Presentation on theme: "T HE P OLIO H OLE A memoir by Shelley Fraser Mickle recalled in a slide show by Mrs. Harrell’s 6 th grade students at PKY, January, 2012 Each of the students."— Presentation transcript:
T HE P OLIO H OLE A memoir by Shelley Fraser Mickle recalled in a slide show by Mrs. Harrell’s 6 th grade students at PKY, January, 2012 Each of the students wrote a brief summary of a chapter followed by quotes from the chapter that were significant to them because of striking language, thoughts or both, and which they illustrated to highlight these words. Enjoy and be inspired!
C HAPTER 1: T HE W IPE O UT PAGES Shelley Fraser Mickle is riding on the fender of her brother’s bike. She gets her toe stuck in the spoke of the bike which makes her brother and her soar into a pile of mud. Shelly has aching shins…Her grandfather treats her with his homemade medicines, “smelly stuff” and “inside stuff.” But the aching and swelling don’t stop…Her mom takes her to a local doctor who says, “She is worn out from starting school. Drink lots of water. It will pass; it's just a virus.” Lots of water doesn't help… Shelley’s mom drives her to Memphis, Tennessee. The doctor there says that Shelley has the dreaded disease, polio. Shelley has fallen down the polio hole.
“ ‘Hold your legs out. Don't get them near the spokes,’ my brother remarked.” “My shin looks like a carrot down a cheese grater.” “Now I smell like a tractor that’s been stuck in a swamp leaking oil.’’ This is after her grandpa treats her with his homemade medicine.
“In silence I’m tested for the dreaded disease that everyone is afraid of--polio.” “The iron lungs in the isolation hospitals make hissing noises that follow us down the hall. They sound like a nest of rattlesnakes in a nightmare.”
C HAPTER 2: P ARALLEL L IVES PAGES “It’s a wicked germ. It swatted down children with the quickness of a sword” is a great way to start off this chapter with some of Shelley’s thoughts. “I do not know any of them. I do not live close to even one of them. But we are all leading parallel lives. We are living the same story.” In this chapter, Shelley remembers the past history of polio including Franklin Roosevelt. “For all those years polio seemed to stay asleep, arousing enough to claim only a few victims. But now something had fully awakened it.”
“What was it exactly? How did someone “catch” it? How was it passed on? Why now was it spreading from one state to another? And why couldn’t someone stop it? “It comes in through the mouth” “No, it comes in through the nose.” “Flies carry it.” “It lives in the toilet.” “Its carried in water.” “Close all the swimming pools.” “Shut down the movie houses.” “Stop holding hands.” “Stop using library books” “Stop using the telephone”
“Part of the problem was America- -did not invest money into science.” “In time, too, America understood that illnesses were cured only through knowledge gained by scientific study.”
C LEARLY IT WAS A GERM BEING PASSED FROM ONE CHILD TO ANOTHER - POLIO, INFANTILE PARALYSIS. “In 1921, Franklin Roosevelt who would become the thirty-second president of the United States, had gotten it. He was a grown man when he became sick. The disease seemed to be changing— searching out even older victims.”
“I N THE MORNING, I SIT UP, MY LEGS TWISTED UNDER ME IN AN ODD WAY.” “I can fold them now so I can sit up. The doctors on their rounds stop in. They gather around my bed. ‘Look at this! Oh my!’ A sound of celebration surrounds my part of the ward……. It becomes like a song: Keep your feet against the board. Hold them there. Sleep, eat, stay with your feet against the board. It will help them to stay straight. ”
“The history of polio was like a villain in a play, darting in and out of the darkness from behind stage.” That is the sentence I think best describes polio. This chapter is all about how polio got started and people understanding how it works. C HAPTER 3 THE UPSIDE - DOWN LETTER PAGES It is also about Shelley’s family who misses her and can’t spend any time with her. I think that is the saddest thing a daughter and her parent could have to live with.
“About 72,000 cats were killed, fearing that they carried the germs that stole children’s muscles, paralyzing them.” “Apparently humans come in different colors, and they come in different shapes too. But what really strikes me about Vera Mae is the way that she can tell a ghost story.” “By the time cold weather arrived when the virus darted off the stage for the time being—6,000 people were dead.” “I open my mail. There is a get-well card from every kid in my class.”
