Friday, May 23, 2008

Cake Photo Update

Well, I guess my dad the Schmidt-Dawg gets major kudos for not only reading my blogs, but paying attention.  He sent me a little "histoire" of the man with the cake photo.  Such a story!  Here's the Dawg's email to me...

Catski, the man in the photo is your great grandpa, Lyle Finefield's papa who lived in Rochester, IA, a town of about 80 people near Tipton, IA.  He owned the local gas station (no groceries).  (Frieda and Lyle owned a groc. store in Tipton that went belly up in the Great Depression.)

One day, when I was in dental college we got a report that he had shot himself.  Immediately we went there where the family was gathered in serious mourning, devastated by the 'suicide' report for public opinion ruled their lives. But, sure enough, his shotgun had blown off the back of his skull.

When I asked the Sheriff to reenact the scene, we went into his little gas station and laid out the gun and where his head had to be and where his brains still dripped from the wall, about a foot off the floor. 

I pointed out to the sheriff that the only way he could have done that was to lay on the floor, aim the gun at his head and push the trigger, a feat his arthritic arms could neither have reached nor accomplished. 

We, then, restaged the scene: It had rained that morning and swallows had congregated under the canopy, over his gas pumps. He hated swallows, so he got his gun, headed to the canopy to shoot a few swallows and, on the way, put his hand on the pop cooler to steady himself. But he slipped, fell to the floor and the shotgun went off into his head. We even found the indentation in the linoleum floor where the butt of the gun had hit which aligned perfectly with the brain drippings.

The sheriff promptly issued a statement that this was not a suicide but an accident.  And the family heaved a huge collective sigh of relief for a suicide was a horrible blight on a family in those days.  It was a grisly way to achieve hero status in the family.

The picture was taken on their back porch leading to the gas station.  Notice he has a crutch under both arms and the cake is probably propped against the crutch.

That Schmidt-Dawg has always been a bit of a CSI...and a graphic novelist. Seriously, it was kewl detective work. And, I'm glad to know more about the little old man who held that cake in the photo that made me laugh so uncontrollably.  I think that he's probably in Heaven smiling down about it.

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