Getting To The Bottom Of Things

               In September of  1967, I lost my sight in  a mining accident
          in  Lead, South Dakota.  In January of  1968, the  state of South
          Dakota sent  me to  Arkansas Enterprises for  the Blind,  a rehab
          center in  Little Rock,  Arkansas to  learn  to live  as a  blind
          person.

               After my third week there, they had me walking solo with the
          cane  in the downtown area. They  issue a shepherd cane there, it
          had a fiberglass screw in tip, that sometimes got a little loose.

               As I walked,  the mobility instructor was walking  behind me
          watching me travel. The tip in the  cane seemed a little loose to
          me, so I  decided to tighten it.  Standing on a street  corner in
          downtown  Little Rock,  I lifted my  cane like  a person  would a
          fishing pole. After I lifted it, I  was going to pull it back and
          tighten the  tip.  I  got it about  half way  up and it  stuck on
          something.   As  I continued  struggling to  raise it  higher, my
          instructor came running up to me, half hollering half laughing. I
          had an elderly lady's dress up above her shoulders.  I don't know
          who was the more embarrassed; she or me.

          Stuart Swartz