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Old 07-01-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kingwood
Default I've Been Shot!

John Shelley

One summer between college years when I was about 21 years old, I got a wild hair to build a street rod. I have no idea what possessed me to want such a thing but I had a powerful hankering come upon me and that’s what I thought I needed.

So, after a little swapping and bargaining I came up with a 1939 4-door Chevy Sedan. Not really what you’d call the ideal car to turn into a street rod, but it’s all I could come up with for $40! I mean-mouthed my brother into going with me and towing it back to my Dad’s service station since it didn’t have a transmission. Or a motor. Or seats. It didn’t have any brakes either but I didn’t discover that right away! We finally got it back to the station with a few new dings in the front fenders (it didn’t have a bumper either).

There she was. A thing of beauty! No motor, no transmission, no seats or bumpers, but she did have all 4 doors and all the windows. And some rust. Lots of rust! I got started right away sanding and scraping and trying to get rid of the rust. Well after about 30 minutes of intense labor with a wire brush and sandpaper and I was completely cured of my hankering for a street rod! This is for the birds!

A few days later, a friend of mine came by the station and I caught him cuttin’ his eyes toward the rust bucket a couple of times and the wheels started turning in my head. I could see he was workin’ up a hankering of his own! I put my salesmanship skills to work and had the boy all in a lather in a matter of minutes! He just had to have it.

Now I knew this boy didn’t have no $40 so we started the negotiations. We finally settled on a trade when he offered me $20 and a .22 pistol. It wasn’t even a good .22, but at least it didn’t have no rust on it! The deal was done and I had 20 bucks in my pocket and a semi-shiny .22 pistol. I couldn’t wait to shoot it. It had to be more fun than scraping rust!

That afternoon when I got off work, I stopped by Mrs. Spivey’s grocery store and picked up a box of .22 shorts and me and the new pistol headed for the country. When I got to the pasture I scrounged a couple of tin cans from the ditch and set them up on a nearby log. Before long I was plinkin’ the cans on nearly every shot. I needed a new challenge!

So, I got the bright idea to do a little quick draw shooting. Bad idea! Actually things were going pretty good at first. I was getting quicker on the draw and closer to the can with every shot. In an effort to get even faster, I started cocking the hammer on the way out of the holster. Another bad idea!

I drew and cocked the hammer at the same time but this time I pulled the trigger before I cleared leather! I heard the shot, but I didn’t see any dirt fly anywhere even near the can! I looked down at my leg and saw the gun still in the holster. This can’t be good! I didn’t have any pain what-so-ever, but I had a bit of a “heavy” feeling in my leg. I searched my pant leg and found a small hole just at the bottom of the holster and confirmed what I pretty much already knew. I been shot! “Whaaaaaaaaw!!!!!”

The bullet had entered my thigh midway between my hip and my knee and stopped just before breaking the skin just behind my knee. Amazingly, there was almost no blood. I drove myself back to town and went by the station to tell my mom what had happened and then go on up to the doctor’s office.

Now you’d just have to know my mom to appreciate this part. When I pulled into the station she came out to the car and I said, “Hey get in the car and go with me up to the clinic. I shot myself in the leg with that pistol”. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!! Oh my God! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!

She screamed at my dad “Lewis, Johnny’s been shot! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!” She jumped in the car and off we went to the clinic. Now, my poor old dad can’t hear it thunder and he thought she said my brother Ronnie had been shot. He had no idea where we were going or what was going on so he about flipped out too!

When we got to the clinic I parked the car and my mama took off for the front door. She didn’t know it but I was only a couple of steps behind her when she opened front door of the clinic. “Somebody help me, my son’s been shot! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!” Man, I wanted to shoot myself in the head right about then!

The doctor snipped the skin and popped the bullet right out without even deadening my leg, but said he thought it would be best if I spent the night in the hospital just for observation. Once we got settled in the room my mom finally thought to call my dad and get him down off the rafters and tell him what had happened.

Next she called my fiancée. She called her from my hospital room. Poor girl – she didn’t know my mother very well and had no idea how melodramatic she could be. “Kimla, this is Lola. We’re at the hospital at Olney. Johnny just shot himself!”

“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!! What did he do that for? If he didn’t wanna marry me, he coulda just said so. He didn’t have to shoot himself!” It took me a while to calm the girl down and convince her it wasn’t a suicide attempt and she finally stopped bawling! Women get worked up over the least little things!

Needless to say, I got rid of the pistol after all that. Never had much of a hankering to quick draw anymore. Sure wish I had that old car back though.
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