I found this interesting semi-biography of Elmer Keith today. All I have to add is that he was one tough Hombre. If I read the story correctly, he was 12 years old when he "fixed" his left hand.
He is one of the old timers that I wish I'd had a chance to meet.
It did, in a way, put me to mind of my father-in-law. Not that my father-in-law has much in common with Elmer Keith other than the fact I would also consider him to be a tough hombre.
When we were up in the frozen north for Christmas he had a toothache that was driving him nuts. Much like me, he doesn't go to the doctor unless he's forced to and he ain't overly fond of dentists either. Anyhow, I made a smartass comment about pulling that tooth for him if he'd bring me some needlenose pliers. He say "y'know, I had to to do that once when I lived in Mexico."
"Why", I asked "did you have to do it youself?"
"Because there weren't any dentists where I was at and I didn't trust anybody else to do it for me."
I shut up and said nary another word about volunteering to do any dentistry for him. I was afraid he'd take me up on it.