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By Big Bad Brad Baughman

 Over the years I have had many memorable moments at knap-ins. Looking back, many have involved roughly the same cast of characters… Emory and Cecil Coons (pranksters of a high degree), Stu Murdock (never turn your back on him!), Steve Alleley (the instigator) and his brother-in-law Mick Hill (the victim!!!) 

  Some knap-in have been memorable because of new vocabulary that was invented (and is now in common usage) such as… that is a beautiful point.. did you make both halves? Or  ” I fought the flaw and the flaw won”.

  Others because of well-planned pranks, such as the camp remote given to Jim Riggs to remotely control the entire camp and still others because of “accidents”.

  By now you all have surely heard of the self-inflicted injuries of the infamous Mick Hill.  We all gather at Glass Buttes and await his arrival…. just to hear what kind of life threatening injuries he has inflicted upon himself over the winter. (such as riding his mountain bike into a large steel post or falling backwards off of a tall ladder.  Both resulting in debilitating long term injuries.)

  A couple of years ago Mick showed up … with no stories!  To say we were all amazed is an understatement. As the knap-in progressed we were all waiting for the inevitable “ high point”, such as the pranks, new vocabulary etc. but nothing happened.

  Then one afternoon we were knapping around the fire. Mick decided to try his luck knapping a very large piece of “Mick whack” (very low quality stone).he asked for help from the master of” large”… Emory coons, to reduce the piece down to a manageable size.  Figuring that it was the perfect time to teach Mick how to do reduction, Emory handed him a large (about 12 lb.) solid copper billet.  He preceeded to show Mick how to hold the stone against his leg at the right angle.

  Mick then tapped at the stone… Emory forcefully told him to “ HIT IT  “. Mick then took another timid strike at the stone.  Again nothing happened. This time Emory said even more forcefully to… hit it!

  By this time everyone was watching…. Mick raised the billet over shoulder high.  Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. Mick was staring intently at the stone… the billet was falling with amazing force… and… it completely missed the stone!!

  The sound of the billet striking Micks leg sounded like a sledge hammer hitting the butt end of a log…. slowly the billet slipped out of Micks hand and fell on the ground… the stone slowly slipped out of his other hand and fell onto the ground.  Micks eyes slowly rolled upward and a low groan escaped his lips.

   Everyone there fully expected for someone to have to take Mick to the hospital to set his broken leg.  There is no way that a human leg bone should be able to absorb that much force without breaking.  However, after a long spell of sitting , Mick was able to stand and walk, much to everyone’s surprise and delight.

  The bruise left on Micks leg was a thing of pure beauty and now the stuff of legend!  Ii don’t know how many times Mick was asked to drop his pants!

  We all wait for next year.

                                      Big Bad Brad

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