Wrestling With a Neighborhood Chum

This happened back in February 1961 and why I remember it so clearly at the age of seven will be understood as I go on. It was a cold February day with a light snow falling outside and we were inside at my house watching the Collegians Kids Talent show( produced in Baltimore) on our old Black and White T.V. Our next door neighbor Harry was there as well and I don’t know who started it but we both began to pick out the homeliest girls and each would say “that’s your girlfriend” and the other would respond “well, that one is your girlfriend”. After a few rounds of this, he must have picked out the prizewinner because I jumped on his back and as tried to pull me off, I heard a pop and that’s when the real trouble began. As I tried to get up, something was terribly wrong. The best way that I could describe it is that my left leg felt like a jigsaw puzzle of electric shocks shooting in all directions. As it turned out, I had suffered a Compound Fracture of my femur.

Well, the ambulance was called, and I had to be hauled out on a stretcher and I remember some of the neighborhood people outside in the snow watching as I was taken to the hospital. I wound up at Bon Securs Hospital in Baltimore and that’s where I was to spend the next couple of months in a hard body cast that covered my entire left leg and went completely around my stomach and chest.

After that period of time, I was transported home where I next had to lay up in the living room in a makeshift bed for the next couple months until I was finally able to have the cast removed. My story was told in the News Post and I received letters from all over the country with many sending cards wishing me well and others sending money as well. Let’s just say I was flush with snacks.

Little Willy

It was around the month of June when I was finally able to get the cast removed and I remember that I had to learn to walk again as I would use a cane and hang on to the fence as I walked along in the backyard. Although my leg would bother me for a few years whenever the weather got stormy eventually that subsided and I was able to resume full activity playing tackle football and such which attested to the skill of the surgeon who had to set the fracture. Although I don’t remember what the surgeon looked like, I recall his name being McDonald and I am forever grateful for the job he did, enabling me to function normally without a limp or any other lingering reminders of that cold day when a dumb seven year old kid decided to jump on the back and try to wrestle a fourteen year old neighbor with devastating results.

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