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Thursday, January 12, 2006 

how i got this cursed rash.

How did I get poison Oak during January.
Kelwhy and Chuck asked this question. I got it doing work. Something Chuck would not be able to understand. I was clearing off some brush with an axe. But it made me think of another poison ivy story. My brothers worst case of poison ivy.

He was 14 and quite the idiot. It was summer 1962. It was hot. He and his friends did their annual ritual of damming up Sven’s Creek. It is a local waterway that has since turned into a crick. A creek is a pristine waterway; a crick is a cow infested, poop swamp.
They would dam the creek up and swim in it. They dammed up the creek with logs and rock and mud, so that it would fill up a bend in the creek, known as the swimming hole. The dam made the water about 15 feet deep and was a great place to cool off in the summer. People all up and down the creek would use the swimming hole. In the fall strong rains would wash the dam away and clean out the swimming hole of all drown people, and we would start over in the late spring.

This day they had just finished damming up the creek. He and his two buddies were lazing around waiting for the water to rise significantly enough so that they could jump and dive off of a large, mossy oak tree. They, of course, wore no clothes.

One of his friends, Joel I think his name was, noticed a large vine hanging off of the mossy oak tree. Being idiots they started running and swinging off of the vine over the water and dropping into the water naked. Little did they know that the vine was a poison oak vine? After they spent several hours pulling down the poison oak vine they began walking home wearing only their shoes, so as not to get their clothes wet, and they would dress before getting home. They walked down the train track to the pasture that would lead them home.

As was their custom they would stand and wave naked at any train that would pass. This one just happened to contain my great aunt Winnie who did not recognize them but did notice them. It made for interesting dinner conversation that evening.
But I digress…

The rash that developed from the naked vine swinging was particularly heinous. I remember the stories even today of him painting calamine lotion on with a paintbrush.

I guess my case is not as bad as I thought.