Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

My bloody lip

Posted March 12, 2009

“Sorry, I haven’t called but I dropped my cell phone in the pool.” That’s a quote from my son Will on spring break this week in Florida at Panama City Beach. I still haven’t actually talked with Will today. That was the voice mail message on my home phone. He borrowed someone’s phone to make the call.

Will’s predicament prompted me to ask: “What is the strangest thing to happen to me on spring break when I was in college?” Please weigh in. I would like to hear your stories.

Here’s my story. It’s rather violent. I was home in Morganton on spring break. A friend and I went to Boone one Saturday night. Back in those days the female to male student ratio at Appalachian State was five to one. As a guy it was pretty easy to get a date at ASU. My male friend and I stepped out in front of a dorm and the girls looked out the window. Two lovely and charming females came down to the lobby. We chatted and off we went for dinner and then to a party they recommended.

While at the party I asked a host if she could point me in the direction of the bathroom. She grabbed me by the hand and said  “I’ll be glad to show you.” I smiled and said “thank you.” She must have been fighting with her boyfriend. I think she was trying to make him jealous. It worked. The next thing I heard was a voice screaming: “Don’t you ever look at my girl like that again!” I responded: “Like what? What are you talking about?” Then came a huge fist right flying into my face. Blood splattered everywhere. I looked up and there was this guy about 6’7” yelling violently at me. He looked like an offensive lineman. I sized up the situation. Should I fight back or should I run? At 6’2” and 165 lbs. I was no match for this monster so I bolted for the door on the heels of my friend who was already in the car.

I should have gone to the local police department and filed a report but for some reason I didn’t. We drove back to Morganton and went to the emergency room at Grace Hospital where a doctor sewed me up with seven stitches. My lower lip was huge but my teeth were fine.  I still have a little scar under my lip from that mysterious punch.  My Morganton buddies wanted to go back up the mountain and find that so called “Boone Goon” and teach him a lesson or two. But we never did. To this day I still don’t know why he was so provoked. I think about that incident often especially when I am on the highway. You never know when someone might explode into a fit of rage.

When I think back on that story from my college days, Will’s waterlogged cell phone doesn’t seem too bad. I feel better now.

What are your spring break stories?


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  • bleslie Mar 13, 2009

    Good gator story! My wife is a kayaker. I'll be sure to tell her about Shaw Creek.

  • Raleighnative58 Mar 13, 2009

    Apparently, Shaw Creek is home to many alligators and they were out sunning on the sides of the creek until my son and his cousin came to "bother them." They said the alligators would gently slide into the waters, then go down out of site. That was the scary part - they never knew where they went once in the water. They ended up seeing at least 7 alligators and claim one of them had to be close to 12 ft long.

    All of this excitement found in Pender County!!! They never even had to leave the state!!! And, I am happy to report they finally made it to their destination and came safely home!!

  • Raleighnative58 Mar 13, 2009

    This story is breaking news in our family...
    Our son went down to the Wilimington/Topsail Beach area this week for spring break. He and his cousin decided to take an adventure on Wed. by taking kayaks into Shaw Creek off the Cape Fear river. Neither of them had been on this "adventure" before but they decided they needed some excitement for spring break, so they headed off. They did get a book on the area with a map and talked briefly with an "outfitting expert" before leaving for their 5 hour ride. The book did mention the fact that some folks have spotted 9 ft. alligators - they laughed at the mere thought they would actually SEE one. As they continued on their ride, they saw what was the first of MANY alligators along the way. They totally freaked out - prayed out loud, commented that their moms would die if we knew where they were, and said they were glad they didn't bring any girls as they would have for sure had to turn back at some point. to be continued...

  • For-Better-Or-Worse Mar 12, 2009

    I'll tell on my sister, when she was 15 we went to my Grandparents house near the coast to visit. She went with 2 of our cousins (they were 16 and 17) to the "movie" in town. They actually went to Myrtle Beach which was about 45 minutes away. Our cousin parked in a tow zone and the car was towed away. After several hours of trying to find the car they had to call my Uncle to come get them.

  • cornfused Mar 12, 2009

    Five of us senior girls had a fun filled, innocent, no alcohol week at the Windjammer Inn in Atlantic Beach. My sister suffered a horrible sun burn on the first day and was pretty much out of commission for the rest of the week. On the last day, one of us, who shall remain nameless, came running out onto a wet, slippery floor and fell. She scraped her chin on the wall, causing a mean "road rash" type wound. I jokenly told her mother that she wasn't "too drunk" when she fell and her mother still beieves to this day that she was drunk!

  • CestLaVie Mar 12, 2009

    Bill: I was sorry to read your story, in that the Boone Goon is probably beating up on some woman in his life now. What a pity, but I think you were right to run.

  • thefensk Mar 12, 2009

    Part II ... I'm sure some would say we shouldn't have gotten in the truck. We were hesitant, to be sure. I'm sure some would say we should have turned him in. Well, in this instance, since he did drop us off at a public place, we figured whatever he had told us about the neighborhood was correct and that he probably saved us from real harm so we cut him some slack. Thank heavens this was in 1973 and not 1993 or 2003. He was just some local pot smuggler who didn't want to see a bunch of stupid kids get hurt.

  • thefensk Mar 12, 2009

    Went to South Padre Island once when I was in college. It was generally one of the most miserable trips of my life. Not my scene.

    But the trip did have this really unusual event. This was 1973, and the proximity to Matamoros Mexico was too much to ignore so we parked on the US side and walked across the border. We ate and we shopped then started walking back. There were four of us and one was SURE she knew the way. We walked and walked and walked. The neighborhood got pretty seedy. While we were conferencing on a street corner about where the heck we needed to go next, a pickup truck slammed on its brakes and the guy in it told us "What are you doing HERE. You don't want to be HERE, get in." There ws something in the tone of his voice that made us trust him. He drove us to the border crossing. Well, it turns out he said he was a drug smuggler and would have to drop us off before he crossed. He even offered us a good deal, which we politely declined.

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Bill Leslie