C HAPTER 4: O NE H UNDRED T HOUSAND M ONKEYS P AGES “Funny-Zip my stuffed monkey comes to mind... I begin yearning for Zip, my Zip, a black furry toy with rubber hands.” Shelley finds her stuffed monkey, Zip, and she goes to visit a boy. They have fun and draw with each other. But when he’s lost, she wonders what's wrong with him. No nurse will tell her. One nurse brings her a night visitor to keep her company. They smile and giggle. Shelley asks her night visitor about why they are here, and she gets her answer.
“The hissing sound of machines makes it seem like I’m in a horror film... I met a boy there. He is four. He cannot breathe but he can draw pictures and send them out.” “One week no pictures come and I ask my mother, ‘Where is it?’… ‘The boy has left,’ she tells me… I get the feeling she is not being straight with me. She is lying.... she whispers, ‘He died.’ ” “I wonder more, Where am I exactly? What does all this have to do with me? I have an idea. I think I even know, but I need it to be named.… I don’t ask my mother, I know she isn’t up to it. Instead I ask the night nurse when she comes to bring my supper.… ‘What wrong with me?’ She hears my question but doesn’t answer, ‘Why am I here?’ She ducks her head and rushes from the room.”
“S UDDENLY, A NURSE ROLLS A STRETCHER INTO THE ROOM. O N IT IS A GIRL. ‘T HOUGHT YOU MIGHT WANT A VISITOR.’ ” “My night visitor looks at me. She is older than I am. She is twelve.… But what surprises me is she has skin the color of Verna Mae’s... No one, though, is saying anything about that.… Here, the Jim Crow system of rules that keep people of different colors apart is as withered as the parts of us the virus has killed.” “The nurse leaves the room, and she and I become who we really are.… “I giggle. She smiles. I set Zip on my shoulder and give him a voice.… I stick his rubber banana in my mouth and say, ‘Ummmmm, ummm good.’ She laughs with as much breath as she can spare.” “Soon, like a song beginning a second verse, I ask, ‘What do you think is wrong with us?’ ” “Quickly-as though she does not have time to think- my night visitor says, ‘Polio. We both have it.’ ”
I LOVE THIS PART ; IT IS VERY CUTE. “My mother walks in.… She wears a fancy suit and carries a whopping big bottle of ketchup.… Finally she hands me the Sears catalog and Zip. Zip, my Zip! My adorable stuffed monkey with a rubber banana in one hand!”
C HAPTER 5: M Y NIGHT VISITOR PAGES “Polio we both have it” In this chapter Shelley Fraser Mickle learns she has polio. She remembers the first time she heard about it and how fortunate she was then. She starts to accept that she has polio with the help of her night visitor.
T HEY LOOKED LIKE DOLLS MOUNTED ON DISPLAY … THEY MOVED LIKE SNAILS … THEY DID NOT LOOK HAPPY. “The word(polio) fills the room like a marble dropping on the tile floor” “I look back at my night visitor... her eyes watch me with a liquid stillness... the polio hole I have now fallen in. I am one of them”
“ I WAS NO DIFFERENT FROM THE EARTH. I WAS WHO I WAS LONG BEFORE I WAS CHANGED. I WAS STILL WHO I WAS, NO MATTER HOW I WOULD BE FROM HERE ON OUT.” “In an echo of sadness it lands. No I do not want to go through life like this. I do not want to be one of them. Yet as I look over at my visitor it is clear this is not a choice for us.”
T HIS CHAPTER TELLS HOW F RANKLIN R OOSEVELT ON A UGUST 8, 1921, HAD FALLEN INTO THE POLIO HOLE. A FTER THAT, HE STARTED THE MARCH OF DIMES. A BOUT 2,680,000 DIMES ARRIVED A COUPLE DAYS LATER. T HEY SAID THAT THEY WOULD FIND A CURE WITH ALL THE MONEY. P RESIDENT R OOSEVELT ' S PICTURE IS ON THE DIME. M EANWHILE, S HELLEY ’ S OLDER BROTHER “ LAUNCHED A WHOLE WAD OF GUM ON THE LIVING ROOM CEILING ” C HAPTER 6: 2,680,000 D IMES AND THE H OUSE G UM B UILT P AGES 47-52
“Right away my parents’ eyes went straight to the ceiling…the gum was spread out up there like a squashed bug…Oh, My good lord.” I choose this because it is a funny quote and the author was explaining when she noticed gum was on the ceiling. “We just better go ahead and buy the house” I added this because it relates to what the author was saying and what the kids were doing. The kids did something to damage the house.
