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Stubbed Toes
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Stubbed Toes


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Stubbed Toes were a way of life for children on farms in Arkansas.  It was when you would catch your toe on something like a rock, or a rise in the dirt, a root, or even just accidentally catch your toe on the hard pan dirt.

Usually, it would just tear the skin back from below the toe nail, but some severe ones would happen ever once in a while.  This would result in the skin being torn back to halfway down the bottom of your toe.

Now these things would bleed profusely, and usually within minutes, the blow flies would start attempting to congregate on them.  So, you had to go to the house and get some fix it up materials, and fix it up.

This usually consisted of a piece of cloth, some coal-oil (or kerosene), wash it with water, then pour the coal-oil on it, and wrap it with the cloth.  Band Aids )or Nestles' Quik), hadn't been invented yet, besides, we couldn't afford those anyway.

After that, then you hobbled every where you went.  Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb!  Man, those things could really get sore!  The best thing for that at the time was coal-oil.  Later we got to treating them with Purex (the type you wash with).  Then, some ignorant dude went and invented Merthiolate.  I never will forget the first time Mom put some of that on!

To this day, I have serious problems with my toes, toenails, and feet.  I'm not sure, but me thinks it is either something to do with going barefoot so much during my childhood, as it was that Merthiolate!

I was in the Dr's office one time getting an ingrown toenail cut out when he asked "How come you have so much trouble with your toenails?"

I asked him "Ever hear of a hoop and a stick?"

He said "No."

How could I tell him the story and make him understand?  I just leaned back against the wall, and let him do his thing while I floated off into a time 'way back in my childhood . . .

George Cavaness
10-09-1994



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