Hearing History: Walt Seil


Walt Seil
Senior Yearbook Photo
ca 1941

Maria McLeod: Well, OK, so tell me the story about shooting off your hand.

Walt Seil: Well, this was in the fall of the year. And Tony Campbell, who was neighbors to us, him and I decided to go hunting for deer. We walked up to the railroad track and went a mile or so up the railroad track.

And we was hunting and hunting and didn’t find nothing, so we come back across the trestle and stopped. And Tony says, “Let’s hit that snag over there that’s sticking out on that tree.” And I says, “OK.”

So he tried and he missed, and tried and I missed. And he said, “Well, let me try with your gun.” 

And I’d already injected a shell into the chamber and I had the safety on. And he says, “Here’s my gun,” and I reached over and took his gun.

And I thought he had mine and I let mine go. The safety hit the rail, broke the safety off. And the hammer hit the tied. And it was falling back towards me and I had my hand like this.
MM: Your hand was sort of in front of your body.
WS: It went right through my hand, here, and it nicked my ear, here.
MM: Oh, I can see where it nicked your ear! Ohmygoodness!
WS: And so I took my belt off. Of course, [inaudible] clear across the track. And I cinched it up real tight and held it like this.
And Tommy says, “What should I do with the gun?”
I says, “I don’t give a damn what you do with the gun. Throw it away if you want to!”
Walt Seil was born in Issaquah in 1920 to Edward Seil and Josephine Wood Seil. He had seven brothers and sisters, many with family remaining in the area. Walt was interviewed in 2006 by Maria McLeod as part of IHM’s oral history project. Walt talks about growing up in Issaquah on a ranch and in Snoqualmie where his father was a logger. He also talks about accidents he had, Alpine Dairy Football Team, and his role in WWII. He was a great story teller, as you can see in the video below (Walt begins at 1:19.)