Friday, June 4, 2010

You'll poke your eye out kid!!!

It must have been the fact I had already made a bit too much trouble so my parents decided to get me into Cub Scouts to make better use of my time. Along with the membership in the new pack they presented me with this itty bitty pocket knife that might have been maybe one inch long unfolded. As with any toy I wanted to go outside immediately and try it out so off I ran into the front yard to carve my name into the front tree. Mom must have watched my quick travel because she forbade me to do any carving into a tree we didn't own.Not to be deterred I ran into the back yard to cut up the biggest weed I could find. I was sure she wouldn't mind if I destroyed a weed or two, she was always bemoaning the fact they grew faster than she could pull them anyway. I found one that was taller than I was, grabbed it high and pulled it down in front of me to start my attack. I placed that half inch blade on the back side of the weed and started sawing away and pulling on the knife to make sure it cut through the meat of that weed. I was putting my all into the effort and could see I was making progress. That weed was as good as dead. I could see I was almost all the way through so I put some added muscle into the thrusts.ZIP came the knife through the last of the weed and the momentum of my hand made me smack myself in the eye. The only trouble with this, was the knife was still in my hand so it was more than a smack...I had stabbed myself with that little blade. Lucky for me it was a little blade or it might have gone all the way to my brain which never had yet figured out when a dangerous situation was arriving.I immediately dropped the knife and cupped my hand over my eye. I could feel liquid oozing into my hand so I held my head back to make sure my brains didn't flow out of the wound as well. "I've poked my eye out!!" I thought to myself and immediately wondered how I was going to hide this one from Mom and Dad. I didn't really feel much pain considering how much pain I usually had when I got even the littlest piece of dirt in my eye, so I lowered my head a bit and opened my eye to look through the cracks of my fingers.I could still see!! I closed my right eye to make sure that indeed, this now wounded eye was able to see on its was working just fine. I pushed my finger harder against my eyeball to see how much liquid had leaked out of my eye and I was thrilled to find it still felt firm and in place.I could see my hand was covered in blood so I figured the next step was to get in front of a mirror to actually see what the damage was. As I did this after sneaking into and through the house to the bathroom, I figured I stabbed through the eyelid and the blade went a short distance over the top of my eyeball and into the eye socket doing no more damage than cutting the hole through my eyelid.I washed off the blood and pressed the wash cloth against the wound until it had fully stopped bleeding and then it dawned on me that I had lost the knife.Oh I'm going to be in big, big trouble because I had lost the knife on the very first day it had been given to me. I quickly made my way back out to the weed patch and found my little knife laying at the base of the much shorter weed. I picked it up, folded the blade back into place and stashed the little thing into the coin pocket of my Levi's.It wasn't long after that I learned one of the first safety lessons of knife usage in the pack meeting...while using a knife, always cut away from your body...too late!! I already learned that lesson from personal experience.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My day with Mom

Today I spent the day with Mom getting her to grave sites of everyone that is buried in the area. When I went to pick her up in Tooele I found her sleeping soundly. I roused her and off we went. Lori's daughter Kim left a note saying Mom was so looking forward to getting out but that she has eaten mostly nothing for 2 days and will be very weak, which she was. I popped open a can of Pepsi for her and off we went. She held up well for the activities. I got off the center street exit in Provo and went to my store to get flowers for the grave.
Vic's daughter Amber works at the store now in the floral department so I sent her out to talk to Mom while I got the flowers. When I came out Amber turned her head away from Mom and started to cry...."I hate seeing her this way"....she said as she wiped the tears away. Mom does look all skin and bones. She is a petite woman anyway but now she looks all of her 85 years in a withered way. Amber gave us two bouquets of Gerber Daisies to put on the grave sites of Joel and Vic which we were happy to do.
After leaving the store we headed up to the court house building where Ron's office is. I had hoped to send Ron down for a visit with Mom much like I had done with Amber but his office was locked up and vacant....maybe for lunch...I'll have to talk to him later.
We went up to Dennis' grave first there in the Provo cemetery. I asked her when she had last been to his grave and she could not remember a visit there since he was buried but I know that is not correct because I have taken her there before.
Her conversation for the day was quite sharp and with good recollection until we started home and then it was evident I had tired her out with the activities of the day.
We stopped for gas before going to the Orem graves to see Vic, Joel, and Jayden.
As we visited each spot during the day Mom had no emotion at all. I was not quite sure what to expect but I was thinking she would show something at the site of Vic's head stone as she still feels his passing just was something she still can't accept...but she showed nothing.
On our way out of town I took Mom by to see Brooke. I don't know how many more chances we will have for that one last memory with Mom so Brooke came out from the middle of a hair client to smile at Mom and give her a little hug. I'd advise you all to make a visit if you can arrange it as well.
I asked her about all sorts of memories I have of past times but most of them she had no recollection of which only disappointed me a bit. It was just good to be with her for the day.
I got her back home and into her favorite chair, handed her the newspaper, thanked her for the days company and for being a great Mom.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vic the hothead

Ron tells the story of a time when Vic was just entering the gymnasium in preparation for and upcoming church basketball game (church ball is notorious for bad sportsmanship unfortunately).
As he made his way across the side of the court there was a loudmouth player arguing loudly with the referee about a call that was made. Vic wanting to stick up for the referee yelled out,
"Give him a technical!"
To which the player responded, "Mind your own business".
This got Vic just a little peeved so he yelled back a bit louder, "Give him another technical"!!
At this point the obnoxious player started on his way over to Vic to have words with him as well.
When he got with in striking distance Vic let loose with a quick right handed punch which caught the would be trouble maker full in the face and fell back immediately on his back there on the basketball court.
Vic was thrown out of the building for his violence.
When Ron caught up with him later and was able to ask about him about it and asked him how he felt about it Vic said, "Actually, it felt pretty good...."
Vic the hot head!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The athlete of the family

