Would You Save Your Amputated Leg?

Here’s a few stump related media moments and materials. Thanks for reading and Happy Independence Day.

finders keepers

I finally got around to watching Finders Keepers, a documentary that my friend and fellow Fairhoper Jack Daily recommended to me a few months back. Jack knows about my fascination with all things amputee or library related. If you are not sure about this one, Here’s a link to Internet Movie Database and the trailer.

Somehow this true story and I never crossed paths, but it is a funny, sad, and strange tale that takes place in North Carolina. It made headlines around the world, The Telegraph, CNN, and hundreds of others news outlets back in 2007. Finders Keepers is about John Wood, an amputee, and Shannon Whisnant, the man who finds Wood’s partially embalmed leg in, of all things, a barbecue grill.

The movie is a battle over the possession of John’s amputated leg, which he left in a grill inside his self storage unit. At some point he stopped paying his bill.

Shannon purchased the contents of the unit at an auction, including the remains. In a move that would make P. T. Barnum proud, Shannon wanted to sell tickets so people can see the remains of John’s leg on display, supposedly in the grill that he found them in.

John somehow gets possession of the leg back, and tells everyone it’s his leg and he wants to keep it. Shannon wants it back and in true “Finders Keepers” fashion, he goes to court to get it back. Not just any court though. The case is heard by Judge Mathis. By that point we have learned much, good and bad, about the personal struggles of these two good old boys and their bizarre family histories.

Thanks for the “win win winning” recommendation Jack. It’s available for streaming on Netflix, or check your local library. I highly recommend it, especially for Ripley’s Believe It Not fans, amputees, or anyone interested in a strange story.

Rock Legs


I don’t know what compelled me to watch this link that appeared in my social media feed, but I’m glad I did. I’m not a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, but I love this Carpool Karaoke bit. While it was funny, and entertaining in parts (it’s a bit long), the big payoff for amputees came around the 8.30 minute. The Late Late Show host James Corden asks the band members about their best rock moment. Chad Smith, (AKA Will Ferrell) tells a fantastic story about what he saw during a live performance many years ago. You can watch the whole thing, but here’s Chad’s rock moment.

Chad: We played a festival in Holland many years ago and out in the crowd I saw two guys having a fight with their prosthetic legs…One had a shoe on and the other one didn’t.

Travel Legs

If you are passing through T. F. Green Airport in Providence RI make sure you check out the “display of legs.” My sister Laurie sent me this photo. I noticed they actually change out the prostheses in the case every year or so.

Armed with Fiction

This title showed up in the Baldwin County library catalog recently.


From the Publisher (St. Martin’s)

After having his left arm amputated due to a car accident, Aaron is forced to return to his boyhood home to recuperate. Disappearing into a fog of pain killers, the only true joy in his life comes from the daily 90-second radio spots of science fun facts and the disembodied voice of Sunny Lee.



When Does Your Summer Begin?


Here on the Gulf Coast students get out of school before Memorial Day. Temperatures have been in the 90s this week. For me, summer begins with the first meeting of my creative writing class at Fairhope Public Library.

I’m fortunate to offer the class on a quarterly basis, but I enjoy the summer sessions the most. Last June, the age range of my students was 18-86. This year is shaping up to be just as diverse with a full class of high school students and seniors. The range of ages also makes it a bit more challenging to prepare for, and I love the challenge. I think this is a product of not having lesson plans. No, actually it’s a product of constantly changing the readings, in-class discussions, and the writing exercises. Although I don’t have any students who have taken the course before, I like to keep it fresh by introducing new material. I always include something about amputees, writing forms, and some of my favorite writings. Where I switch things up is in the discussion topics and the writing exercises.

Rather than teaching someone how to upload a file, print a document, read books on the Overdrive App, or provide a refresher on the Dewey Decimal System, all things I love to do as a reference librarian, the writing class gives me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned about the art of creative writing.

Here’s to the start of summer.