Sunday, February 10, 2013

'And I Got Better'

"My asthma just kept getting worse through them years. They didn't think I'd ever make it. I'm talking about I had it real bad. Lots of nights they didn't think I'd make it through the night.
"But I did. We'd use Vick's salve. Put it in a saucer and put it over a lamp and put a sheet over my head. That way sometimes I'd get relief. Sometimes wouldn't nothing relieve me. I'd just have to suffer it out. There were times I felt pretty good. But they wouldn't last too long. I'm talking about maybe a month or so I wouldn't have no asthma, then there'd be times I'd have it for two or three weeks at the time.
"I remember one time in 1934, sleet was on the ground. So Ernest Hudgins, first cousin by marriage, he come down there and wanted to go rabbit hunting. Well I'd been sick for about three weeks and I hadn't done nothing. I'd been sitting there in the house with my hands on my face, smothering. I wanted to go so bad I couldn't hardly stand it. And I knowed Daddy wouldn't let me go.
"Well, I told him, I says, 'Take the dogs and go down yonder behind the barn. Sort of linger along an' I'll catch up with you after a bit.'
"Okay. So he went on out there and I got my old gun and slipped on out the back door.
"Oooh-wee! I come back to the house, I was froze from my waist down! I had ice on my britches and everything else. Got back in there and Daddy, he looked at me.
"'Young man,' he says, 'you can just suffer tonight! I'm not gonna sit up with you tonight! You know better than to get out there in that water, in that freezing rain, and go anywhere.'
"'Yes sir," I said.
"I went to bed that night and I slept better that night than I'd slept in three weeks. I slept all night long.
"And I got better." --Carl Bishop

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