Ron has made mention himself that one of the things that made Vic a hero to us was his athletic ability. Although he got the most notoriety from his football days...All Conference and 2nd Team All State...when high school was over, so was hit football career. Vic was good in basketball too during high school but lacked confidence in his ability and true talent he had for basketball.
Still, of all the sports basketball was the one he loved the most. He continued to play long after his high school days. He and I teamed up for Ward ball in Brigham City. With a more relaxed atmosphere and no pressure to win the conference title his basketball game bloomed and he exerted his natural ability well.
Years after graduating from Mancos High Vic found himself living back in Mancos again with his young family and the year he was there Mancos High had a player good enough to win All Conference honors himself for his talents. Vic found himself alone on the court with this young man and asked him if he would like a game of one on one with Vic. The young man, being competitive and always wanting to win replied..."Are you kidding? I'll eat your lunch!!!" as he accepted the challenge.
Vic took control of the game and schooled the youngster in basketball and then patted him on the shoulder and told him "Good game" after he had whupped him good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back to the bully

After having a better fight showing against Dickie, we had hoped that would be the end of the bullying that went on towards Dennis...we should have been so lucky.
Dickie picked a time when he had two of his buddies around to be mean to Dennis on his next attempt. Vic was feeling a bit bold with his newly practiced fighting skills so he jumped right in to defend Dennis again, but was not prepared to take on all three fighters at the same time. He got pummeled worse on this encounter than he did the first time and when Mom found out about it she did not loudly say "I told you I didn't think it a good idea to encourage the fighting mentality..." but I am sure it was very close to the tip of her tongue.
This interaction between Vic and Dickie happened over a period of months. All the while Dennis was getting weaker and weaker as Muscular Dystrophy sapped him of strength. The weaker Dennis got the less interest Dickie had in tormenting someone who was less and less being able to even walk, so there soon came a time when Dickie no longer tormented Dennis and Vic did not have to come to Dennis's rescue at all in this regard.
Still, this showed Vic's compassion for those in the world who are different, who are weak, who are teased and tormented by others. Of all us children Vic would be the one who got into the most fights and I can honestly say that the vast majority of the time it would be because he was protecting the rights of someone else. He not only rooted for the underdog, he was willing to fight for him.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Standing up to the bully

When Dad found out Vic had gotten in a fight protecting Dennis from the bully he decided it was time to help Vic out with the next encounter. His solution was to get some boxing gloves and teach Vic how to be a better fighter.
They would go out into the back yard and actually go at it in a mild manner with Dad giving pointers to Vic on the nuances of keeping your wits about you as you try to take your opponent out.
The next time Dickie came after Dennis in a bullying manner Vic was ready again to come to Dennis's defense. Vic and Dickie had a few words before engaging in hand to hand combat again.
Vic held his own this time and got in a few blows that made Dickie back away and retreat with a few bruises from the battle.
As we headed back home we were full of ourselves with excitement that the bully had been beaten at his own game and when we told Mom the good news she was less than thrilled. She didn't agree with Dad that promoting violence was the answer to this problem but was a bit at a loss as to how it all should be addressed.
When Dad found out about the encounter he was pleased and patted Vic on the back and said "Way to go son!!"
Even in my excitement I asked Dad if he could teach me how to fight. Thrilled at the prospect of me asking for improvement he put the boxing gloves on me, got down on his knees so we could be more eye to eye and he started giving me my first boxing lesson.
"Stand at an angle to me with your left hand kind of out in front of you to use for short punches he said."
"Keep your right hand back closer to her chin to protect your self from any in coming blows like this one," he instructed as he threw a very slow, right handed arching punch at me which I brushed aside for my safety.
"Good job," he said which made me beam while Dennis and Vic looked on.
"Now what you want to do is give me a quick jab with that left hand if you see an opening and just keep your mind calm so you don't get overly excited."
Dad then put his hands down on purpose to expose himself fully, giving me a wide open shot at his face.
"Go ahead and do that jab if you see an opening."
Dad was quite surprised when I let loose with a quick jab that caught him squarely on the nose and even made his head pop back some. His eyes watered up and a quick grin came across his face when he saw the look of terror on my face.
It was a dire sin to do any back talking to Mom or Dad and now that I had lashed out and actually attacked him with a vicious blow to his face....well, some how I had the instant vision that I had a big spanking coming to me even though Dad had encouraged me to hit him.
"You are quicker than I thought. You caught me by surprise with that jab. I'll be better prepared next time tiger," he said. I was much relieved.

Vic's Protective Nature

When Dennis had progressed significantly with Muscular Dystrophy it was very evident he was not normal. This made him an easy target for teasing and the designated mark for the school bully.
Dickie found it very amusing to come close to Dennis and brush up against him which would cause him to fall. It was intentional and Dickie got a big kick out of having power over Dennis with such and easy action.
Dickie was a year older than Vic, four years older than Dennis and six years older than me so he was at the top of the food chain in the local school we attended.
When it was just me and Dennis and Dickie wanted to be the bully nothing was done to him as he towered over us both.
Vic ,on the other hand, jumped right to Dennis's aid when he saw Dickie make him fall.
"What did you do that for?" Vic demanded.
"Because I can" was Dickie's reply.
"Why don't you pick on someone more your size?" Vic spit out.
"You are close to my size. You want to do something about it" Dickie shot back and the fight was on.
Dickie had been the school bully long enough to be ready for the fight Vic was willing to wage in Dennis's behalf ,so that first fight went rather badly for Vic. We all went home and when Vic presented himself and his split lip to Mom she got furious and Vic cried in having to admit that he was so mad at Dickie that he lost his temper.
There was more action in this regard so I'll post the next part soon.