Funny Things from Yesterday: I got a splinter in my caboose

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Robert N. Tidwell, Sr.

Most folks as old as I am can remember when houses had a front porch and a back porch. If you had a house that didn’t have a back door because it was built on a high place, you would have a side door with a side porch. Either way, it seems that houses used to always have two porches. This story is about an incident that happened to me on a side porch.

I was probably about 11 or 12 years old at the time, and Dale, my next youngest brother, was a year and nine months younger. The reason I mention Dale and his age at this time is because he enters the story in a big way a little later.

I can’t remember if we were visiting Aunt Ivalene or Mama Tidwell, but whichever, they lived right in the heart of downtown Logan. All of Mama Tidwell’s eight grandchildren were there visiting, as well as the rest of the families. Three or four of the grandsons, of which I was the oldest, then Dale, Jim and cousins Ray and Jack Still were there. The older ones were playing with little cars and trucks on the porch.

In those days lumber was not planed down like it is today. I didn’t realize how easy it was to get a splinter unless you were very careful. We were sitting on the porch and scooting around. I scooted across the floor and all at once I got stuck with a golly whopper of a splinter. Mother, Daddy, Mama Tidwell and Aunt Ivalene each had a try at removing the splinter. But no one had any luck. So, I had to be carried to the doctor.

The in thing with doctors at that time was to use a steel clamp to close a wound instead of stitches. So, I went home from the doctor’s office with a steel clamp in my caboose instead of a splinter.

It seems that boys in their early teens have misunderstandings sometimes. A few days after my surgery, Dale and I had a difference of opinion and got into a scuffle.

Dale pushed me and I fell back on the couch and tore my steel clamp loose. Boy, did that smart! Another trip to the doctor’s office and this time I got stitches.

You know how sensitive some people are about scars, especially women with their looks. But I have a scar to this day. However, I guess I’m lucky, I can even wear a bathing suit and my scar doesn’t show.

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