Black wind blowing.

Mike Folmer- July 79

August 1979. I was riding Cherry Hill Skatepark, my halfpipe and other stuff on a regular basis. Jim Howell & I rode together daily. We were learning exponentially. We were smoking weed & skating hard…it was good. I was going into the house for lunch on a Sunday afternoon & I walked by the basketball rim beside the garage. My dad had lowered the rim to approximately 6 feet in height. You see, I had a younger brother who was into basketball. I just jumped up and acted like I was slam- dunking a ball. My hand slid down the rim & fell between the V-shaped bracket underneath.

My full weight came down & I found myself screaming in agony as I hung there by my wrist. A fountain of gore sprayed my face, as the artery was cut. Rivulets of hot blood ran down my arm & into my shirt & shorts. I hung there, swinging grotesquely…every movement taking me further into unconsciousness. An eternity went by. My mouth shrieked & gnashed. I found myself whimpering. Finally, I felt myself lifted. Strong hands pulled me close & my arm was wrapped in towels. I looked at the sky & a black wind blew across my face. I smelled grass…freshly cut. For reasons unknown to me, I thought of Mike Folmer & green Sims Snakes wheels. I yelled at every footstep…bolts of pain, pounding across my mind. I squirmed like a bug under a black boot.

I lost track of time. Blood erupted around the towels & ran into the cassette tape case on the floor of the van-filling it- as my dad drove to the hospital. I remember crying & repeating a word like a mantra…”Hurts.” We drove like the devils henchmen were at our heels. We drove on the wrong side of the road…my dad & me; bloody, savage, crying. I had cut my right hand -virtually- off. I cut the radial artery, veins,  radial nerve & tendons. It would be a long haul.

A doctor named Eric Blomain, was a hand surgeon at Hershey Medical Center that day. He sewed me up & reconnected everything. I was skating in a splint within 7 months. To this day, I still cannot make the ‘thumbs up’ gesture very well…but I can do inverts. Thanks to my dad for saving my life (I lost a ton of blood), Dr. Eric Blomain, & Mike Folmer for getting me through it all. Thanks to Jim Goodrich for the image & inspiration to write about this horrible memory. Skate-Ozzie

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9 thoughts on “Black wind blowing.

  1. I too remember that day quite vividly. Horrifying is more the word and we worried. And I prayed. Images remain, etched in the memory. Why I remember some things and not others, I do not know. I remember mom or you had told me how many quarts of blood were lost, but that number is forgotten.

    What I do know is that I’m grateful you had a gifted surgeon. I’m grateful you stayed with us. I’m grateful you healed. (if I recall, better than the doctor had hoped)

    The metal V shaped frame where you were stuck, remained buckeled outward slightly, reminding me every time I saw it, how fortunate we were that you came home, regained use of your hand and now inspire others the way you do.

  2. Your storytelling prowess never ceases to amaze me. When we see each other, we can compare scars—your wrist and my bionic knee.

    Have a great year, Ozzie!!

  3. I clearly remember that day. We were having a cookout of sorts when all of the Devil’s spawn suddenly – and violently -descended upon our unassuming farmhouse. It was weird and terrible for a little brother because I really didn’t know if you were coming back once you got into that van. And it happened quick. No chance to say anything to you. Not that I would have known what to say. Even typing this I can vividly see your wrist scar. Weird. I can’t imagine how terrifying it was for Dad to see his son’s blood everywhere.
    And what really is the purpose of things like that happening? I dunno. I guess so you can better appreciate your Brother’s blog 30 years later on New Year’s Day. Cheap answer, I know, but it’s all I got.
    AND…even after that incident when you should have hated everything basketball (which you do) and hated the sight of me for loving it so much, you would show up at the house with a new basketball for me once in a while. You’d actually lob up a bunch of shots with me from the gravel driveway, denting the rim with each off-target heave. On a skateboard – a dream, a natural, on the court – not so much. But that shit isn’t lost on a little kid and I loved you even more for making a stooge of yourself just to try and relate to me a bit. THAT’S why you’re an awesome Brother. Because you possess the ability to give of yourself even when you don’t really want to.

  4. broken both wrists.no pads in CA until 1976.pre pad days were hardcore.duane peters is the medical expert.

  5. HAPPY NEW YEAR OZZIE …. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE …. HERE’S TO A GREAT NEW YEAR ! ALOHA MY FREIND !

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