By TomL

I was at a business meeting where everyone was ask to tell about favorite Christmas. I thought how can I tell my story in short form. I told it and everyone thought it was great but a lot was left out so I decided to write about it and include more of the life story. This is my true Christmas story!

As a little kid we ran the neighborhood barefoot. I was about seven years old. My friend and I were playing by the railroad tracks about two blocks from home. There were some dirt mounds and holes in the ground. We were jumping off the mounds and sliding into the holes, having a great time. Only this one time I landed on a broken beer bottle and it cut my tendon almost completely in half. When I could see, it I knew it was bad. I told my friend to go get help. A nearby house was the home of a fireman. He came and got me and rendered first ad. He picked me up, put me in his personal truck and rushed me to the clinic in the next nearby town for emergency treatment.

Lucky for me the fireman was there to take me. My Grandmother was taking care of my brother, sister and I. She did not drive and there was no car.

The Clinic Doctor was great. There was no pain to speak of. I was really scared. The Doctor said they got my tendon just in time to save the use of my leg. I would have to stay off my foot for six to eight weeks; it was longer than that at the end. I injured myself at the beginning of Christmas break. Now I’m on crutches. I remember worrying about not getting to go to see Santa Claus and the Fire Truck.  Anyway the day of the parade, late afternoon I was told I could not go. I was torn up over it. My brother and sister went and I sat next to the slide up window of the old frame house so I could hear the Fire Engine that Santa Claus was on. The first time I heard it the sound was dim but as the moments went by it got louder and louder and louder until I could see the flashing lights of the Fire Truck coming up my road. We were two blocks off the normal parade route. Yes Santa came to my house, got off the Fire Truck, came in, gave me a hug, a candy cane and a wink. It was kind of strange at the time that Santa looked a little like the fireman who save me, but of course that was impossible! I recovered mostly. It took longer than I wanted it to, but to this day I have two scares, one on the skin and one on the tendon.

Now fast forward. I’m about sixteen years old. There was a rope swing that all the kids loved to swing out and drop into the water (the water was called whiskey creek). This one day the son of the fireman was at the swing and we were all having fun – about seven of us. When here come three young girls in a speed boat. The fireman’s son swung out and dropped in front of the boat. They ran over him. I heard a loud thunk sound. The boat went over him, narrowly missing him with the prop but he was knocked out cold and under water. I was the first one to get to him, holding his head up out of the water and starting to drag him toward the bank then another person appeared and assisted me. He started gaging, coughing as we were taking him out of the water and he had a huge lump on his head. He did not seem to have any after effects so after a while he got on his bike and went home. He was really embarrassed. I did not share that story for years, because his dad would have been really mad because he was not supposed to be playing in the canal, so I said nothing for years. Last year a friend said I ran into someone that said you saved his life. It was him, the fireman’s son. I’m glad I was in the right place to help! He has a large family of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

I did not use names because I did not have permission to tell the story but it is a great memory for me!

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