“I had just lost a hair pulling fight…and I was feeling mean…I picked up a few pieces of pea- sized gravel and threw it up on the windshield. The gravel ran down like a whoosh of rain. The rest of our gang started doing it too…But it was clear I was the ring leader…the man jumped out and stood in front of me. ‘Where you live?’ I didn’t move my lips…I ran like the sidewalk was on fire. I ran like my front door was home plate on a ball field and I was rounding the bases on a bunt.”
C HAPTER 7: P ACKED AND HEADED TO JAIL P AGES This was a humorous chapter but it also had some seriousness to it. Shelley’s mother had played a trick on her by saying she had to go to jail for throwing gravel at a garbage truck. That part of the chapter was a little humorous but the message from that section was that it taught Shelley about consequences. Another message was when Shelley learned that people have “fire” in them by her friend’s mom making sure that she would be quiet.
Shelley gives away some vital information leading to the explanation that she will get polio: “In that year Harry Truman got elected as president for the first time… Jonas Salk was running tubes in Pittsburg. He was on his way to finding three different, definite strains of a virus. One of them would steal my cartwheels.” “The garbage man says you cracked his windshield with a rock. This is a federal crime. Garbage men work for the state. – YOU HAVE TO GO TO JAIL.” The mother told her daughter that if she didn’t sit still that she would slap the fire out of her. “Oh yes she does have fire in her. And you needn’t talk back to me, either, Missy. In silence, I pondered this for a while.” “I also decided that when any mother was driving, it was a good idea to suck in my lips and keep my mouth shut.”
And everyone’s favorite… “I was told we were going to move again… My father was going to help build a dam… It seems business with Mr. Butts was slow… For weeks, whenever somebody asked me why my family was moving, I truthfully said, because of some dam business.”
C HAPTER 8: S EVENTEEN T HOUSAND M ONKEYS PAGES Dr. Salk is trying to find a cure for the polio virus. They gain the cynomolgus monkey and later 17,000 give their lives to help cure the virus. Meanwhile, Shelley’s night visitor is a lot sicker than she is. They continue to play together, and Shelley thinks about a boy doll named Robert E. Lee. They agree on one doll, and will call her Suzie. But in a few weeks they are put in different rooms and she wonders how Santa Claus can get to a kid like her. She thinks back to ‘Chate’ her Grandmother, and how she was easy to scare and they had fun. Chate told her about God, a mixture of Santa Claus and Roy Rogers with the use of the fairy Godmother’s wand-- or so Shelley thought.
“Best of all she was easy to scare.” “Snakes and cats she mentioned in the same breath. So I put 20 and 30 in bed with her, and she would come hollering out, galloping in her nightgown.” “While she took care of me, I promised I would not choke on the food she gave me.”
“While she is in my room, I cut out paper dolls and hold them in my fingers.” “I walk my paper dolls over to her. ‘Where are you going today?’… ‘Oh I don’t know,’ answers a blonde… ‘I have a Missionary Society Meeting this morning and a Bridge Club this afternoon.’ ” “I make up conversations from things I’ve heard my mother or grandmothers say.… My night visitor chuckles with her cheeks puffed out. Then her eyes follow me as I pick up the Sears Catalog.… ‘You like this?’ I flip the page, pinpointing it by circling the doll.”
I LIKE THIS PART ; IT IS CUTE, INTERESTING AND FUNNY. I T ’ S A GREAT WAY TO END A CHAPTER, AND IT INTRODUCES HER ROOMMATE. “Now I sit as my mother walks into my new hospital room. She is carrying a paper sack and pulls out a new bottle of ketchup. Also a bright red patent leather purse. My new roommate has a funny bubbling voice. She is younger than I am and has dark curling hair. She sits up in her bed and quickly says in her voice that sounds like a frog, ‘Wow! Lemme see that!’ ”
C HAPTER 9: T HE D EVIL S UIT AND S ALK N AMES ME PAGES Shelley gets another roommate who has a voice like a cartoon character. Shelley’s mom and roommate have a conversation with her about Halloween. Shelley’s mom was explaining how Shelley did not like being Dale Evens last Halloween, and how she envied her brother’s devil costume. Finally, her mother lets her wear the devil suit. Dr. Jonas Salk names the three different types of polio. One is no stronger than a cold. Another causes paralysis of arms and legs, and the third, bulbar polio, attacks the muscles that breathe and swallow. Most people that “catch” this kind of polio are most likely to die.
