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Friday, March 9, 2012

Diagnosis: Trouble Ahead

I have a guess at what was wrong with George's knee albeit one plucked out of thin air on Google.  As early as 1873 references are being made to George's knee pain.  He is often off looking for a salve or an ointment and in the end of March 1874, Anna Maria writes

 "George's knee is worse two big blisters on his knee so he can't hardly wigle".

So I took the idea that whatever was wrong with George's knee was a) chronic b) would eventually lead to amputation and now I know c) caused blisters.

There is a genetic disease that fits this profile and it's called Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosaOf course this is mostly conjecture but that doesn't make it not true and would explain why he could be fine and working away one day and immobilized the next.

Still, George's knee really wasn't his only problem for proof that he was a drinker continues to mount.

"Ed Pickard, Lewis Grude, Worthy Norton here in the after noon  they got purty well set up on Cider just before dark.  Hiram Car and Seth Hull com here did not stay long.  George and Freem went to the vilage to get some fish an brine for his knee.  nobody knows where else they went for they didn't get home till four o'clock in the morning.  it may be that they don't know them selves.  I don't feel well."

Throughout this year George must have been courting Ella Hodges though not a great deal is made of this.  The one thing I could find was on April 1, 1874 Anna Maria wrote:

 "George went down street go a saddle com back dressed up and said he was going to Morgs.  But I said going to see Ella Hodges".

Well something worked out for him because the last entry Anna Maria makes (and it doesn't look like her handwriting) is:

"George Burns was married the twelfth day of february 1876".

Um, what about Ella Hodges, wasn't she part of the ceremony too?  Maybe what happens to them is not so surprising after all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Yes Sir E"

"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine to those that be of heavy hearts.  Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more".

on December 24, 1873  George went to a dance but is probably off on a bender.

December 25, 1873

"quite pleasant Johney Gilberts here John went hunting got nothing.  I cooked a turkey had turkey for supper.  No George yet".

December 26

"No George yet.  nor yet"

December 27

"George come at last."

January 16, 1874

"Evening George at home yes Sir E he is at home to why he staid to home all evening".

January 24, 1874

"Ed Pickard here Oyalkkuk (?) Gage came here to see George or to spend the evening George takes him off to Leets can't stay a way from there one night." 

Merry Christmas Mrs. Burns.  :-(

George's knee is the likely reason for his amputation in 1880.  Though I can't determine what happened to it, Anna mentions a few times that George's knee is bothering him and that he needed to get some ointment.  In one entry she says that George went to see the "Engin Doktor".  I thought about this for a moment before I realized she most likely meant "Injun Doctor".  And George's ointment was likely "Salamanca Salve."