Gene Foster – Part 5: Encounter with an axe

Gene’s earliest farm work memories are of his parents picking cotton. While his mother and dad picked cotton, “I would ride in sack or stay in shade until I got big enough to help pick.” 

“Big enough” apparently came quickly. “There were always daily chores around farm,” Gene wrote in the early 1990s while in his late 60s. He put firewood in the house or on the porch, and he fed the hogs and cows. He also dried the dishes for his mother. 

At age 5, Gene’s life could have ended. His older brother, Charles, and cousin, Wilson Beeson, were cutting down a tree “near the tank behind house.” People in many parts of the country, would call the “tank” a pond — stock tank or stock pond. The Fosters had moved dirt to dam up a draw behind (north of) the house. When it rained, the “tank” would catch enough water for the livestock to drink until the next rains. 

The tree stood just off the trail that went around the tank. “I decided I wanted to watch from other side,” Gene wrote later. “I run behind Wilson as he was coming on back swing with ax. Needless to say it layed my jaw wide open.” They carried Gene to Eustace to have the doctor sew it up. “I will never forget, Doc’s office was upstairs. He sent downstairs for some men to hold me while he sewed me up. A man on each leg & arms, I’ll never forget getting one leg loose an kicking Doc in stomach. I still have proof of that experience” — a scar.

[Note: I have kept Dad’s grammar errors intact. I guess I’m just a stickler for historical accuracy.]

Copyright © 2020 Ferrell Foster

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