it. Mom would rub it into our necks and chests until it dried and then began to get wet with sweat. She then put a warm flannel cloth over the liniment so that it would keep warm and penetrate deep. Mom credits this liniment with helping save the lives of all of us children.
Someone was sick all through the summer and all were quarantined inside the house. After a few weeks in bed we were so weak that each would fall down when we tried to walk. The most out-of-doors we got that summer was the fresh air that entered through the windows. The quarantine ended the week before school began again! We were like animals suddenly freed. We wanted to run anywhere and everywhere outside. I can still see Elsie Mae running up and down the bank and around the yard falling over because her weak legs would not hold her up. She would laugh, get up, and be off running again.
I remember how very sick I was and how it hurt to drink or eat. I had a high fever and Mom would wring out cool towels, wrapping them around me. Soon they were hot, so poor Mother had to keep replacing them. Our high fevers killed our outer skin. We would take hold of a loose end of skin and pull until it came off. I can remember one of my heels pealing in one shape of the heel. In time it peeled off each of us kids. In a few weeks we had new soft baby skin again.
The next step was to sterilize our house inside to make certain that no contagious germs were lurking in a dark corner, ready to attack some innocent person. Mattresses were all laid out in the bright sunshine after the surfaces were scrubbed with Lysol solution. All the furniture was washed with the same solution. Dad decided to remove all the wallpaper and backing and put up wallboard in each room to make the house warmer. They hired Uncle Oris to do this work so that it would be done more quickly. We had a “new” and noticeably improved home now.
That summer the road was paved in front of our home and it extended all the way to Morris School. At the top of the next hill Harrison County ends and the road is in Dodridge County. The branch going to Shady Grove was also paved to the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) several years later where it becomes dirt yet today.
Talk was around that Morris School would soon close for lack of enough students. So Dad went back to Jarvisville as principal when the position opened. I went into Fourth Grade that year. The school bus now passed our home carrying junior and senior high students to the Consolidated School in Bristol on Route 50 near Salem. We had walked one mile to Morris School so we had no difficulty walking two miles in the other direction to Jarvisville. If the weather was very cold we started in time to stop and warm ourselves at homes along the way. Other children joined us as we walked along, with Dad, of course.
In the Fourth Grade Dad continued to be my teacher. He then taught only Grades Four through Six and he was principal of the school. Miss Somerville taught First, Second and Third Grades, I think. I soon met many new students and made good friends in Jarvisville. With at least three times the number of students now in Fourth through Sixth Grades, we had some good competitive softball and volley ball games. I loved sports and thrived on the competition. We came out winners many times as we played other schools. Dad knew how to teach the basics and drilled us in catching, hitting the ball and running. He used the same techniques in teaching math, spelling and other subjects: repetition, drills, tests and games that teach. We played dominoes to practice adding and subtracting. In First Grade he used Rummy to drill learning numbers, counting forward and backward. Everyone learned and no one was left behind.
Every family in the Morris School community sewed a block to be put into a quilt to be put together and hand quilted as a gift of “thanksgiving” to Mom and Dad for their years of teaching and serving in the community. That thoughtful gift was used many years as a bedspread on Mom and Dad’s bed. A constant reminder of the love and respect of neighbors. I used that quilt as a pattern for the “50th Anniversary” Family Quilt I made for Mom and Dad in 1975.
Along in March or April of my Fifth Grade, Dad sent me to take a note to the First through Third Grade teacher across the hall. As I went out the door someone came running in the door almost late and knocked me against the door frame real hard. I went on and delivered the note then returned and took my seat. My leg “woke up” and became very painful just above my knee. It got so bad that I pulled my dress up enough to check out my leg, hoping that no one would see me. What I saw shocked me so I showed the girl sitting in the row beside me the actual hole in my leg. There was little bleeding around it. She was shocked and lifted her hand for permission to speak to the teacher. She told Dad I had a hole in my leg and it hurt badly. Dad called me to his desk, washed my leg with peroxide, and put a two-inch dobber from the iodine bottle into the hole. It went the full two inches in. Dad bandaged my injury and I went back to my seat. Trying to find out what object had penetrated my leg he asked if the person who ran into me had a broken pen or pencil and she did not. He then checked and found no splinters had come off the door facing. I have wondered since whether I could have broken off my own pencil or pen. My leg got stiff enough that I could not bend my knee by the time school was over, so Dad took me to Salem to see Aunt Doc. She bandaged it again and said something had certainly been stabbed into my leg. She had Dad get “Wooly Salve” at the drug store. It would certainly draw out any foreign object from the wound. Wooly Salve is a stick of what looks like black tar. A lighted match was used to melt the tar so it would drip onto a sterile gauze bandage which was applied and left over the wound. This was changed daily. Because the wound was not fully healed I could not go swimming in the creek in front of our house all that summer. By July it healed over like a huge inverted thimble – proud flesh with no feeling. In July, my Uncle Doc was home from Chicago for a visit. He had his girlfriend from Charleston, West Virginia with him. They were engaged to be married. We went to Grandma and Grandpa Bond to see them and to visit Aunt Pearl. While we were there Uncle Doc looked at my leg and with sterilized scissors and alcohol he cut a slit in the proud flesh to find that there was still a hole not healed in my leg. He wanted us to continue to use Wooly Salve to draw out whatever was still imbedded in it. Sure enough, one day there was yellow paint on the gauze as bandages were changed. Now we knew that a pencil or pen was in the wound. More and more paint was drawn out until no more was drawn out and no foreign object protruded from the injury.
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