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My thoughts on the details of being burned:

It was painful, but pain subsides quickly with time; however, the aggravation factor is very persistent. Also, I like to think it did not make me a better person. No doubt it altered my perception, but just growing up with common life experiences will benefit one in the same manner warping and honing our realities.

Give advice freely, but do not be disappointed if your advice is ignored.

Listen to what others have to say.

Keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy.

Always be ready to explain your position, which is not the same as justifying your position.

It's okay to be wrong. Life is dynamic not some static void with unchanging absolutes.

Negotiate. As anyone that has gone through debriding knows pleading is not as effective as negotiating.

Cry when the need arises.

If you can see that there is confusion speak up and point out the confusion. However, sometimes confusion works to ones advantage.

Click here to read my poetry and short stories, which have nothing to do with being burned.

Six Year Synopsis Outline from 1974 to 1980 - - - Short Summary of My Life

[Click here to jump to 1981]

Six Year Synopsis Outline

1974                --         Moved back to Miami

                                                I lost all my Matchbox cars

n              Miami, October 27th my mother, Sandy Parrish (pictured), dies from a brain tumor

my mother Sandy Parrish Fitts

n              Halloween my father and step-mom (or mom) collect me from my Parrish Grandparents in Miami

n              Start new school in Gainesville; drop back a grade to third grade

1975                --        

n              Learning to play the violin; perform in public

n              Many weekend camping trips

       Cedar Key--out in the marsh

       Lake Geneva--lots of swimming, sailing, camping out, hiking down the roads, and a horse

       Camping and boating at springs and rivers

n              Purchase many books at school book fairs

n              Some afternoons after school spent watching Star Trek and Gilligan's Island on televisions at friends' homes

n              Occasionally helped odd neighbors across street collect aluminum cans (they had stacks of cans as tall as the it seemed)

n              Spliced my first audio tape then played it back on my reel-to-reel tape recorder

n              Rejoined Cub Scouts

n              Moved into a new house four block north of the previous house (which, incidently, seemed like moving to the other side of town)

n              Started 4th grade at a new school, Metcalfe Elementary School, Gainesville

n              For my school lunch I usually ate a tahini inside Syrian bread wrapped in newspaper; while wrapped the newsprint would transfer to the Syrian bread

1976                --        

n              My mom taught me multiplication

n              More of the same weekend camping

n              Held a human brain

n              My dad and I each carved boats out of blocks of wood--his was much better than mine

n              Started 4th grade again, Metcalfe Elementary School, Gainesville

n              Thanksgiving morning at Lake Geneva gas can explosion

Long ambulance drive from Lake Geneva to Shand's Teaching Hospital, Gainesville (about 30 miles)

n              Snowed in Gainesville; I got a glimpse from my hospital room window (Jan 77, but my memory clumps it all together--as it happends central Florida received snow fall this Thanksgiving week 2006...30 years also had passed)

n              Was very concerned when I thought they had put fish skin on my right inner thigh

n              My parent's brought in my turntable and some of my records (of course I still have all my albums and the ones they brought still have my name written on surgical tape stuck to the album covers) -- here's a sampling of albums that graced the airwaves of my hospital room: Doors "Stange days" -- Iron Butterfly "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" -- The Beatles "Revolver" -- Bob Dylan

n              Learned how to scream very loudly for a long durations--was probably very good for my lungs

n              Whirlpools are not always a place for pleasure and relaxation

n              Sometimes a Burger King Whooper can be the best food in the world; as can homemade dinners served in a hospital room

1977                --         Released from Shand's Hospital around Martin Luther King Day

n              Started hanging out at various neighbors homes

n              Sat through an entire football game on TV but spent more time watching the people watching; and then they watched Baa Baa Black Sheep

n              Went to an angry psychiatrist who couldn't understand why I didn't mind being out in public--I couldn't understand why he had a computer that he didn't use and refused to let me touch it or ask questions about it...asshole

n              April off to Shriners Hospital in Boston for three months

       Got to spend time with my Great Uncle Maxfield Parrish

       My brother was born while I was out watching Stars Wars from the back of the theater with my arms up high in an airplane a phone call after returning to the Third Floor West when others were waking from nap time

n              Started 5th grade, Metcalfe Elementary School, Gainesville

n              Still riding my bike to school

       I had strapped a radio to my handlebars and heard for the first time "We Will Rock You\We Are the Champions" by Queen. It awakened me to radio.

