Man WIth Head Injury

June 26, 1977
Lower Tahquitz Canyon

by Jim Fairchild

There we were, sitting on Chester and Anne Dolley's side porch soaking up cool liquids when a Sergeant from the Palm Springs Police Dept. came over and said, "Did you know there's a person with a busted skull up at the first falls?" Well, no we did not. Four of us put packs back on and headed up, soon learning that the busted skull was probably at Scorpio Pool, somewhat lower than the first falls. Pete soon located the right spot and we headed for the pool. Beer cans, soda pop cans, trash, and live bodies decorated the pool and stream. Blood flowed downstream and colored half the pool. We were soon at the side of Dave Negrette who was babbling away ridiculously, barely heard above the radio blaring modern "music." Dave's head was cradled on the lap of a half submerged mermaid, his own body cooling in the pool. Blood-soaked towels and T-shirts were evidence of first aid. I was finally able to get near enough to inspect and dress the wound. It was gross - about eight inches long at the top of his head, the outboard side of the skull peeled up nearly an inch with plenty of blood oozing yet. With many bad jokes, epitaphs, invectives, insults, and so on between the injured man's friends and associates, we got him into a litter and down to the road head where an ambulance was waiting. Our own role in hauling the litter was minimal because a couple of super-strong Marines and the subject's friends who helped.

The group Dave was with was enjoying the natural scene with at least three types of "consumables" the very smell of which made us dizzy. They all no doubt had hang overs of great dimensions, but we conjectured how Dave felt after what had to be done to his busted skull. I believe he could have been dropped out of a helicopter and never missed a laugh, until the next day!