Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is the fourth installment of my transcription of my Aunt
Dot's memories of her and my father Bud growing up in Oxford
County, Maine in the 1920's and `30's.

I knew Dad had shot himself in the foot in his early teens but he
never gave us the real story of how it happened. I do recall seeing
a small round scar on his foot when he happened to be barefoot.

Bud loved to fly fish. We would go down to the river where there
was a great fishing spot at the foot of the old sluice that used to

be used to shoot logs over the dam and down the river. This was
about a mile down river from the dam. The water ran so swift
that it made a roaring noise not unlike the ocean waves coming
onto a rocky shoreline. We really enjoyed those trout.

Bud never left me out when his friends came to play ball. I could
neither catch a ball nor throw it where I wanted it to go. As for
batting, I always swung at the ball but never hit it. Never-the-

less I was never left out of his games and his friends knew better
than to make anything other than encouraging comments.

"The 22 rifle that Bud had was one he bought from a friend-Pop
paid half on it and said that half was mine. We were never

allowed to take the gun out except to target shoot at the corner
of the house. We had set some traps on the mountain behind
the house and wanted to take the 22 when we went to tend to
them. We were told NO! So I went in a back room and stood the
gun out the window. When we left we sort of passed that way
and took it along. When we got to the first trap there was a
skunk in it, Bud loaded the rifle and shot it, then he loaded it
again and stood the barrel on the toe of his sneaker to wait and
see if he needed a second shot. I told him he shouldn’t hold it
that way & he said it was OK because the safety was on. A few
minutes later some chips flew up and hit me and he had shot
himself in thru the foot. He said we needed to hurry home.
The ground was rough and I was winded and lagged behind.
I told him to hurry on as I knew the way. He wouldn’t leave me
behind so I just had to hurry faster. When we got home I ran to
the nearest neighbor to phone for Pop to come home. He got
the gunshot dressed and the doctor came every day and pushed
a swab with iodine on it all the way throu his foot. Bet that felt


GreenmanTim said...

This is terrific stuff, Bill. Thanks for tsaking the time to record and share it.

Bill West said...

Thanks, Tim!

I've had a ball sharing it. There is some stuff,mostly in the next part,that had me slackjawed in amazement about my father. "He did WHAT?" There was more rebel lurking behind that grin than I ever imagined, and the same goes for Aunt Dot!