Sunday, January 23, 2011

Clip of the Day: Tonsillectomies

Art Horn at Camp Seeley, California

The inscription on the back of the photo, which Art sent to his girlfriend

In 1941, some 500 recruits from the Chicago area were sent to Camp Seeley, California, to fill out the ranks of the 11th Cavalry. Two of those recruits were Art Horn and Ed "Smoky" Stuever.

For some odd reason, Stuever in recent years came to dislike his nickname. Nevertheless, he always loved to tell how he got it. When he was working in the veterinary detachment, a horse was brought in with a thorn in its foot. Stuever's lieutenant had just become a father and passed out cigars, and Stuever went to remove the thorn from the horse's foot while the cigar, lit, was in his mouth. The horse shifted and its thigh came in contact with the business end of the cigar, and the next thing Stuever knew he was flying through the air. "There goes Smoky!" one of his colleagues shouted.

Interestingly, there was a popular comic strip at the time called "Smoky Stover," and I've often wondered if that didn't have something to do with his being given that nickname as well.

At one reunion, Stuever and Art Horn were reminiscing, Stuever about his days in the Civilian Conservation Corps and Horn about his time in the cavalry, when the subject of tonsils came up. Which leads me to today's "Clip of the Day." Be forewarned, however, this story is not for the faint of heart.

Clip of the Day: Tonsillectomies

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