We were tough.We were mean. We were ,well, full of ourselves, and we were only in the seventh grade. After all, we were the biggest kids in the seventh grade, and were even bigger than our eighth grade buddies.
Good old Wallace Junior High School,no one who went there can forget it.An old dismal building that housed the grade school on the first two floors, and four hundred hormone raging animals on the third floor.
Anyway, it was a glorious September day, a Thursday, about 2:45 P.M.It was the afternoon before the first flag football game of the year against Mullan.Did I mention we were full of ourselves?My buddy,whose name I will not mention to protect the guilty, but his initials are SK.,and I decided that we did not have to attend the last practice before the game.
Why?,you ask,well I can't exactly remember, but it had something to do with the fact that we were first stringers, the two biggest guys on the team, and we were,well,special.
At least we thought we were special. So istead of going to practice, we snuck past the park, cast a wary eye behind, and went home.
The next afternoon we boarded the team bus and headed to Mullan. When we got to the field, Mr. M,our coach told the first string to go to one section, the second string to another section, and,well, you guessed it, SK and I were told to go off by ourselves, and throw the football around.
We were no longer first string.We were not second sting.We were not even thrid string, we were the Zombie squad,a disgraced squad of two.
So off we went by ourselves to warm-up.Our egos bruised, no longer the legends in our own minds,we started to pass the football to each other.
On the first pass from SK to me I caught the ball on the side of my middle finger on my right hand, and the bone shattered like a matchstick.I never did tell SK he broke my finger, but on the slim chance he is somewhere out there reading my blog, I am telling him now."SK, you shattered my finger".
About that time, the Mr.decided to insert us in the game.Nauseated,finger throbbing, I went in. I swear the kid I was facing on the other side of the ball must have known my finger was broken because he seemed to hit it on every play. I went to the side line and told Coach I thought my finger was broken. He roughly felt it, and said"you're not hurt.Get back in there."
After the game my Mother took me up to the old Wallace Hospital where Dr. Ned said"you shattered it"
A hard lesson, a bitter pill. I never again missed a practice. The football gods had punished me enough.