As always, it’s good to hear from the men on the topic at hand. On any topic, it’s good to go to the collective wisdom of the men and see what is to be shared and revealed. This month we hear from the men posting on social media, in answer to this question: “What is your scar – physically, emotionally, mentally – and how did you get it?”
Garret Hollarn – I have scars from the surgery from my broken neck where they had to do a fusion of two vertebrae, and I also have an 8-inch gash on my chest where I had open-heart surgery to replace my heart valve and part of my aorta.
Charles Gary – Let’s see – scars hidden under my hair from various times I had to get head wounds stitched up, a scar on my shin from when an orthopedic surgeon went in and screwed my broken bones back together, scars on my hand from a rattlesnake bite, and a good-sized scar on my thigh from a skin graft to cover up the hole left in my hand after the enzymes in the snake venom dissolved all the tissue it came into contact with. There’s also one on my lower abdomen from a surgery to put an unascended testicle back where it belongs. At what age do we stop recounting?
David Zwicker – Burst appendix surgery @ 13 years.
Tom McCarter – Two scars from knee surgeries. One scar under my left eye from when I was cutting some jeans to make cutoffs. Later this wound broke open during football practice. One other scar on my forehead from running into a marble top during hide and seek.
Brian Childers – Now I remember that I’ve had for 50 years a 3-unit bridge, including a false front tooth – due my being an asshole while hopped up on beer.
Sandy Feder – When I was four my mom took my sister and me shopping at a music store. I was running around and completely wiped out into a drum kit. I cut my chin open on the edge of the snare drum and had to get stitches. 50+ years later, I still have that scar.
Russel Lee – Compound fracture of the left tibia and fibia. I was on my motorcycle and ran into my girlfriend. She was in her car.
Chris Christopher – I have a scar on the palm of my right hand. I remember vividly just how it came to be there. My then girlfriend and I set out on a wilderness adventure to Alaska in August of 1982. We started with a one-week kayak adventure near the tidal glaciers of Glacier Bay in southeast Alaska. It rained and rained on a landscape devoid of all vegetation and life, stripped clean by the receding glaciers. The rocks rose dramatically from the 36-degree water of the bay. While they said a person could live for ten minutes in that water, that ignored that you were really only conscious for a minute or so after immersion. With that background and context in a barren landscape I set out to find a “private” place for a biological event. I rounded a corner making sure I was out of sight of my girlfriend being the gentleman I am. As I rose from my work, I slipped on the wet rocks and started slip sliding toward the rock cliff and a plunge into the bay loaded down with heavy boots and layers of clothes against the weather. My hands became my brakes of last resort. My skin paid the price to create the friction to stop my just short of the bay. Every time I see and feel those scars, I remember that moment. Masculinity and stupidity all gloriously intertwined in a great (and painful) memory of a great adventure.
Stephen Lema – I have a few … about 10 stitches on the side of my knee from coasting down Savin Hill on the metal door skin of a refrigerator left out in the trash. It seamed like a good idea until the sudden stop.
Sandy Peisner – As a 15-year-old, my foot got a third degree burn when I worked at Orlando Disneyworld as a burning hot fryer spilled onto my foot.
Jorge Beltran – I had back surgery in 2002, so I have a scar. Amazingly after having an aneurysm where I almost died and was in a coma for 10 weeks, the work they did on my skull has left not even one mark.
Rob Mackintosh – At the age of four, I dashed out of a store and ran into the street, getting hit by a truck and ending up waking up in the hospital. I was in a coma for over a week. There is a 4-inch long scar running along the top of my head on the right side.
Richard Herrera – I have a ton of scars. As a 5-year-old I fell out of tree and landed on a small pile of bricks, cutting open my left shin. Also over my left pectoralis muscle, that is where they placed my pacemaker.
Fred Boyles – I have lots of scars physically and emotionally. Some from 55 years of being inspected by professionals and men’s teams. One of my most recent is being on a team of men that want to party and act immature. That means keeping secrets from the division inspection. After clearing my list on them once a month for years, I finally left. I recently went back and forgave them.
Ed McClure – I’m basically Frankenstein. When I was less than one, I almost died with a problem with my pulmonary valve. I had a scar from my upper sternum to my belly button, almost my entire body at that age. Also at eight years old, I was banging too hard on a window and my hand went through it, cutting my wrist open. The stitches have left a scar. I was banging not that hard … but I guess hard enough.
James C. March – At 20, I slipped on glaciated granite crossing a stream at 9,000 feet in the Sierras (Elizabeth Pass). Fell in, was carried over a waterfall and landed on my back. Had to be helicopter-rescued, lashed to a body board (concerned about broken back), tied to outside of the tiny two-seater. Vietnam vet enjoyed being barely able to lift off because of high altitude, waddled us across the granite slab, then over the cliff, and laughed as we fell like a stone “to gain speed.” Waited six hours in an emergency room (no back injury, just small piece of skin missing on the leg). Saturday night in Vacaville, emergency room overflowing with more serious injuries than I had. Here, I watched an old man die from heart attack, one-month old baby die from head trauma (and police arrest of father), a couple young men with knife fight wounds, while the drunken lady lying next to me bled from her foot. “Stepped on a bottle,” she mumbled. Things slowed down after 2 a.m. I was given three stitches and discharged. Waited another four hours for my wife to make the drive from the Bay Area to pick me up. Still have the scar on my leg.
Willy Holt – I have three scars on my shoulders from rotator cuff surgery, two on right, one on the left. I’ve had both knees replaced. I had back surgery, so I got one cut on my belly and two cuts on my back. Screws are holding my back together. A double fusion: Celiac to L 5 and then L5 to L4.
Rich O’Keeffe – I threw a beer bottle out of a moving car. It hit a metal sign and didn’t break. It hit me in the middle of my thick skull and shattered into a bunch of pieces. Bounced off the sign and broke as we were accelerating.
Bryce Honstead: When I was nine years old in the fourth grade, I had an accident while playing hide and seek. My foot slipped into a concrete drain pipe with a missing cover, and a pipe with a big chip in the top lip cut my left about three inches below my left knee. The wound went all the way to the bone. As the blood was pouring down my leg, the pain was so intense that I told my dad “Kill me, I want to die.” He was scrubbing the dirt out of my wound, and then looked up at me and said, “Oh no, you’re going to be just fine.” That calmness and confidence was what I really needed at that moment. He was my hero. I will never forget that.