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Homer’s Transition by Rick Graham

Shared By Elsie Coburn

Some years back, I was working in my Dad’s store here in Midvale.  Homer Wiggins had been sent in by his wife to get a few items.  We chatted a bit and he was ready to settle up, he got out his check book and began to write a check, and I noticed for the first time that he was left handed. I remarked to him that I had never noticed he was a lefty.  He tells me he wasn’t always left handed, but comes to him by his Dad. 
Homer relates back to the homestead years, and how no one had any money, but used to barter with neighbors, except in the case of needing ammunition.  He tells me .22 shells were a nickle a box, but in hard times that was quite an investment.  They raised and sold cattle, but Homer says they were for cash flow, and not so much for table use.  Tells me there was a lot of rabbits around, so their prime source of meat was rabbits and other wild game, such as a grouse or sage hen.  Not many deer in the valley in those days Homer says, as there were  always a few
Indians coming through this part of Idaho.  They’d come in as the fish runs occurred, so there was always a competition for venison.  
Homer goes on to tell me that he’d ran out of .22 shells pretty early in the fall of the year, and his Dad tells him it’s  up to him to bring in the table meat, and since there was no cash for more ammunition, he’d have to get their rabbit with rocks.  He says there were a few, but not many meals they didn’t have a rabbit.
As time went on, Homer says, he got so good with the rocks, that he was tearing up the meat pretty badly.  Homer says he and his Dad go out and pick up some good throwing rocks and put them in a flour sack.  Then Homer says his Dad took his right hand and tied it behind his back, to prevent his wasting meat.  Homer says he is pretty weak starting out and only cripples a few, but he learns tracking pretty fast, and was able to track ‘em down and finish the job. 
He soon found he liked using his left hand for hunting and writing and never went back to being a righty.  I tell him it sounds like his Dad was a pretty resourceful man.  Homer says he was, but there was sure a lot of pressure to provide meat for awhile during the transition, for as young as he was, but had to admit it was sure a way of building character.   Had to agree on that one!!

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