Thursday, June 04, 2009

He Never Needed a Helmet

I generally don’t worry too much. I find it doesn’t help things, and it’s a huge distraction from the more important elements of life such as hunting, fishing, and staying current on facebook; BUT I can’t help but worry a tiny bit about Beausie. Given recent infections, pneumonia, and enough chemo treatments to absolutely flatten a lesser man; I feel that some level of concern on my part is appropriate. So there you have it – I’m concerned. I will, however, point out a few important facts about Beau that may make the non-family reader feel a bit better about his ability to handle himself

December 26, 1984 – Beau is born. The world rejoices. Jack Gregory subsequently announces that he does not believe that Beau was "born" at all. Rather: buzzards laid him on a stump and the sun hatched him.

1989 – At 4yrs old Beau flips his first ATV attempting to jump OVER the trampoline via a dirt embankment. The ATV lands on his neck, footpeg pinning him to the ground in the backyard. His Mom looks out the window 30 minutes later to see him laying underneath it, arms and legs flailing, attempting to dig himself out from underneath the vehicle. She runs out to assist, and rolls it off his neck. Beau stands up, furious, kicks the rear tire 4-5 times as hard as he can, cranks it up, and hits the jump one last time at full speed.

1990 – Beau is riding on the tailgate of his dad’s pickup next to Rayboy, Seth, and John headed for a dove field. His legs are swinging free beneath the truck. Buster hits a bump, the tailgate sends Beau into orbit, he lands (facedown) on an expose pine root, the root knocks him senseless for a few seconds. Before anyone even has time to act, Beau jumps up hollering, chases the pickup down, jumps back into the bed between the two men, and says “I’m ok.”

1994 - A young hoodlum attempts to land a strong right on Beau's face at a football game. Beau quickly tucks his chin face-down, taking the blow square on the top of his head. Hoodlum's knuckles snap, as do his resolve. Bystanders indicate that Beau grins...and wins without firing a shot.

1996 - Beau is riding a 1971 model Honda Trail 90 motorcycle (300lbs) at full speed, un-helmeted, through a field of grass chest-high. He hits a large rock in front of a deep dirt depression, goes head-over-handlebars and ends up with the dirt bike's metal fender pinning his face to the dirt. Once again, Beau is unconscious underneath something heavy - a lifetime theme as I'm sure you will note. Heyward Adams, bystander, runs over, sees Beau's face and immediately throws up. Beau later awakens to find himself strapped to a board in an emergency room. He wiggles his feet around frantically for a bit, then finally says "Dad, can you take my shoes off?" That was his only commentary.

1998 – Beau attempts another (handbuilt) highjump; this time on a dirt bike. The 2-stroke rocket separates itself from Beau at apogee, and Beau lands solidly on his un-helmeted head; tumbling end-over-end approximately three times a la Evil Knievel. Once again, we find Beau senseless in the dirt. Jason Tidwell, bystander, attempts to awaken the facedown dirt sleeper only to hear muffled cursing and “DON’T TOUCH ME! DON’T TOUCH ME!” coming from out of the sand. Beau rights the dirtbike, and without saying a word - rides slowly home and spends three days on the couch.

2001 – Beau gets into a physical altercation with a certain local hoodlum, much smaller than Beau, who promptly squares off and gives Beau the beating of his life, for free. Bystanders suggest that the intense bruising and black eyes were the result of multiple slams into the pavement. Bystanders also indicate that all attempts to elicit the hated word “UNCLE” from Beau were unsuccessful, and the hoodlum gave up due to exhaustion. For years Beau claims the obvious bashing and 3 weeks worth of black eyes were due to a dirtbike accident. Beau goes on to dominate the world. The local hoodlum has not been promoted at Wal-Mart.

2003 – X-rays of Beau’s body indicate multiple healed fractures linked to the dirt bike incident.

2004 – Beau sells dirtbike indicating a growth of maturity and general sense of self-preservation.

July 25, 2006 10PM – Mom disappears. Beau arrives on-scene by 2am July 26, with flashlight, and begins search without food, water, any idea of where he is, how long it may take, where he is supposed to be the following day, or how he'll get home.

Winter 2009 – In a pre-race physical Beau’s doctor says “you look healthy as an ox. Anything been going on with you lately I should known about?” Beau says (in typical Beau fashion) “Well, I’ve been coughing up blood a good bit lately.” This prompts a series of chest x-rays, and just a few days later – removal of 40% of his right lung. Beau is home a few days, only to ship off shortly after that to MD Anderson for intense Chemo treatments just weeks AFTER massive lung surgery.

Spring 2009 – Beau is bald, has consistently whipped chemo treatments, various infections, homesickness, and Houston, Tx. He regularly posts pictures of his bald self doing things a normal person in chemo wouldn’t even consider READING ABOUT due to nausea. During the chemo he also contracts a wicked e. coli bacterial poisoning in his blood from...himself; proving once again that the only thing bad-ass enough to whip Beau is - Beau.

That is why, though I am concerned, I know some things are a whole lot meaner than cancer.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you my cousin and friend: Beau Slocumb.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reminder of the indestructible nature of Beau! Maggie sent me to your blog and it was well worth the read. You have a very entertaining writing style that I find refreshing & compelling so I'll put you on my list and drop by from time to time!
I was also there on July 26, at your house, when the news came in. Please know that you, your sister & brother and your dad are constently in my prayers.
While I believe my God doesn't enjoy seeing his children hurt, I know that he doesn't waste the pain we experience. So, for both you and Beau, I know that God is working hard to make beauty out of pain!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Maggie for directing us here. Jimmy you have a way with words. We knew about Beau's happenings, but you made it all seem so humorous. Yes, Beau is a fighter, he is strong and God will bring him thru this battle. Enjoyed reading this. We're praying and can't wait to see Beau at home in Macon.
Beau's Aunt Denise & Uncle Jim Morton

HappyascanB said...

I am visiting from Speed Bumps, and this was just a fantastic post! Thanks for sharing with all of us your insight into Beau's fighting mentality! Macon is praying for him and for your entire family!!! God bless!!