The untimely death of Blanche’s mother sent the Karne family into a tailspin. Of course, no family is ever prepared for such an event, but Suzi had been the anchor, the kingpin that held everything and everyone together. Her husband, Ike, had a taste for whiskey, but she kept him in check. As for the six children, Blanche was the eldest and the most stable. She’d been Mama’s helper since day one. The same couldn’t be said for her two younger sisters, Helen and Margret, who were on the wild side. Suzi kept them in line as well. Then there was Clarence, six years younger than Blanche. Clarence was smart and observant. By the time he was eleven he was a skilled carpenter and on his way to becoming a cabinet-maker. However, an accident occurred.
While helping around the thrashing machine, his right arm was drawn into the large, flat drive-belt, which flapped when under load, and it was broken. Doc Rhodes, the only physician for miles around, set his arm. But when the cast came off the bones had evidently been mismatched. When he raised his arm above his waist it was little more than useless. Doc Rhodes and some of the local men succeeded in catching Clarence and breaking his arm a second time. But the results were the same. Doc Rhodes was determined to break yet again, but Suzi Was not about to let this happen again and defended her fourteen-year-old son.
“Not over my dead body is anyone going to break my son’’s arm again,” she warned.