I always enjoy the stories of growing up that I find on Tipper's site 'Blind Pig And An Acorn'. She just did a story of her fun in the woods of her youth. It reminded me of accidents I had in the woods of the Appalachian Mountains. Pennsylvania has hard wood forest rather the the pine forest of the South. We used to play from sun-up to sun-down and also had games we played in the dark when we were kids. You can not play hard without getting into some accidental situations. I had two good friends that were involved in those accidents so I'll share what happened with you.
My friends were Ray and Davey, Ray lived across the street and was one year older and Dave lived next door and was four years older. Ray out weighed me by 50 pounds and I was quick. We would wrestle and as long as he wasn't able to get his weight on me I could take him. If he got that 50 pound advantage I was in trouble. Davey was just to big to play those games, he was taller and weigh more then either of us. Davey later on got me into fast cars but that's a story for another day.
The first accident involved both Ray and Davey. We were at a frozen pond ice skating, they made fireworks in the area. This pond was way back into the woods and not near any houses. It was a dammed stream that flowed down to our swimming hole on the river. Just to give you some background we all wore a lined red leather hunting caps when we were younger. The hat had flaps you could pull down over your ears and was very warm. We were having fun skating and Ray decide we should build a fire. There was a log that just wouldn't break by normal methods, to put on the fire, so Ray decided to break it against a tree. I could not see anything good coming from this act so I hid behind Davey. I told you he was tall, at least a foot taller then me, so I'd be safe (yea sure). The one thing I hadn't figured is the log would break and fly at an angle that caused it to fly over Davey's head and land on front side of my head. That hat was strong but a log was a little too much. The log managed to split open my head through the hat . We were pretty far from any houses so we headed for the closest house we could reach. By the time we got there by hat was red on the inside and out. My Dad was called and we headed to the doctors office. The doctor put a clamp on that big split. It would have taken 8 stitches to close the cut today but one clamp did the job. I still have the bump from the scar that the clamp made. The hat was so soaked with blood and it had to be replaced.
The second accident involved Ray and I. We both had hatchet and used to carry them and enjoyed cutting down trees. Ray's Dad was a machinist and we had used his grinder to sharpen the hatchets. Ray being a little older decided that we should cut this one tree down like lumberjacks with each of us taking a swing. It sounded like a lot of fun to a youthful brain. A hatchet is a lot shorter then a woodsman's axe. Maybe I should have remembered about the ice skating incident but I didn't. Everything went pretty well until my hatchet stuck in the tree. Ray's hatchet managed to cut through the end of my thumb. It wasn't that bad. Another trip to the doctors for a couple of stitches and a tetanus shot and I was ready to go. I never tried that chopping method again.
The third accident happened with Davey. We lived near a main highway and we used to ride our bikes on the road. Roads were not that busy back then. Even though we lived in the city our road wasn't paved so when we could ride on the State Route we would. There was this one day that Davey challenged me to a race, not being one to back down off from a race we went racing down the highway. No cars coming I decide to make a pass. I had those pedals on my Schwinn pumping away and as I started to pass I hit some loose dirt on the pavement. Down I went and I hit my head on his rear axle. Another trip to the doctors and another clamp on the head. Needless to say I now have a scar on the back of the head from from that collision.
We did have a lot of fun and did cause our own dangers back then. It wasn't like today where the grand kids can get carpal tunnel syndrome injuries from using their Wii.