Tough Old Bird

Grampa Jim’s daily ritual to Fish Corners often left him coming home after dark.  He socialized with anyone who came in and sat down with him.  He sat at a favorite table, and everyone in the area knew him.  It was almost as though he was the township Godfather.

Most of the time, he got a home, but one summer night Gramps had to walk.  His house was a long quarter mile away along a desolate road.  There are only two houses between the tavern, and the farm; both of them are immediately behind Fish Corners.  After that, the woods grew out to the road.  The side opposite the woods is farm field void of any buildings.

Gramps walked with traffic in the dark.  On this night a car came up behind him, and hit him. It dragged him for three hundred feet before the driver stopped. Fortunately, the driver sought help. An ambulance took him to the closest hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan; a hundred and fifty miles away.

I was eight years old, and I remember mom getting a call at our home in Chicago. It was the hospital; her father was critical, and not expected to survive.

Mom talked it over with dad, and left for Ann Arbor, by train, the next day.  She stayed as long as she could and came home after a week.  She expected to receive a call that he passed away.  Mom was very upset, and cried allot.

A week later I came home from school, and who was sitting there, but my seventy-two year old grandfather.  He had a lot of abrasions on his arms, legs, and head. Otherwise, he looked good.

Gramps told us that the doctors were planning to experiment on him, and he had to get out of there.  He kept repeating over, and over that they were planning to kill him.

He survived for many more years, but did have a skin problem after that. We often saw him applying hot wet cloths soaked in boric acid solution to his arms and legs.  He always blamed his itching skin on that accident.

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