Hi Team Swine

Posted July 13th, 2014 by Anthony

In the summer of 1972 I spent weeks in Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. I had managed to get third degree burns on my foot, which got infected. After IV antibiotics, a skin graft and months of elevating my leg it healed.

Trophy with pig

My award for self injury.

During my stay friends from Sonoma County came to visit a couple of times. One time I was awarded the Hi Team Swine award for being careless. They gave me the Hi Team Swine trophy because it was the only one they had stolen from the local high school. At the time it seemed apropos and I’ve kept it on my desk for the past 40 years. But, it seems like it’s time to think about downsizing and the trophy will make its journey to Goodwill.

The trophy reminds me of those days when I was in my teens and twenties injuring myself on a regular basis. It took me a long time to treat myself decently. The biggest threat, of course, was my drinking and drugging which I gave up in my mid-thirties. Before that, though, I didn’t pay enough attention to the lack of feeling in my paralyzed legs and feet. Burns were a regular occurrence, as were scrapes.

Mostly, I just hated missing out on things when I was stuck at home or hospitalized. “American Graffiti” was filmed in Petaluma the summer of the Swine trophy. Annie Leibowitz photographed my friends on the Cotati City Council. For me maturity has been figuring out what I want to do. And, that doesn’t include weeks in Alta Bates Hospital.


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