“My new roommate's china-white face and dark curling hair made her look like a doll in the weekly wiper [aka Sears catalogue].” “The feel of wool, as it cools, is clammy against my skin. It is as thick around my skin as a layering of an onion.” This is right after the nurses put hot wool rag on Shelley’s legs. The next quote is after Shelley is eyeing the devil costume all day and her mom finally says just to put it on. Shelley plots to scare the Montgomery babies. “Hunkering by a bush, I watched the babies on the porch, gumming graham crackers. Mrs. Montgomery was inside stirring stuff. I sulked, moving like someone in a WW II. I squatted behind a bush. And, I stuck my face against the screen porch showing my teeth and growling. The Montgomery babies--they let loose. They screamed so loud they sounded like squashed cats. Mrs. Montgomery ran on to the porch hollering, “What in tarnation.” I stood mute. Then I let out a scream and began crying myself. I ran home after that.”
This chapter was about Shelly's parents sending her to school(kindergarten). She learned to read with ease But didn’t like the idea of not being able to use an eraser. ” In this chapter Shelly also found “The love of her life,” a boy named Billy. Also, the doctors begin to wonder if the poliovirus was in the bloodstream before the symptoms appeared and that was why it was difficult to discover it in time for a cure. C HAPTER 10: C UPID S TRIKES D URING J UICE T IME P AGES 73-78
“The early winter wind whips them until their leaves fly off like tiny magic carpets that elves might ride.” “If my brother had been holding a baseball bat, he’d have knocked me to China…but I was lying through my teeth…I couldn’t read.” “The thing about a lie…once you start one, you have to live it out or else you have no character.” “No one was going to teach me to read… My mother looked at me as if I’d been bitten by a go-crazy snake.”
“I just wanted everything with words to be between them and me…not to mess with the mystery.” “After my morning cup of coffee, my mother drove me to….kindergarten…” “…those Big Chief Tablets…smelled like freshly-sawn wood…lines far enough apart to handle zeros the size of bird eggs…” “My capital A slid on its side like a drunk 7…My finished page looked like a cowboy’s shooting match in a saloon.”
“Keeping the eraser hidden was as bad as living a lie.” “And Billy B. sat beside me and turned his head and gave me a look. It was a look that, right away, I knew meant, Be Mine. “I looked down at my lap at the book opened there, and the letters on the page spoke silently inside my head, and made sense…I could hear their voices…”
“Words were a magic silence, I decided. Words lived in my head; they lived in my fingertips.” “…the words were still there on the page…They were the storyteller’s fingerprints.” “…books…were the work of humans…That meant that one day, even I could write one.”
Chapter 11 was mostly based on “curing” polio. this was where she found out that one of her legs is shorter than the other. She then explained the story about what happened to her grandmother and how she had to wear two different shoe heights. She saw the fear in her parents, but she was worried about the doll, Suzie, arriving for Christmas, and if she (Shelley) would be stuck in the hospital forever. C HAPTER 11: T HE S TUFF OF N IGHTMARES P AGES 79-82
“…how can he make a large enough quantity for thousands, if not millions, of vaccines to be given as inoculations? And, how best to make the vaccine safe? How should he kill the virus? And, how quickly can he find the answers.” This quote showed questions or worry about using this new idea to cure polio. What were the pros and cons.
“While Dr. Salk is worrying about what he does not know, I am lying in bed on the second floor of the Isolation Hospital in Memphis Tennessee, worrying about Christmas. Where will I be? Will I ever be able to walk? Will I ever go home?” “He is talking about which muscles have come back and which ones haven’t. Suddenly in the midst of it, I catch onto the words, “One leg will be sorter than the other.”
C HAPTER 12: T HE T RAP OF THE N UTTER B UTTERS P AGES After a long while at the hospital, Shelley Fraser comes home for Christmas. She is suited in very heavy metal braces so that she can go home for Christmas. When re- entering the world, she has a big change in perspective after being in the hospital for quite a long time. She also sets a Nutter-Butter trap for Santa to catch him on tape at Christmas. Nutter Butters are Shelley's favorite cookie.
