The Life Observations and

Travels of an Ossified Man

 

 

My name is Frank Worden, I am known from coast to coast as Frank, the ossified man.  I was born in Oswego, N. Y.  many years ago, (too long ago to tell my age) and at the age of ten moved to Iowa with my parents.  This trouble began to show itself when I was 25 years old.

 

The term ossified means turning to bone, and that's what my trouble is; my joints are perfectly stiff and rigid, I have no control over any of the muscles of my body except the muscles of the fore arms and hands and the muscles of the face.  I can roll my eyes but can't turn my head to look at you.  Can open my lips and talk to you but I couldn't wedge a nail between my teeth if my life depended upon it, because the jaws are as rigid as any other joints in my body.

 

I can't reach up and feed myself.  Can't even chew my own food, that must all be prepared for me.  I have four teeth out in front, and my food is placed upon my lips.  I draw it into my mouth and swallow it.  Oh, yes, I enjoy my food, every bit of it, for you see this trouble has caused the home to grow between the ribs, and now I have a solid shell or jacket of bone around my trunk, instead of ribs.  This has forced the breathing into the abdomen, and that causes my food to digest very easily.  I don't complain for really I haven't any cause for complaint, and I don't want any one to pity me.  I feel fine all the time, and am never sick, and as I don't exercise, I don't get tired.

 

Of course, I can't run around and go lots of places like the rest of the people, but I have even become accustomed to that, so you see a man can even get used to being a stiff.  But there is a difference between stiffs.  I am one because I can't help it, but some fellows are stiffs because of their disposition.  Of the two, I think I have got the best of the deal.

 

I have become so used to staying at home that I don't mind it any more.  I used to, when this trouble began, I was like any other active young man.  I chaffed under the restraint, and I wanted to get out and have a good time like I used to, for I was as active and had as good times as any other young fellow in the neighborhood.

 

I used to farm, I used to plow, go to dances and play baseball. (I've got a baseball finger that is a constant reminder of the days that were, I got the finger hurt after I was twenty odd years old).   But here's the funny part of it all, I've never had a kick not even a fall to hurt me, no inflammation with this trouble at any time, no pains at all.

 

No dought, you wonder how a man in my fix can be so cheerful, and I don't mind telling you: I had doctors from all over the country trying to do me some good, but they didn't seem to understand just what was the matter with me, until it was too late to do any good, and there is a dought in my mind that they could have done me any good even if they had known.  Why I put in six years in the house looking up, up, up all the time.  I used to count the spots in the ceiling, count the flies, any old thing for pastime, and undertaker came, or the poor house wagon backed up to get me, and I didn't care how soon either of them came, the sooner the better.  I thought. Then the day came when I had a chance to get out on exhibition, and I will always believe it was the brightest day in my life, for from that day to this I have been constantly before the public, making more friends than money, and more money than I could spend, for I couldn't chase around with the boys (or girls) and I have to save it.

 

Nobody can understand why I feel so good all the time. I've got plenty of company, and lots of friends, and if you don't believe that is enough to make a fellow happy, you try putting in six years in the house, with very few callers, and no brighter prospects than I had, and you'll be thankful just to get out and see some of God's sunlight.

 

I did think once that I'd like to get married, but I've made up my mind that I'm not a heart breaker.   Never did have but one chance to get married, and I'd have grabbed that one in a minute, but the poor girl was crazy, and the authorities got wise to her, and put her in the bug house before I could get her.

 

I've got a pretty good scheme, though, that I'm trying to work and I'll tell it to you.  Perhaps you can help me pull it off.  I'm going to try and get two old maids or young maids or I won't object to a pair of rich young widows, or you can mix them any way that suits best, as long as I get two of them, I want them any was that to kidnap me, and take me to raise on shares.  In that way I'll get two instead of one, and there won't be any chance for a divorce.  So tell your lady friends (or enemies) to come in and look me over.  I've got one eye out and a glass eye in, but I think I'm in a awful good shape for the fix.  I'm in; but keep still and don't say a word, for you know that a half man at home all the time is a whole lot better than two good men that are never at home, and I promise to stay home all the time.

 

MY DOCTRINE-

 

A KIND WORD AND A CHEERFUL SMILE HAS THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION SKINNED A MILE

 

NOTE-

 

I AM ABSOLUTELY ALONE IN THE WORLD AND MUST MAKE MY OWN WAY AND ENOUGH MORE TO PAY FOR A NURSE THE YEAR ROUND; THE SALE OF MY PHOTOS AND THIS LITTLE BOOKLET GOES A LONG WAY TO HELP OUT ON MY EXPENSES.  SO PLEASE ACCEPT MY THANKS FOR PURCHASING THIS.  YOU HAVE PUT A DIME IN THE RIGHT SPOT.


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