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Monday, March 3, 2014

Friday 56 - Are We Walking To Alaska?

This looks like fun - and to start off I'm going to choose something from page 56 of my own book, Are We Walking To Alaska?" - a true story of our family moving to Alaska from California in the 1950s before Alaska became a state.  

Page 56 - (and a little bit of page 57 to finish the story)

Jimmy and Jeff played on the beach nearby, under the dock. They were running back and forth and having a great time building roads on the beach, and I turned a bit to watch them, and my backing up with the bike was not as good as I had thought, for all of a sudden I felt one back wheel going off the dock, and then I was falling onto a pile of big boulders, head first.          

Jimmy came clambering up the rocks to where I was. My head hurt and I was crying and Jeff was standing on the beach crying really loudly. Jimmy helped me to crawl back off the rocks and he helped me up the stairs. I was a little dizzy and Jimmy made sure that I didn't fall down the stairs. He told me lie down on my bed. Then he walked up the bay to find our mom and dad, who were getting crabs for dinner, and Jeff stayed with me and kept worrying that I would bleed to death before they all got back, and kept telling me so, over and over.       

He sat on the floor by my bed and cried and cried. I wanted to help him not to cry, but if I moved my head it hurt worse and I felt sick, so I just lay there, wishing Jimmy would find our mom and dad soon and bring them back so they could help Jeff stop crying.           

I finally slept for a little while, but Jeff kept waking me up to ask if I was dead yet, and then he would start crying all over again. After what seemed like a very long time, our mom and dad came running. My head was split about three inches and matted with hair and blood. There are no doctors nearby and we were a very long ways from town.           

For emergencies our dad had a two-way radio. Our dad called for the doctor in Sitka, the nearest town. It took a while to find the doctor because he was visiting a sick person in their house and they had no telephone. When they finally found the doctor he rushed to the house with the two-way radio and talked to our dad.            

By now I was sitting up in a chair so our mom could see the wound on the back of my head, and as the doctor gave instructions on the two-way radio our mom did what he told her to do. He told her how to clean the wound, how to cut the hair off, and how to use a mixture of alcohol and vinegar to numb and sanitize, the area and how to stitch it all up with sewing thread and a needle.     

She first cut off the matted hair on the back of my head as closely as she could with scissors, and cleaned it with the solution of alcohol and vinegar that the doctor told her to use. Well it may have sanitized it, but it surely didn't deaden it. But, once again, as we weren't allowed crying and must always be brave, I managed to keep the family tradition and didn't cry until late that night in my bed, when my poor little head felt like it would explode.          

Next she used our dad's razor and shaved the spot on my head where it was bleeding. Then she took a sewing needle and thread and dipped them both in the alcohol and vinegar to clean them.  She took the needle and thread and stitched up the wound - each time she poked my head it felt like the needle was going right through my head - but still I didn't cry.

See you next week with another book!


  1. What a fascinating book. I love memoirs, and I also enjoy books about Alaska and Hawaii before statehood.

    Thanks so much for linking-up to Literary Friday! We've been in New Orleans since Friday @ Mardi Gras. Happy to be home!


  2. What an interesting book and especially because it is written by you. Your excerpt is intriguing and well written. I can only imagine how much your life changed with the move from California to Alaska.


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