Q UOTES “Never again will I see the world as it has been. Worries have been rearranged. Everything has been re- shelved.” “I can catch Santa Claus in his act. I plan to broadcast my findings, maybe on that new thing called television. Radio for sure. Kids will hail me as a prophet.” “What parts of you work you take. What can’t, you can’t waste a minute on”.
C HAPTER 13: I B ECOME A P REACHER PAGES “Now my life is like a train on one track, merging on another track with the lives of Dr. Salk and Dr. Sabin and Dr. Hortsmann. We are all coming together in this one story, even though we’ll never meet.” In this chapter, polio epidemics have been more abundant. Everyone wants an explanation. Dr. Salk (using a dead virus) and Dr. Sabin (using a live virus) do not believe each others immunizations will work, and they are starting to feel competitive and envious. Meanwhile, Shelley is back at home! Unfortunately, she takes to preaching about the Polio Hole.
“I don’t exactly plan it [the preaching]--it seems to just…take off….” “I am like Alice coming back from Wonderland…and like Alice, I get annoying….” “There is a plan to this world” “…bad things happen to those who deserve it. Did I get rid of [other people’s] thoughts about [the reason for my polio was me being bad]?” “…my feet ride…over spring grass, silky and lime green… white wild flowers spread as if a box of powdered sugar has been opened and shaken out…now it seems twice the miracle.”
C HAPTER 14: I CE C REAM M ONEY P AGES Three times a week Shelley is driven to Memphis for physical therapy. In Memphis, she happens to see a man playing an organ grinder and collecting money. So, Shelley decides to try it at home. She gets Zip (her stuffed monkey) and a jack in the box and goes on playing. When her mother finds her, she has enough money to weigh down a monkey. She uses it to buy ice cream for Verna Mae and herself.
E XCERPTS “I was a sitting golden goose. But then, our gold mine was hooked to that other mine, the one that could blow us to where our soul shrinks, feeling like yesterday’s washrag” “Instead, we lick what our pity-money bought. We swallow it and gloat in the aftertaste of the givers’ ignorance” “Well, pity is a bitter-tasting soup.”
C HAPTER 15: T AKING C HANCES PAGES “We should have known getting me back, perfect, was a fairy tale.” Shelley got out of the Isolation Hospital and returned home, but she had braces on her legs. She could get the braces off once she turned thirteen by having surgery connecting the weaker tendons to the stronger ones. Eventually, she could go swimming too! One day, Shelley headed to the sewing shop and looked at a doll which she called “Robert E. Lee.” She went back to see him everyday just as Shelly’s mom had visited her while she was in the hospital.
“Being in a drive by shooting of the soul is not good for digestion you know.” “Mounds of bulldozed dirt the color of toast sprinkled with gravel-are left sitting as if a giant city of ants is underway.” “My nose is a straw pointed toward the hotdog lord.”
C HAPTER 16: S HOOT O UT AT THE DIRT M OUND PAGES Shelley joins a dirt ball war and ends up chipping a tooth after getting hit in the face with a gravel filled dirtball from her brother Shelley believes that there should be a prize for suffering and that life should get easier. Shelley tries to join her brother’s lawn mowing business, but a lady turns her down because of the braces on her legs and her smallness.
“Dissension and arguments break out as naturally as a stream finding a new route to a river.” “There should be a prize for suffering…life should get easy … angels should fly by me every second I am awake … a whole bunch of them should sit and watch throughout the night, then leave pennies and candy on my dresser.” “ I have to make sure I make friends like the “bar” hunter down the street who never thinks twice about the Hole I fell in, who only cares that I climbed out.”
C HAPTER 17: A D OG N AMED B UDDY PAGES In this chapter, Shelley is on her way home when they make a stop at her mother's cousin's house where she gets her new dog, Buddy. When she gets home, she goes back to school where everyone is glad to see her and she is enrolled in piano lessons with Miss F. as her teacher. The lessons are going well until she has to use the pedals. With all the dead weight of her foot in the brace, it just isn't working and she overhears her mom talking to her dad wondering if she's any good singing.
Q UOTES “He is very much house broken, unless he can't remember to go out.” “ I can put it on fine-that's a cinch; just drop the dead weight of my brace onto it. Splat!” “I happi you bak, Mickey M. writes.”
