Naw, I expect to be healed by the time it gets that bad, though we do seem to be heading for the wall at breakneck speed. As per the last batch of x-rays, I'm right on line where the doc says I probably should get surgery. I told him "that ain't happenin', I need to get back to work." So, reluctantly, he gave me a storm-trooper-looking big boot and we're going to keep monitoring the healing (or not healing) over the next few weeks. Even so, I still am not suppose to attempt much walking around for a while yet. 'Tis le bummer. . . .
All this has brought to mind my somewhat legendary grandpa "Dude"--the Cowboy/Artist/Poet/Mystic/Senator Larsen. When I was a young boy, living with my maternal grandparents, Dude happened to live in a house just a block further up the hill. We lived at the top of the foothills that overlooked Downtown Salt Lake City.
One time I was snow sledding down his long back yard and he invited me in the house. I don't remember much of the talk, except that we walked around and looked at his and his wife's various western paintings on the walls, and then he told me to wait for moment, "I want to show you something."
He came back with a little test-tube style jar filled with fluid . . . and something else. With a somewhat mischievous grin he handed it to me and asked, "know what that is?" I shook my head. Whatever it was, it looked gross.
"My finger!" he chuckled and then further explained. When he was moving the lawn one time, the mower got stuck and he reached down to jog it, and whack! . . . the blades sliced off about one third of his finger below the end joint. He saved it in formaldehyde to prove his mind-over-matter abilities. He then showed me the finger, which was almost grown back, including the joint and had a little tip of fingernail beginning to form. He told me that with faith you can heal yourself, and that was how he was able, with "faith" and power of mind, to grow back his severed finger. Oddly, he also then opened his western-style sports' jacket and pulled out a small bar of solid gold, which I held. I don't remember exactly what he said about that, except that he seemed to include it in his general talk of the power of positive thinking. . . . (Which reminds me of another time I ran into him downtown walking on the street, where he took me into a café and we sat and drank coffee and talked for a bit. . . . This was several years later and among other things, he told me to always keep a 100$ bill in my pocket, no matter how broke I was. Never spend it, just hold it, as having it there would always provide a certain sense of confidence and surety no matter what.)
Anyway, back to Dude's self-healing abilities. I have copy of a very interesting article that was written about him, I believe in the early to mid 90s . . . telling of his adventurous life as a cowboy and rancher . . . and running a motel (I believe in Kanab) where the movie stars stayed when they filmed all those great westerns in Southern Utah. They kept a special room for John Wayne, who was friends with Dude, along with Ronald Reagan and many other actors.
Here is an excerpt from the article describing Dude's self-healing: "Over the years Dude has been more than a cowboy, artist, and poet; he is also a medical mystery. A devout Christian, his strong belief in curing himself through faith has enabled him to "grow back" such things as ribs, part of a finger, (he keeps the part that was cut off in a jar), one whole and part of another lung, and a part of a jaw bone that was removed during cancer surgery. Some of these miracles have been written up in medical journals over the years."
I guess we'll see if any of that (ability?) passed on. . . .
Here is an old photo of Dude and my grandma "Dot" (Dorothy, also an artist.)
And here is one of Dude's (many) paintings, with a description of the event recorded:
TRAPPING WILD CATTLE L.H. “Dude” Larsen sketched a scene of “a true life experience from 1884” onto butcher paper, based on an incident where a wild cow charged at his Uncle Amasa Larsen at Big Flats, a mesa overlooking the Green and Grand (now Colorado) rivers. Using artist’s license, Dude depicted a steer chasing his father, Tom, who was helping Amasa round up wild cattle into a 3-sided corral where the canyon rim served as an invisible fence for the fourth side. Tom related that he fired above the animal to try to stop it, but precariously near the rim, he finally had to kill the crazed cow. The episode inspired a painting and one of Dude’s humorous poems:
"The canyon is deep.
The rim is high;
The end is near
For you or I.
I’ve one shell left,
Now will it be
Death, for you
Or for us three.
For if perchance
This shot should fail
We’ll all go over the rim to ----
Well. We’d never get back to tell the tale."
ROUGH RANGE Wranglers were wise to behaviors of agitated animals and worked fast and efficiently when rounding up cattle for branding. Unfortunately, after cowboy Tom Larsen roped and tied this steer to his saddlehorn, the rope snapped, the steer snorted, and Tom had a pair of long horns bearing down on him. He managed to scamper up the only tree within short range just in time to avoid being impaled. His son, cowboy artist Dude Larsen, memorialized the moment in a painting and poem in 1939
"Where the range is rough and the cattle wild
A cowboy’s life is never mild
For many a critter just like this steer"