It was the summer of 1963 and we wanted to go camping at Scott Lake near Sisters, Oregon. The lake there was always warm and the mountains all around us. My brother Brian and I were walking up the back way of the hill to the rock quarry when we spotted a large squirrel that was screaming at us, wanting us to leave the area. We went to see what it was guarding and it ran to the edge. We thought that we had it trapped and proceeded to capture it. As I went forward the squirrel lept off the ledge and streched out it’s arms and flew all the way down to the other side, which was at least 75 feet high.I stepped out on the rock that the squirrel had just lept from and was looking down at the large rocks below when the rock I was standing on shifted. As I spun around to try and grab the ground that came up to meet my face it went into slow motion. I remember Brian’s look on his face was pure terror as my weight slowly pulled me over the ledge. I grabbed frantically at the rocks and soil for a hold, then I got both hands on a protruding rock that held my weight while my legs swung slowly in on the little bit of overhang. I could not get my feet to get a foot hold.
As I hung there names were being called out from all over the campground. People were watching a small kid hanging off a cliff and calling out their kids’ names. I looked out and up at Brian for some help, but all he could do in shock was to scream. Then the rock that was holding me let loose a little and I knew then I wouldn’t be able to hold until someone could come and get me. On the next swing of my legs the rock pulled out of the side of the cliff and I was looking at it when that happened, it came down with force right into my forehead.
I just relaxed and felt like I was spinning in slow motion. Just before I hit I saw two teenagers streched out like they were going to catch me, but they couldn’t reach me due to the large rocks. I landed on my back, but just before impact my spirit stopped and when my body hit it felt like a mattress, I bounced up and hit the second time and bounced again. I know that I was thinking that I bounced like a basketball as I drifted out of consciousness.
The names never stopped, every name you can think of was still being called out. Then a voice that I knew, but still not sure if it was my great grandfather, asked if there was anything I wished to do before we left and I replied I wanted to go home. I liked where I was, it was protected and I thought that I’d just look one more time before leaving.
The next second I was in our living room at home, I’m not standing, but up on the ceiling looking around. It was then that I saw an old toy train my mom had as a kid, and when I saw it, a heavy sorrow came over me. Then I heard my mom’s screams and I told them I wanted to go home with mom. I was told that I would have pain and I remember saying I didn’t care I wanted to go to mom. With that, I came to on a picnic table where the two teenagers had brought me. A grandmotherly woman putting something in my eyes, she had decided to clean the blood off my face so that the parents could ID the body.
As I sat up the old woman fainted and mom was screaming as she came to me, I passed out and came to at the hospital after three days in a coma. To this day I have not had any problems with the headaches the doctors said that I’d have.
I’ve had more life problems that I also have survived including Cancer. One month ago had a rollover and flipped at the top of Mt Hood in a Fourrunner. It crushed the roof flat with my wife and daughter and grandson and not a scratch on any of us. Thank God.
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