n              I was a school crossing-guard

1978                --         more surgeries in Boston over school breaks

n              Read the entire romance section at the school library, then Encyclopedia Brown, Hardy Boys, Tarzan, James Bond

n              Ride my bike down to the Gainesville downtown public library

       Made a beautiful photocopied and spliced together map of Gainesville

       Road the city bus a few times

n              Road my bike literally across town to visit a girl I had met

n              First girl friends

       One taught how to "cursive" tie my laces

n              Would stay after school sometimes to help the janitor

       My parents did not like this

n              First school paddling--and for something I didn't do

n              Got into a big argument with my best friend from 3rd grade and his old brother over the existence of a god

n              Introduced to Godzilla at a friends home whom seemed to have a dozen older brothers (I was sad to learn he had committed suicide some years later)

n              Earned two certifications towards being a Lifesaver (swimming)

n              Moved to Vero Beach

       First house was on seven acres and we got a crazy horse that absolutely loved to trot out to the far fence and then turn around and charge full speed back and try to throw me off her back--I rode Sugarbear bareback

       Was asked my a neighbor to move their Volkswagen, and I got in behind the drivers seat and I didn't have a clue

       Would help the same neighbor's daughter with riding one of her two quarter horses to the rodeo several mile away via horse trails

       Witnessed an airplane drop a lode of something (presumably bails of contraband) over the property west of ours; my dad and I went exploring but quickly retreated after hearing many men in the same woods

       Discovered world band radio; would spend hours listening to languages and music I didn't understand

       Stocked my fish tank with beautiful fish I caught in the storm ditches

n              Started 6th grade

n              We moved to a houseboat on the Indian River (actually a lagoon)

       It had four bunks

       I ended up spending more time in my Great Grandmother's home on the mainland

      I would either sleep in the room in the back-back of the house over the water, or in the front of the house in the living room

o      When I slept in the living room I'd turn the TV on around mid-night to watch The Night Stalker--still one of the scariest shows on TV

n              I played Trombone in music class

       Another horrible public performance before abandoning the discipline

1979                --         First "new" automobile

       Only because our Morris Minor's engine seized after being serviced, as they didn't replenish the engine oil (my Dad and I replaced the engine by pulling together parts from three different engines we located in Sarasota. Unfortunately, it was never able to keep maintain oil pressure; but I did discover that feeding it lots of oil worked, however this was not a long term solution). It had been a wonderful car, and it got something close to 44 miles to the gallon (44 mpg).

--         My parents bought ten acres inland

       Untouched natural Florida land surrounded by orange groves--twice a year the most wonderful aroma of the orange tree blossoms

       We moved onto the land and lived in tents and had a hand well pump while we built the house

       I slept in my Jungle Hammock, with my dog when he'd tolerate itJungle Hammock

n              Built and completed house

       No air conditioning

       Something like 46% glass

       We had a running water, electricity, working toilet and shower, ceiling fans, a real frig, and beds

n              Started 7th grade


n              Hurricane David hit dead on and we had almost two feet of water surrounding our house for almost a month

       We used a boat to get from the cars to the house; the house was built on top of lots of fill dirt

       I dug ditches in the ground under the water to help drain the property

n              Started spending more time with my dad's parents on the weekends

       HBO and Coca-Cola

       A pool, and the beach across the street

       Plus lots of new books after my grandparent's were finished reading them; they read at least one a day

n              Besides my father's parents, I had several dozen relatives in the area with even more during the summer and holidays

n              Worse school year ever

       I couldn't spell my name if asked

       I'd occasionally get beat up at the bus stop by some much older students--though I held my ground and fought back, and I never backed away from going to the bus stop

       While in line for gym class a class mate didn't like the way I looked and got in my face spitting as he went off on me, and I took a breathe spit directly back in his face; then while in the locker room after showering he came back at me, and I took him by the shirt and slammed him into the lockers, and began my usual method of dealing with confrontations by asking him lots of questions; the teacher stood in his office, which was separated by glass windows and watched; afterwards he called me into his office and told me not to do that again, and that was that

n              Another visit to Shriners Boston

       Since the first visit I would have them do as many procedures during a single operation as possible; at first they resisted, but I said I was okay with it

       I was terrified of being put under; as soon as the option of an IV to administer the drugs I took it over that damn gas; they always tried to convince me to take the gas that way I would be out when they stuck me with the IV

       I also didn't take the sedatives before an operation; they didn't do anything for me anyway the one time I did take them

       I also always walked to the OR, and had them explain what was going to be done and the procedures ...again

       The nurses and doctors at the Shriners were excellent; they allowed me for the most part to: remove my own sutures, change my bandages, remove my donor site scarlet red (which is very painful)

       The worse donor site was on my back, and it was a huge site covered with scarlet red; I remember exactly which bed I was in when they came to unwrap my torso and check on the donor site; all that white gauze was completely glued with dried thick blood to the scarlet red, and when they removed the gauze the pain was beyond reality; and too make it worse there was no physical way I could convince them I could do it; and this wasn't even the removal of the scarlet red, which would come several days later

       A note on scarlet red: as the donor site heals under the scarlet red the itching begins; I think I filed my finger nails down once from itching the scarlet red and the exposed heals skin as the scarlet red would separate at the edges--so painful but some of the most pleasurable itching one can experience

1980                --         Another great summer

n              Started 8th grade

       My grades dramatically improve




 1981 Continuation

1982 10th Grade at Vero Beach Senior High School



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