It was a day I’ll always remember…(now I’m thinking of the cool song by the Temptations: “Papa was a Rolling Stone” J ) because I finally broke a bone. I had lived an entire active life to “30-something” adulthood without breaking the required arm during raucous summer vacations or 8th grade football.
I broke my foot on Quasimodogeniti which was so appropriate—ever watch ol’ Quasimodo traipse around like a drunk ballerina whose feet have “fallen asleep” (especially in the Chaney 1923 version).
I was living up in the Dakotas and was pastor for a twin-point parish in pheasant country. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the weather was nice. My wife had our big meal scheduled for around 6pm, so I took my young kindergarten son down to the school playground about 6 long blocks south of the parsonage.
We were just messing around—NO wrestling, kicking rocks, or jumping off playground equipment! We were actually playing a “spur-of-the-moment” made up game of “MONSTER TAG” wherein I was the hog monster chasing young Watson.
I was wearing a pair of Timberland deck shoes/moccasins which were as good as Sperry Topsiders and cheaper. I loved me my Timberlands, and had worn these comfortable slip-ons all through my four years of Ft. Wayne Seminary days and Waterford vicarage.
I growled like a ferocious hog monster (suitable for the bogs and caves of Narnia or Middle Earth) and took off after my scampering 5-year old—ONLY to immediately hit a small, very small piece of wood-chip…the tiny, micro-small wood chips that people put in their flower beds to retard weeds. My right foot ever so quickly and slightly turned inward and I hurt a “pop.” I also felt a hot quick surge of manageable pain—like pulling a muscle.
I knew I had hurt my right foot but was hoping it was some kind of sprain. I just wanted to get home and ice it down. I asked my son if he could walk back to the parsonage to “get Mom to bring the car” and he balked. I think he was partly “scared” to go alone and partly worried that I was hurt worse than I let on. Thank the Lord my son had brought his tiny bicycle with its “training wheels.” I used the bike as a crutch by putting my right knee on the bike seat and sort of skate-boarded it home.
I just wanted to sit down, get ready for supper (Roast Beef, yum) and ice my right foot exterior with a package of frozen Green Giant Peas. My wife wanted to know why I couldn’t put any weight whatsoever on my right foot J
So off the family went to the local hospital where, lucky for all of us, the wonderful Dr. Mary Morris was on duty. She had my foot x-rayed and correctly diagnosed the “Jones fracture.” I had broken the fifth metatarsal half way between heal and toe-tip. I would have to be fitted with a walking cast for at least 10 weeks.
I have all sorts of interesting and fun anecdotes which happened to me in the ensuing 10 weeks, but by now, you’re wondering what this has to do with MEGALUNEI? Well, I guess not much other than it is a pastor’s remembrance—but…it actually gave me a bit of anonymous fame throughout the synod (sic) which can only come from either CPH or the Lutheran Witness (cue- Seraphs chanting).
One of the 5 year olds at the smaller of the two congregations had heard his grandmother bemoaning my crippled state with concern. When she said about poor Pastor Watson….”what a bummer” the little supporter of my seelsorgership spoke up in my defense: “He’s NOT a bum, he’s a pretty good pastor!”
The dear grandma knew she had a shot at literary fame and sent this “versicle & response” to Lutheran Witless (as I then called it, pre-Dorr J) and they published it (I’m thinking in the late summer early fall of 1996 for all of you fact-checking archivists). I’ve got the clipping somewhere in the vestry undercroft, but am too lazy to go and scan it for you; maybe later.
There were no names, but it was me…proof from the very “mouths of babes” that Pastor Watson was not a bum!