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A Shout From The Attic: The June Years - 1

"I know what I saw and thatís the end of it! A Little Green Man stood by the side of my bed. He was as substantial as whatever is in front of you at this moment,'' writes Ronnie Bray, continuing his life story.

June Dennison Abbott

June and I met when I was serving as a Church Building Missionary on the new meeting house for the Ipswich Branch, in May of 1963. June was the widow of Ivan Abbott, who died because of a brain tumour, a fast growing glioma. They had two pretty daughters, Simone Elaine, and Sonia Dorcas. I was mummy-daddy to Matt, then aged four.

Juneís father was Ken Dennison, a descendant of A Yorkshire family from Bradford, who migrated to Suffolk and became dairy operators and farmers.

June said that her father, when he was a milk retailer, had arranged with the bank to take over a foreclosed farm, with an arrangement to make an annual payment out of profits. He brought the farm into profit, but after he had had it for twelve years, he had not paid a penny to the bank. He was an astute businessman who did well on the farming business. He was stolid, phlegmatic, man.

The farm was Potash Farm at Great Benfield, Suffolk.

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Little Green Men Live!

I know what I saw and thatís the end of it! A Little Green Man stood by the side of my bed. He was as substantial as whatever is in front of you at this moment. He was pushing to be five feet tall, mostly a round blubbery mass of emerald greenness with some kind of face, big eyes, and lower and upper limbs. He stood at the side of my bed in the Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital where I was under treatment for a collapsed vertebra in my neck.

At that time I was working as a delivery driver for Finch-Froy, a building supplies company out of Barking in Essex that had opened a new depŰt in Ipswich. This particular morning, I had loaded twelve cast iron baths onto my wagon along with their accompanying paraphernalia, and other building supplies, to make multiple delivery drops on a long route through the Suffolk and Essex countryside.

Manoeuvring one of the baths into an upright position at the front of the lorry, to nest it into its fellows, something went Ďsnap,í and an excruciating pain shot through my neck. I could gain relief only by putting my head tightly against my right shoulder. In such discomfort I completed the loading, and set off on my journey, confidant that I could do my work and that the pain would ease. It had come, so it could, likewise, go.

I had driven less than a mile when it became evident that I could not continue, so I swung my wagon around and headed for my doctorís surgery. He saw my plight and with more good humour than I could muster, telephoned an orthopaedic consultant at the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital. An appointment was made for my immediate attendance. I drove uptown, parked the big rig outside the emergency entrance, and went in to get help.

After a cursory but knowing examination, I was x-rayed, and put to bed with a harness strapped around my head that was affixed to a cable that ran over a pulley arrangement, and down the back of the bed with weights attached to its end. The bed was raised at the head so that I pointed down hill. The resulting tension between gravity on my body and the pull of the weight on my head stretched me in Procrustean manner to separate the cervical vertebra and ease the pressure on the nerve that was the cause of my discomfort.

I laid back and waited for relief, but it was slow in coming, and that is when the doctor prescribed Fortral, the proprietary name for pentazocine, an analgaesic for moderate to severe pain, by injection, with the result that the pain subsided considerably. But it had a side effect that was startling and worrying. It opened the Gates of Perception, and I started seeing things.

My first experience of altered perception was the intensification of my visual faculty. When the nurse attended my bedside, I saw her arm no longer as just an ordinary arm, but as a panoramic landscape of integument, pores and hairs in such relief that it was marvellous, much, I imagine, like the heightened perception produced by lysergic acid diethylamide. That was an experience that I enjoyed and treasure, but when the Little Green man put in an appearance, I knew it was time to quit!

Most people trust the evidence of their eyes, and they are sensible to do so, but I knew that the hallucination was not real, not tangible, but only psychically perceived in my disturbed brain. The Thing was not frightening or threatening, but when you see things that you know are not there, something has got to give. My five-foot friendly berylline fiend with his crystalline bug eyes had to be unsummoned, disinvoked, devisualised, and decamped forthwith, instantly, without delay, and immediately, if not sooner, and that was that!

Consequently, I told the nurse what had happened and terminated pain relief. It was worth the return of suffering in order to lose the chimera. A week later, nature having taken its course, I was discharged, almost pain free with a moulded surgical collar to help me keep my chin up and to guarantee that my friends and acquaintances reminded me often so to do.

As for the LGMs, we both know they donít exist. The only problem is that I have seen them!

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