Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Grampa’s Leg

I did not witness how my Gramma and Grampa met, but I have heard the story.

Grampa, whose name was Claude, played on a baseball team with a couple of Gramma’s brothers.  They invited him to their home.  Claude met Jenny, who was not my Gramma at the time but later got the job.

After Claude left, Jenny asked her brothers, “What is wrong with Claude’s leg?”

“Nothing,” they said.  “What do you mean?  He’s a good ballplayer.”

As it turns out, Jenny was right.  There was something wrong with one of Claude’s legs.  It wasn’t all there.

Claude got a job for Union Pacific Railroad when he was quite young.  In the course of his employment, he was in an accident that resulted in the amputation of one of his legs below the knee.  He was fitted with a wooden leg.  His baseball teammates did not know, so he must not have talked about his injury, but Jenny noticed that his ankle was not flexible.  She must have been studying him.  He must have noticed her too, started courting her and married her.

In World War II, when many young soldiers returned with various injuries, including amputated legs, Grampa met with some of them, I have been told.  I suppose he encouraged them by showing what he could do, including roller skating and various activities — with his wooden leg.

Recently, I wrote a blog about getting back on the horse after being bucked off.  I guess that reminded me of Grampa and his leg.

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5 thoughts on “Grampa’s Leg

  1. Your Grampa had a great attitude. He did not look at his handicap but lived life to its fullest!

    • He actually seemed to enjoy playing tricks on people. Since few knew his leg was artificial, he would ask a kid to get a broom straw. He’d push the straw through the fabic in his pants, through a hole in the wooden leg where it attached below his knee, and out the other side of his pants. He would make a face like it really hurt, remove the straw, and hand it to the kid, saying, “Now you try.”

  2. I am irresistibly reminded of a UK prime time tv news lead segment in which a mother complained of having been bitten by mosquitoes three times, while her son had five bites. The news continued with a short story about the increased number of mosquitoes around in south-eastern England at the time. I guess this was around July 2009; I would have been visiting family there. Obviously, it was a slow news day, but the contrast is still incredible. I think I was raised in a similar school to your Grampa: whining don’t help none, so why do it?

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