Friday, March 17, 2006

My older brother gets shot by my half-brother.

It was a very humid summer day in July, 1977. Richard and Wally were checking out their new bow and arrows that Dad had recently brought for them. They decided to go to the pond to swim and practice shooting. Richard wasn’t doing very well because 2 days before he had been stung by a bumblebee just above his right eye. It was swollen shut and his left eye was open just enough for him to see where he was going. My sister's and younger brother Dustin stayed home doing chores, playing, and watching TV. . They had been gone for a little over an hour, when suddenly Wally came running into the house, falling down onto the floor he shouted, “Richard’s hurt at the pond".

A look of terror came across Mom's face, "what happened? What's wrong?” she said grabbing him.

"I shot Richard in the side with an arrow".
"Oh God, where is he at?”
"At the pond."
"Okay, show me where," Mom said, and then she quickly ran out the front door.

We had no phone to call for help, because Dad had refused to let Mom get one, so it was up to mom to get him to the hospital in Nowata County. Mom drove madly through the fields until she made it to the pond bank. They managed to get him in the truck and into town within an hour. From there he was taken to a hospital in Bartlesville where he could get better care.

I found out later Richard and Wally had been shooting arrows back and forth across the pond. Wally shot one and Richard looked up, but couldn't see it because of the bee sting and the sun in his eyes. He had lifted his left arm up to block out the sun, and when he did, the arrow that was a straight tip, went deep into his side, puncturing his left lung. He stayed in the hospital for 2 week's. Mom stayed several night's at the hospital, leaving us alone with dad.

It made me feel uneasy, because all that day Dad had been sitting around naked in his recliner. He often did this, even when Mom was around. After getting home from work, he would strip totally naked in the living room, sit back in his recliner and begin rubbing his genitals, not caring if anyone saw him or not. One day 2 women from the church stopped by unexpectedly, instead of making a mad dash to get dressed, he refused to get dressed and answered the door naked. It made them feel as uncomfortable as I was feeling that night. Unsure of what to think.

It was late and my sister's were already asleep in their beds. I could hear him in the bathroom and I could tell he was peeking at us through the crack in the door. I was scared thinking he would come and get me, so I hid my head under the cover and laid very still. I could hear the cracking of the floor as he stepped lightly into our bedroom. My heart was racing and I started to sweat. I laid there motionless, afraid to even breathe. When I heard the creaking of the bathroom door shutting, I eased the blanket down from my eyes just enough to take a peek around. I let out a sigh of relief when I didn't see him there. I then looked over at my sister's beds, my little sister Suzy was sound asleep, but my half-sister April was gone. He had taken her into his bedroom. I covered my head and tried to sleep not wanting to think about what might be happening.

Richard got out of hospital and life went on as usual. Nothing was ever brought up about what happened that night. April never said a word. After that, I figured that was just the way it was suppose to be. You could do ‘things’, but you couldn't tell anyone about it. Little did I know, but it would just be another thing that I couldn't tell; it was another bad summer.

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