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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A Hard Ball Cuts Short Plans For European Trip

If life were fair, Tedi Watson’s long blonde hair would be glistening in Sweden’s summer sun today.

Instead, it’s probably part of the ash in Kootenai Medical Center’s incinerator.

“I keep thinking I could be in Europe right now, and instead I’m still in Coeur d’Alene,” says Tedi, shaking her stubble-covered head in disbelief.

A well-hit softball shattered Tedi’s plans to trek through Europe for a month after her June graduation from Coeur d’Alene High. She had arranged to travel with her friend from Sweden.

Few players on the Lilly Licker co-ed softball team showed up for practice at Borah Elementary on June 12. So no one objected when one player’s friend wanted to bat. It was his first time ever at bat.

Tedi, who’s 17, was pitching, although only to relieve her tired friend. The batter took her first pitch and sent a line drive tearing into Tedi’s right temple.

The blow knocked her down but not out. Tedi tried to stand, but couldn’t. A nurse who lives near the ballfield pointed her to the emergency room.

Doctors found two blood clots and four fractures in Tedi’s skull. Two hours later, doctors cut into the newly shaved right half of her head, relieved the clots and fit her bones back together.

Tedi’s friends shaved the left half of her head to match the right during her five days in the hospital. She came home June 17th with deep bruises under her eyes and a bandage over the sickle-shaped scar just above her right ear. Her flight to Sweden left June 18th without her.

Tedi wears her new shaved look comfortably with hoop earrings and long, baggy dresses. Doctors say her skull is knitting well and the blow didn’t damage her brain.

But it broke her heart.

“We were going to go to a concert in Germany with 100 bands,” she says, the shadows beneath her eyes magnifying the disappointment in her voice. “I had to put the trip off for a year. Then I guess I can go to my friend’s graduation in Sweden.”

Be prepared

Something may be awry with the Girl Scout hierarchy in Spokane, but the volunteers who do the work in Kootenai County are plenty healthy. They’ve put together a day camp program to warm any old Girl Scout’s heart. There’s nothing like lashing together sticks, tying the clove hitch and building a log cabin fire.

The camp is at Fort Sherman Park in Coeur d’Alene July 10-14 and open to all girls, Scouts or not. The best way to see your kids have fun is to volunteer to help. More adults mean more girls can participate. Call Chris Parker at 667-4124 for details.

Cultured kids

If knots don’t thrill your kids, how about paint brushes? The Post Falls Arts Commission has pulled together classes in drawing, colored pencil and pastel, and watercolor painting for kids ages 7-11. The classes are an hour once a week for four weeks - just enough time to make a mess without getting bored. They start July 10.

Post Falls artist Terri Austin-Beech will teach the classes. Her skill is easy to check. Her paintings hang in Post Falls City Hall and the city park and rec office. Call 773-2033 to register.

Batter Up

Ever watch 5-year-olds try to play T-ball? They do things you’d never believe. At one recent game, a friend’s son hit the ball, ran to first base, then ran to fetch the ball after the first baseman missed it.

Another kid hit the ball and ran straight to third base, which is more logical than you might think. He was right-handed and stood on the third-base side of home plate. The southpaw batters before him stood near the first-base line and ran in that direction.

Tell me your funniest baseball stories and I’ll send you a spiffy “Close to Home” T-shirt to wear to the games if your story is published. Keep it under 300 words and slam it over to Cynthia Taggart, “Close to Home,” 608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83814; FAX it to 765-7149; or call 765-7128.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo