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We walked to the hospital only a few buildings away and my dad           granted this outstanding label but I am satisfied to know that my
said, “Bud”– that’s what he called me – “please go back to the house     accomplishment should be recognized in the Guinness Book of
and see if you can find Mother’s finger.” I did so, found it, and        World Records.
returned it to the hospital where it was successfully sewn back on.
                                                                         One summer while I was in college my father suggested I might like
I was about twelve when we moved to Kansas. I attended Lawrence          to work at Fallen Leaf Lodge on Fallen Leaf Lake just south of Lake
Junior High for one year and then high school at the university’s        Tahoe. He said that the woman who ran it, Fritzie Craven—a crusty
teaching school adjacent to the KU campus. How I got an education        old dame—was running the Lodge when he worked there as a college
at that school is completely beyond me. There couldn’t have been 50      student and he thought she might look favorably on my request for
people in the entire school; my class had twelve students.               a summer job.

That first summer in Lawrence I attended Cheley Trail’s End camp         The workforce was made up of young lovelies from Stanford and Cal
for boys in Estes Park, Colorado. Cheley had been running a camp         who waited table and guys who performed maintenance work. The
for boys for years prior to my attendance and, as far as I know,         environment was perfect for summer employment.
still does.
                                                                         One day two of us were building a stone wall right next to the lake to
The only way I wanted to attend was if I could arrange somehow           allow increased parking for the Lodge. I looked up and saw a duck
to have a job of some kind. I talked myself into being named a           floating across the lake. For fun I picked up a rock and flung it out
hiking counselor, leading boys my own age up the mountains in the        in the duck’s direction; much to my surprise I hit the duck’s neck,
neighborhood of Estes Park.                                              whereupon it died.

One day I led a group of six or eight campers up the backside of         I suddenly realized that this was Mrs. Craven’s favorite duck and she
Longs Peak. Inasmuch as we had started early (and the climb was          would not be pleased. I got a rowboat and paddled out, brought the
relatively easy), we were on the top by 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. The front      duck back and ceremoniously buried it in a prominent place in the
of Longs Peak was shaped like a half dome and is a straight drop         stone wall. Dennis Bark, a good friend of mine who has a house on
of 2,000 feet.                                                           Fallen Leaf Lake today, said the wall is still there and he will go by to
                                                                         say a prayer for the deceased duck the next time he is in the vicinity.
I said to the troops, “I’m going to put my feet on the edge of
Half Dome and lean over backwards with two of you holding my             At age sixteen I entered the University of Kansas, and in my freshman
hands and take the longest crap known to man.” I have not yet been       year played basketball for Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, probably the most

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