A Recently Found Letter Written Long Ago

To whom it may concern,

      In addition to this letter and the claim report, I have included some other useful information. The circumstances of my injury are as follows: While in Australia, on the date of July 17, 1996, I fell down a flight of stairs and fractured my wrist. On July 18, I went to the Cairns Base Hospital and had my injury taken care of and returned on July 25 to get a cast. I was not charged by the hospital for any of these services other than the $8.00 to make copies of the x-rays to bring back to my doctor in the U.S. I arrived back in the United States on August 4. On August 19 I went to Dr. Philip A. Stull to get my cast removed and was charged for his services.

      Charges incurred during the injury include $8.00 for the x-ray copies (copy of receipt enclosed), $2.95 for a cast cover in order to shower (copy of receipt enclosed), $25.00 for a non-refundable deposit on a scuba diving trip with Reef Encounters that had to be canceled due to the injury (copy of receipt enclosed), and $125.00 for the cast removal and x-rays (copy of receipt enclosed). The photocopies that I included can be explained as follows:
      page 1 – passport, drivers license, and ISIC card
      page 2 – Australian visa
      page 3 – boarding pass for leaving the U.S.
      page 4 – boarding pass for arriving back in the U.S., receipt for x-ray copies, and
      receipts for the shower bag.
      page 5 – receipt for deposit on diving trip
      page 6 – receipt for x-rays and cast removal
      page 7 – photocopy of x-ray taken at Cairns Base Hospital

If there is any other information that you require in order to process my claim please let me know.



Homegrown fresh-from-the-garden peas

My mom has always had a garden. And from that garden, for every summer in my memory has come a bountiful harvest, or at least enough vegetables for a bunch of plentiful salads throughout the summer months. Lettuce (usually a few different types), carrots, green onions, tomatoes (of course), radishes, cucumbers, green beans, and my favorite: garden peas. As a child, I would sit on a towel at the swimming pool or scabby-kneed under the shade of a backyard tree or with my shirt off in the recliner chair and in my lap I an enormous bowl full of peas that I would devour the in an afternoon. Now of course, the peas have to be eaten fresh, uncooked, straight off the vine. Cooked pees are pretty much gross, in fact most cooked vegetables are pretty much gross. To this day, homegrown peas, fresh off the vine, remain one of my most treasured summertime snacks (right up there with frozen grapes). When I lived in Platt Park I grew my own, fairly successful, batch of pole peas. Last night I got myself a big old bag of peas from my moms garden. My bag is much smaller because my brother, Pandy, and I, immediately started gorging on the yield and didn’t stop till we were half way through. We slowed down once we realized that my brother was going to be the winner of the “most peas per pod contest” with a grand nine peas. Not to mention I was hoping this bag would last me through the weekend but I’m beginning to become doubtful.


Flowers From ChevyFlowers From ChevyFlowers From Chevy

Remember a while back when I got flowers. They were the best gift I’ve received all year. They lasted a long time too, a little over three weeks. But now there gone so I’m glad I took some pictures of them to show you. Plus, now the one who sent them to me can see why I thought they were so spectacular.

Wonder Twin Powers: Activate!

I watched both part one and part two of the X-men movies over the past week. I don’t know. I was never really into comic books and superheroes and crap. These kinds of things never really held my interest too much. I had a couple of friends in elementary school that would collect and trade comic books. They would keep hundreds of them wrapped in plastic; stored in a cardboard box on the top shelf of their closet. Occasionally we would finger through them if we were bored with ping-pong, or catching crawdads out in the ditch, but I never read them. My brother had a handful of 3D ones that were pretty fun mostly for their novelty value. But also because all the women drawn in them were exceedingly busty and curvy, and were wearing skin-tight, metallic, underwear that would supposedly protect them from attack tigers and wizard spells. For some reason I never really bought into the whole “Hall Of Justice” thing. But give me a pillowcase full of Legos and I’ll waste five straight hours building a space base. Anyway, the movies were a pretty entertaining way to waste five hours too(no space base included).

Remember The Carpet

I remember the carpet in my elementary school. It was that short kind of carpet: cut low to the floor. You know, that commercial/industrial strength carpet, you probably have it your office. I do. I’m sure some chemical or textile company had developed it particularly to withstand the 1000’s of muddied, sneakered, stomping feet.

Of course we were made to scrape the mud off our feet before we were allowed to the drinking fountains after recess. But it often did little good. Sometimes, while sitting in a group in front of the teacher as she read Where The Red Fern Grows or The Bridge To Terabithia or some such nonsense, I would try to peel large chunks of dried mud from the tread in my sneakers. Trying to keep the chunks as large as I could without breaking them, so they would end up being a cast of the shape, design, and pattern of the tread of my cool new kicks. After examining my cast and then breaking it into little pieces and pebbles and dust, I’d simply leave the dirt there on the carpet.

The carpet was glued, it seemed, straight onto the concrete pad, almost as if it were a part of the cinderblock building’s foundation. It seemed as unyielding as the cement it was bonded to. This carpet had the ability to give you the worst rug burns ever. It had no give and could peel away the first layers of skin faster than sandpaper. I remember we would rub a pencil eraser, or the round butt end of a bic pen, as fast as we could on the carpet. The friction heated up the eraser/pen to such a degree that it had the ability to burn you and leave a bright red mark. This was a great trick for unsuspecting foes and a strange rite of passage given to close friends.

Occasionally, actually, quite often, some poor child would be brought to school ill, or would have a stomach problem, or anxiety, or bad food, and would throw up on the carpet. Everyone would gross out while the poor child’s teacher, or an aid, would come to console them and take them down to the clinic. The janitor would then come out of his closet to clean it up the best he could. After some hosing and mopping, he would then sprinkle some sort powder that smelt like mint bubble gum on the carpet, I presume to absorb both the acid fluids and the odor. Later on he would come and clean the carpet with a vacuum and you would never know that some unfortunate seven-year old lost his insides there.

Sometimes there would be pieces of the carpet that had been damaged. Little pieces of it, about the size of quarters. The chunks would be smooth and black like glass. I think they were either caused by melting, or possibly chewing gum that has been ground into its tiny fibers for years.

The carpet was mostly orange but had a little brown in it. It covered the entire floor of the school: classrooms, library, offices, and even during my early elementary years, the gymnasium. This was unfortunate because the gymnasium was also the cafeteria. I have no clue as to how many cartons of milk, bowls of peaches, cups of cottage cheese or blobs of ketchup were dropped and left to sit (please don’t tell the aid that I spilt my juice again, she always yells at me) on that carpet. But if the stench that it held was any indication, it was a LOT. A putrid smell of leaked, trickled, dropped and dumped slop having sat stagnant and unable to be completely, or even partially, cleaned. Rancid in the carpet for who knows how long. I bet I could still instantly recognize the peculiar sour bouquet of lunch-carpet. We played basketball, dodgeball, and danced on that gymnasium/cafeteria floor. But when we did tumbling and gymnastics our gym teacher put mats down. By the time I was in 6th grade they replaced the gym with regular wood, basketball-court-style floors.

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