C HAPTER 18: T HE B IG TEST AND A D O - O VER P AGES In this chapter Dr. Salk tests his killed-virus vaccine and it is successful. Shelley is again elected as queen of Halloween. At the turn of the month, the kids race to the millpond. In the middle of the race, Shelley takes a detour through her house. Grabbing a popsicle, she returns to the millpond licking it long after the race was over.
“Someone yells, ‘Last one there is a rotten egg.’ ” “I am the tortoise and will just keep going. In the end I will win.” In this quote, Shelley thinks of the tortoise and the hare fable. “Smiling, I make a detour through the red house’s kitchen and pop open the fridge.”
C HAPTER 19: M EASURING THE T OWN PAGES “Look what I just found. I found it in a vacant lot.” In this chapter, Shelley finds a carpenter’s level. Being her, she finds a funny way to use it. After asking her father to saw it down, she writes “nuts” over the left section, “sane” over the middle, and “haywire” over the right, and, as the title suggests, goes measuring people around the town. SaneNutsHaywire
“Amazingly, the bubble... moves right to the middle... sane... ‘Well, [let me] try it again’... He tilts his head... bubble... slides off into ‘nuts’... ‘Go try it on your mother.’ ” “ ‘I’ve come to measure you’... ‘Measure what?’ ‘The inside of your head... I think you better sit down... You’re going to regret it’... I set the crazy meter on top of her head... it slips to haywire so fast, it’s ridiculous.” “Over the next week, I keep a running tally from all over town. It’s strange how anybody who measures ‘sane’ first quickly tips their head... over into nuts or haywire... It is quite clear—everybody living in my own time and place is ashamed of coming up sane.”
“Verna Mae is the color of... her African ancestors... I am the physical shape of how a virus marked me... And yet, her daughter is not allowed to go to the same school... All people of dark color have to be... shut away from the rest of us... It is harder for Verna Mae to be who she than it is for me... And that is craziness.” This was probably one of my favorite sections in this story; even though it came at the beginning of the chapter, I decided to save the best for last.
C HAPTER 20: D ECISIONS TO BE M ADE P AGES Christmas morning Shelley wakes up to a blue crib with her dime-store doll, Robert E. Lee! She ends up adoring Robert to death. Scientists are still deciding who should get the vaccine and when to give it. They are going to give almost half the test trial of kids the vaccine, and almost half will receive a placebo which means that they will receive something like a shot of water. Then they will compare it. But this is still one whole year away.
Q UOTES “Over 200 counties and 44 states are chosen.” “I eat Christmas dinner with Robert beside me propped on three fat books.” “I brush my fingers against his make-believe eyelashes attached to his hinged lids.” “Over 200 counties and 44 states are chosen.” “I eat Christmas dinner with Robert beside me propped on three fat books.” “I brush my fingers against his make-believe eyelashes attached to his hinged lids.” “ Then I will walk as well as anyone. Then the whole ordeal will seem erased.” “ Then I will walk as well as anyone. Then the whole ordeal will seem erased.” “Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word. And the skies are not cloudy all day.”
C HAPTER 21: T HE T RIALS AND D EATH OF R OBERT PAGES At first the driver thinks it is a real person, but when he finds out it’s not he throws Robert in the trash. When the news is broken to Shelley, Gloria and her mom promise to get a new Robert. Shelley has an adored doll, Robert.E. Lee, that she got for Christmas. When Gloria H. spots the doll, she offers to trade her bride doll for Robert for one week. Good things are not in store for Robert. Gloria is the oldest of five girls, and when she goes to school, she leaves Robert home. While Gloria is away, her sisters fight about Robert, feed him mud pies, throw him around the mud, and dress and undress him. When Robert is left on the curve while the little sisters go to the drugstore for some gum, a delivery truck backs over Robert.
“After school, I clump down the alley with Robert E. Lee.” “The bride is dainty with beautiful skin the color of a biscuit.” “I could have gotten a bad case of the gut- bucket blues.” “To those little sisters, Robert E. Lee is like a spilled bucket of corn in a chicken yard.” “Yep. Tap, Tap, on Robert’s plastic head.” “I knew I will never love him like the first Robert.” “Real-life creatures are holding twice the fascination.”
