Versus Wellborn

Not so long ago. Vertus Wellborn Hardiman (March 9, 1922 – June 1, 2007) became a victim of a US government human radiation experiment. At the age of 5 the experiment left him with a painful skull deformity that forced him to cover his head for 80 years. Hardiman was born in Lyles Station, Indiana. In 1928, Vertus attended the local elementary school. The parents of 10 children at school were approached by county hospital officials and were told that there was a new treatment for “ringworm.” What the parents didn’t know was that the children were actually part of a human experiment on extreme radiation chosen because they lived in such an isolated location, and because they were all Black. The children were exposed to high levels and many were left with disfiguring scalp scars and head trauma. The effects of the experiments were mostly hidden from the townspeople of Lyles Station. Many of the children wore wigs and hats to cover up the results of the experiments. Vertus Hardiman finally broke his silence more than 70 years later, to a friend, Wilbert Smith, who partnered with Brett Leonard to produce the documentary, “Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed.” The 2011 film is the amazing story of Hardiman and the nine other children who were affected by the horrible experiment in Lyles Station. Hardiman was physically affected the worst by the radiation. As a result he experienced a slow dissolving of the bone matter of his skull for the rest of his life. The ensuing deformed head and gaping hole at its top were disguised by a succession of hats, toupees, and wigs. Every day of his life he spent an hour changing bandages and dressing the wound. He died at age 85. Upon his death, Vertus bequeathed eight million dollars to his church and favorite educational scholarship fund. Vertus harbored no anger and was known to say frequently, “If I am angry, my prayers will not be answered because my heart’s not right.”

‘Twas the month before Xmas


T’was a month before Christmas,
And all through the town,
People wore masks,
That covered their frown.
The frown had begun
Way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic
Changed everything.
They called it corona,
But unlike the beer,
It didn’t bring good times,
It didn’t bring cheer.
Airplanes were grounded,
Travel was banned.
Borders were closed
Across air, sea, and land.
As the world entered a lockdown
To flatten the curve,
The economy halted,
And folks lost their nerve.
From March to July
We rode the first wave,
People stayed home,
They tried to behave.
When summer emerged
The lockdown was lifted.
But away from caution,
Many folks drifted.
Now it’s November
And cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived,
Much to our disliking.
It’s true that this year
Has had sadness aplenty,
We’ll never forget
The year 2020.
And just ‘round the corner –
The holiday season,
But why be merry?
Is there even one reason?
To decorate the house
And put up the tree,
Who will see it,
No one but me.
But outside my window
The snow gently falls,
And I think to myself,
Let’s deck the halls!
So, I gather the ribbon,
The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols,
My happiness grows.
Christmas is not canceled
And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other,
I know we can cope
❤💚❤💚❤💚❤
Keep it going! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!