Saturday, May 19, 2012

And about that bad eye of Haywood's

As we know, Bill Haywood lost his right eye as a youth while whittling. From Big Trouble, page 205:
John Richards Collection
"But the bloodiest encounter of his youth came at his own careless hand. At age nine, he was whittling the stock of a slingshot when his knife slipped and punctured his right eye, blinding him for life. Other children mocked him with epithets like Squint Eye and Deadeye Dick. Henceforth, in posing for photographs he always turned his head to offer the unimpaired left profile. But he never had a glass eye installed in place of that dead eye with it's milky glaze. Did he somehow enjoy the lopsided, even sinister cast it gave his face?" 

The information below comes once again from Carlin Otto as told to her by her grand-father M. Ned Williams:
"When my grandfather, M. Ned Williams, was about 6 or 7, he used to sit around Silver City, Idaho whittling with his knife. Whenever he saw Big Bill Haywood approaching he would switch the direction of his whittling so as to pull the knife towards himself instead of pushing it away. Big Bill would stop and pay him a nickel to change the direction of his whittling. The reason for this is that Big Bill lost the sight in one of his eyes when he was a boy due to an accident that involved unsafe use of a knife."

Thank you again Carlin for sharing these great stories from your grandfather and great-grandfather. 

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