No way to stop
In Coleridge, Nebraska, in the summer of1947, among the boys I hung out with there was a surprise in store. We loved Milk Nickels, vanilla ice cream on a stick. Each day we could, we would race DOWN Elm Street to the grocery store on Broadway Street to get a Milk Nickel for five cents. The reason for such a hurry was the prize: some of the Milk Nickels sticks had free coupons for the next ice cream bar. You had to eat/lick all the ice cream off and then, maybe, you got the next one free. I don’t remember the exact words, but I think it just said, “FREE.”
Our house was at the corner of Fulton and S Elm at the top of the hill we used for sledding in the winter. Going down the hill toward Broadway there was the Pilgrim Congregational Church on the corner. Across the street from the church was a funeral parlor, and next to that was Cady’s Café (I had a crush on Jeryilyn Cady. She and her brother, Merlyn, were my friends) and the market was somewhere beyond that. It is critical that you get the picture here: my house, hill, church, funeral parlor.
So, as I said, we ran down the hill to the church, turned right to go across Elm toward the market on Broadway.
But there was a hearse in the way, backing out of the church’s on street parking.
We couldn’t wait. We were in a hurry. So as soon as the hearse moved out of the way, we ran.
STOP, STOP. There was a car proceeding through the stop sign from Elm onto Broadway. We didn’t see her. She didn’t see us/me. I was first; I stopped; I slipped in the gravel, left leg in front, right leg in back, and the car roan over my left leg at the ankle, only the front wheel.
I don’t remember what happened next. I have images of a crowd gathering. Fortunately, I lived at the top of the hill. Also fortunately the doctor paid home visits. While my father was a doctor (of Veterinary Medicine), and he occasionally treated my injuries (like the nail I stepped on and he gave me the tetanus shot) this injury required an M.D.
Of course there was no X-Ray. My ankle was abraded with a tread mark, but not broken. It bled and so was wrapped in bandages, i.e. gauze. I lay on the couch in our front room and friends brought ice cream.
I still have the scar on my left ankle.