Perils of Firing a Kiln Part IV

I get by with a little help from friends

As far as the Papal Mass pottery was concerned, two fellow potters in San Antonio came to my aid.  Bob Fromme, an expert at making large pieces, threw the large covered jars needed to hold any host that might be leftover after everyone at the Mass was served.  The archdiocese estimated that one million people would attend. 

Mike Saul threw the Chalices for the Bishops to use during the Mass. All the other pieces, the bulk of the order, had already been produced. It just needed to be fired.  My employees stepped up to assist in getting that accomplished.  I managed the firings, but they got the kiln unloaded and loaded.      

Physical Therapy

After my hand healed enough, I began weekly appointments with a physical therapist in my hand surgeon’s office.  At six weeks, I told my therapist that I thought I had a normal two-point sensation at the end of my index finger.  A “normal” nerve sensation in your finger is feeling two-points, one-eighth of an inch apart.  She gave me a skeptical look and proceeded to test the feeling that I was having in my finger.   While my therapist did the test, I looked away with my therapist using a device with two points on it and tested my finger by poking it and with each poke moving the points closer together.  Once she completed the test, she immediately took me across the hall to tell my surgeon that I had normal two-point sensation.  You could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t believe her and proceeded to do the test himself.  He was surprised that the nerves had healed as quickly as they did.  The sensation was not like before the accident, but very close.

As Good As It Gets

It has not gotten better since that day, but it was good enough for me to work.  My left index finger is still misshapen from being crushed, and the sensation in my finger is not as good as before the accident, but I think that it is due to decreased blood flow in the finger.  Still, I consider it a miracle I didn’t lose my finger, like the many things that happened to me that day and in the weeks following the accident. 

Rob at the Papal Mass
Rob at the Papal Mass September 1987

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