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My Thrill Ride Down Frankwood Avenue

Story ID:10675
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Reedly California USA
Year:1955
Person:Chuck
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Another memory from my youth...

My Thrill Ride Down Frankwood Avenue
By Chuck Dishno
8/31/2015

1955
After graduating from Bly High School, I worked the summer and fall cutting timber with my Pop in Kings Canyon National Forest, Near Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park. The lumber company he worked for had moved from Bly a few years earlier and now was located in Dinuba, California. Pop followed them down and would work the logging season then return to Bly for the winter.

I knew that I didnít want to be a logger the rest of my life and decided I would work long enough to attend college. Near Dinuba was the town of Reedley. Reedley had a nice two year college aptly named, Reedley Junior College. I didnít have a car except my old 1928 Model A Ford which would never make the trip. I had saved enough to buy some sort of vehicle but not enough to do that and attend college. An education was more important to me at that time so I put off the vehicle.

My dilemma was solved when I talked my friend, Doyle Miller to attend Reedley with me. Doyle had a 1958 Chevy Club Coupe that would be just fine to make the trip. We both enrolled for the Spring Semester and arrived about the first of February. We rented a one bedroom apartment on campus called College Courts. This was a small unit of about 10 apartments. Reedley had a large Finish population and the unit next ours was occupied by a young Finish boy, Ron, who had arrived from Finland for the first semester. Ron was a great guy with superior intelligence, a lot smarter than a couple of yokels from Bly but we hit it off just fine and became great friends. Ron couldnít speak English too well but we both had one word in common and that was beer.

Ronís only mode of transportation was a Powell motor scooter and since I had owned a Cushman scooter in Bly I was anxious to ride his. The Powell was almost like my Cushman so I jumped at the chance when Ron asked me if I would like to take for a spin.

I took off down Frankwood Ave and as I neared the Frankwood School the front wheel started to come off. The scooter was leaning badly as one side of the wheel jumped out of the front fork. I knew it was going over and the last thing I remember was seeing the pavement coming up. I turned my head slightly to the left and hit hard over my right eye causing a huge gash that was spurting blood all down my white T-shirt. I was stunned for a while and when I got up, I righted the scooter and re-tightened the axel bolt with my fingers. I then mounted the beast and headed back to Reedley, a distance of about 4 miles. When I slowly rode up the College Courts, Doyle was sitting on the front steps. He took one look at me standing there with my blood soaked T-shirt and seemed to be in a daze. Doyle loaded me in his Chevy and drove across town to the Reedley Hospital emergency entrance. He had a class to go to so he just walked me in and left. The nurse on duty took one look at me wobbling on my pins and called the doctor on duty. They then put me on a gurney and rolled me into the examination room. They then cut off my T-shirt and began to check me out. The only thing they could find was the wound on my forehead. He stopped the bleeding saying that head wounds like usually bleed a lot and I may have a slight concussion but not to worry about it unless I begin to get bad headaches. Apparently Cat-Scans were not used in those early days.

The doctor then proceeded to check out the rest of my body and found numerous scars on my side and back along with several old bumps on the back of my head the result of several crashes I had sustained on my Cushman and an old 1941 CC Harley that belonged to my brother, Bud. As he continued to examine me he noticed that I was blind in my right eye and had only 9 Ĺ fingers. He then said something that has stuck with me all these years. He said with a shrug, ďYou have pretty much been around the block before, havenít you?Ē
.
That last statement really struck me funny and even though I was bleeding and in a mess, I started laughing and couldnít stop. I wasnít hurt too bad and had just added a few more bumps and scars to my collection.

Doyle picked me up awhile later and after apologizing to Ron for damaging his scooter we had a few beers and we all felt better.

For another story about Ron, read #8671