C HAPTER 22: N AILING THE HOLE SHUT PAGES Shelley Fraser Mickle finally had enough money from her savings bonds to buy a horse. They drove up to a ramshackle house with a barn on one side and Shelley is given Nell, her first white horse. “I love her, ugly or not, flies in her lip, gray hair and all.” In this chapter, Dr. Jonas Salk had “nailed the hole shut” with the help of his sidekick J. Fred Muggs, a chimpanzee. Then, in 1955, more than 200 people had “fallen down the Polio Hole” again. “The vaccine works!”
Q UOTES “Yes! The vaccine works…it is safe and effective... people own it... There can be no patent. Could you patent the sun?” Buddy sits in the backseat wearing his goggles, his tongue hanging out the back window, watermelon red and dripping spit. Parents and children begin to feel safe. Pools might be reopened. Movie houses may no longer be feared as places where children can “catch” the poliovirus.
Q UOTES No doubt, all her life she was fast, but now she needs only to remember how much she hated plowing cotton fields to run through one like a bolt of lightning. Speed, oh glorious speed, licks my face like the tongue of earth. I taste speed and I feel speed and am myself now speed. Off we go---jets in tandem. All day at school in the chair, I am like a mustang hobbled in a petting zoo.
This paragraph is probably my favorite out of the chapter. I know it came before the other quotes but I feel that Shelley really felt a feeling so strong that on this piece of paper it turned out beautifully and detailed just like how she felt. “ Suddenly, I am on top... in a three beat waltz... my heart breaks warp speed... You can’t catch me... at times I am Humpty-Dumpty about to fall... I-will- hang-on-like-a-chigger-under-skin... nowhere near to become the rotten egg this time.”
C HAPTER 23: N ELL E SCAPES P AGES When Shelley gets a new horse named Nell, all is well despite the fact of her case of polio. Life is good, Shelley is getting her cast cut off, she is graduating the sixth grade, and she is looking forward to long rides with Nell in the summer. She finds a place to board Nell. Just when late November hits, the Mickle family gets a call: Nell has busted out! They are on a high- speed chase with a galloping horse! It is near the end of sixth grade; May is approaching and Shelley is ready to ride Nell in Memphis, Tennessee.
Q UOTES F ROM T HE C HAPTER “She puts her foot down. No. I threaten to stay mad at her for life.” This quote is from when Shelley wants to walk across the stage at her graduation although she needs to be rolled across the stage in her wheelchair. This is a perfect example of Shelley’s confidence. “I can, I will, it’s okay; I know I can, it’ll be okay.” This quote displays Shelley’s attitude. Even though she has polio, she still has faith in herself. “I’m out of practice. But I want to, want to, want to.” This quote shows Shelley’s perseverance. When things seem impossible, she thinks they are still possible. “She is as eager to get out of the place of her toil as I am out of my future.” This quote is from when Shelley realizes that Nell doesn’t like being confined in her stall anymore than she likes being confined by polio.
C HAPTER 24: THE H OLE IN THE W ORLD P AGES This chapter is purely about finding the cure for polio through the vaccine that Dr. Sabin created. “For thirty years, Dr. Sabin’s live-virus vaccine will remain in favor especially in developing countries where epidemics continue to break out.”
“Only those whose access to clinics is hampered by war are in danger. Or those who refuse the vaccine, out of superstition or fear.” “Solving medical mysteries is limited only by the size of a scientist’s imagination and his or her capacity for work.” “It -changed America– and taught people they have the power to cure a disease.” “In other parts of the world the Polio Hole remains open.”
C HAPTER 25: T HE L AST C URVE P AGES “ In that spring of 1956,” Shelley and her family are moving to another home. Shelley’s dog, Buddy, does not make the trip because of his accident with a mail truck that resulted in death. It is a year of great accomplishments such as black and white children able to share the same school, the first Civil Rights act is launched, and Dr. Seuss published The Cat in the Hat which will delight children forever. In the suitcase packed station wagon Shelley looks back and admires a place she will love forever.
“I turn to look at the tongue prints on the back window left from Buddy... Main Street where only recently I rode Nell... to admire ourselves in the glass windows of the stores.” “ I look back once more... It’s almost as if I can see Buddy and Lightn’ Nell and Richard Key and my hospital night visitor... I think of Richard... my king, who taught me there are second chances.. my night visitor... who made it so very clear how lucky I was.”
