prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

(Army 13) Straighten up and die right!

I was carried from the tent hospital on the beach to a large hospital ship. I believe that I was the only patient in a fairly large room. I remember lots of wounded in the outside hall. Some terrible wounds. Why I was alone, I do not know.

After using the bedpan a couple of times, I decided to try walking to the bathroom. There were hand rails in the hall on the way. I made it ok. Goodbye bedpan!

The hospital ship took us to a hospital on an island in the Solomon Islands close to Guadalcanal.

Nat King Cole had a 1943 hit  record "Straighten up and fly right" that contained these lyrics.

The orderly in my hospital ward would mop the floor and and sing that song. He would change the fly to die. Straighten up and die right! Some sense of humor. It was worth a daily laugh.

I saw the x-rays. The bullets had broken up when they entered my body.  Pieces of bullet were along the bone. One large piece had penetrated about 3/8th of an inch into the bone. They must have been dum dum bullets. The doctors elected to not operate but just leave the bullets alone. Months later a piece of shrapnel worked its way out of my leg. The doctor on another ship cut it out.

In a few days a general came by my bed and gave me a Purple Heart.

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