Another thing I used to do quite often was to get a can of beans, some crackers and hike out to Julien Dubuque's grave.
When there was a slow moving freight train going by, we would hop on and get off at Catfish Creek or town, depending which way we were going. I don't recall Mary ever doing this, but she could have.
At Catfish, there is a small cave where we would warm up our beans and with the crackers have our lunch. We would always go up the path alongside the cliff to the grave. Now they have it blocked off because it is so dangerous which is OK as I don't think I would try it now.
One night right after supper, us little kids were out in the alley playing, Paul and I were on a bar on a fence holding unto a tree limb. Rita Smith, who was over visiting, and Mary were running down the alley when Paul said "let’s get them". He jumped down OK but when I jumped my right hand caught on a X spoke on top of the fence damn near ripping my thumb off. The skin was ripped away beginning at my wrist to just about around both sides of my thumb.
Well naturally I did what any normal kid would do, I ran screaming into the house. Mom took one look at it and had Margaret hold my hand under the faucet (Marg was praying all the time) while she (Mom) called Grandpa Andresen to come with his car and also the Doctor.
While Margaret was holding my hand under the faucet, I could see the muscles and I didn't know that it was purplish in color. Grandpa was quick seeing that he had to come from Kaufman Ave and him, Mom and I went to the clinic. There they gave me ether and put in 19 stitches. When I woke up I had a bandage on my hand resembling a boxing glove. They helped me into grand¬pa's car and when I got home all my brothers and sisters were waiting on the curb. Cocky as I was, I opened the door and started to walk in the house but immediately collapsed right in Bills arms who carried me up to my bed.
The next day, in a show of support, Paul got out a hammer and wanted to know what X spoke (from the fence) had cut my hand as he was going to beat it up, I went out to the alley to show him which one as it wasn't hard to find as part of my skin was still on it. To this day, a trip to the alley will find the offending spoke bent down. Nice to have sisters and brothers who care. Please note that in none of my injuries I don't mention Pop. On the last one he was in the service and the first he was at Northwestern attending school.