One of my favorite memories was when I was a boy and we lived on Madison Avenue. I’m sure most of you know that a railroad track is just a couple of blocks east of Madison. My fondest memories of those tracks are when steam locomotives rolled up and down those rails. The combination of sounds from the engines and the wheels clicking on the tracks was amazing. The steam-blown whistle was like icing on the cake. Those sounds could easily put me to sleep at night and wake me in the mornings.
In the late 1960s I accepted a job with a company in Southern California. I loaded some on my prized possessions in my Econoline Ford van and took off. I had about six weeks before I started so I visited my sister, Kathy, who was a teacher in the St. Louis area, and Richard Smith in Texas along the way. One of the other things that I had planned was to camp out in the desert.
I picked a desolate place off the highway and started out sleeping on the ground, but when the sounds of unknown animals became too close for comfort, I relocated to my van.
When I was a fourth-grader I had an appendicitis. I remember Dr. Kopecky coming to our house, checking me out and then telling my folks to get me to St. Francis Hospital immediately.
I was wheeled down a couple of hallways and into what I now know was an operating room. The next thing I recalled was waking up in a bed in a dark hallway. Someone walking past noticed that I was awake and got me something to drink, but I only had a couple of sips before someone else snatched my drink.
Several doctors and nurses were soon standing around me. I later found out that I had not one, but two inflamed appendices. I guess that is rare as I was under strict observation. I ended up staying several extra days in one of the hospital’s special areas, which now overlooks a roundabout. Although that won’t be the case for long as Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley has announced that the hospital will be razed.
OK, all this talk about sleep has me considering a nap. I think I’ll go find Stuart, my therapy dog, and maybe we’ll nap together.