This paragraph is very important to me because the way that it was written can tell you that Shelley was really thinking about love and people she loves. I think this paragraph is the type that came out of someone’s heart and not their mind. “Yet, I’ve never known a No where a Maybe didn’t linger…words can hold breath and life as surely as a pounding heart…carved with care…read as if they are a letter sent from someone who loves you.”
E PILOGUE PAGES “Time finishes every story,” and she sums hers up recalling surgeries, souvenirs from Graceland, make- shift school, and special letters. She remembers Roosevelt, Suzie, Nell, Verna Mae, and Richard the Halloween King. “I was far from being returned to normal and was more than the length of six football fields from perfection.” “…there is no such thing as perfection. Thank Goodness!” Shelley Fraser Mickle became convinced that her... “distinguishing characteristics should be counted as exactly what they were — outstanding characteristics.”
“Each student was to write me a letter every week, which, I think made me about as popular as a raw French fry... I got to see all their awkwardness and misspelling.” “Yet one boy... in the back row wearing a black jacket, motorcycle boots and an Elvis hairdo, wrote me lovely letters... He also comfortably wore the rumor that he had just come out of reform school.”
“He knew, way before I did, that everything in literature that is good has in it the tone of writing a letter to someone who cares about you.”
“L IVING WITH LIMITATIONS, THE EVERYDAY ACCEPTANCE THAT THERE ARE RESTRICTIONS TO WHAT ONE CAN DO, GIVES BIRTH TO A WILL THAT CAN WORK WONDERS … “The braces were as clunky as garbage trucks… Petticoats and full skirts, with poodles and Elvis guitars on them, floated above the steel… A certain strength comes from knowing there are some things that cannot be willed.” “Franklin Roosevelt believed he had polio [although he may have suffered from a case of Guillain-Barre syndrome instead], and his establishing the March of Dimes to find a cure changed America.”
“She held up the picture of Richard and me…He died…when he was only twenty-seven… Writing is always a trip taken in the dark, fishing with words, hoping to pull living things out of the depth of memory. But should we ever question why we need to keep reading and preserving books, the answer can’t be clearer than Mrs. Key’s seven words. How else will we ever know what each of us has loved and lost, to be cherished again?” But he’s still alive in your book.
O NE L AST S TORY B OPPING B UGS PAGES When she was three, Shelley’s brother had a pet rabbit that she bopped with her brother’s baseball bat every time it got out of its cage. Once she bopped Bugs, the rabbit, so many times that she knocked him out. Her mom hid Bugs in the snow out in the yard because she thought he was dead. However, when her brother came home, Bugs was in his cage again because the snow had stopped his head from swelling and he had hopped back into the house and into his cage after he woke up.
“No way was my mother’s favorite story in the same league with Eratosthenes’s story, or Pasteur’s-but still, ”Bopping Bugs” held a truth, and it began when I was three… Whenever Bugs hopped out of his box, I bopped him on the head with my brother’s baseball bat and put him back in… It sure was a nice family feeling the way my parents got together to make my murder of bugs look like an accident.”
“Each time my mother told this story, we all gained admiration for the hang-tough, never-die attitude in a rabbit We were also reminded that it is always best to look twice. What seems dead may only be reviving. Who knows what truths your stories hold? You’ll never know until you tell them.
S HELLEY F RAZER M ICKLE. T HE P OLIO H OLE : T HE S TORY OF THE I LLNESS THAT C HANGED A MERICA. W ILD O NION P RESS : G AINESVILLE, FL Chapter slides by the following P K Yonge 6 th grade students: 1 Rachel Exelbirt 2 Sydney Stenner 3 Gianella Garzon 4 Jessica Brito 5 Andrea Wright 6 Tony Garner 7 Lev Ettinger 8 Jessica Brito 9 Rachel Exelbirt 10 LaDorian Scott 11 Alyssa Flinchum 12 Kieran Kirby 13 Jamm Hostetler 14 Eric Smith 15 Fredrick Fang 16 Kassidy Robinson 17 Reece Vodre 18 Wendy Thompson 19 Jamm Hostetler 20 Tatum Vega 21 Francisco Aguirre and Tatum Vega 22 Rebecca Schlafke and Tatum Vega 23 Coleman Tadrowski 24 Sydney Stenner 25Rebecca Schlafke 26 Epilogue 27 Wendy Thompson