Hospital Hill is not actually (as I used to think) called Hospital Hill because it sends too many people to the ER, but because it backs up on the old Northampton State Hospital. But I'm beginning to think that there's something to my original idea about how the hill got its name.
Several days ago, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, with several inches of fresh powder padding the foot of snow we already had, my father, sister, and I decided to go snowtubing. We got to Hospital Hill only to discover that the powder had already been firmly packed down by dozens of little sledders, creating an icy almost-vertical freeway on which crampons would have been pretty useful. After sliding halfway down the hill on our asses several times, we finally made it up the hill, and then had a couple good runs down. On our last run, my sis and I shared the snowtube. As we hurtled down the hill, I felt, I swear, a premonition... that this was not going to be good. Sure enough, some kid (or, who knows, some silly adult like myself) had left a plastic sled smack in our path. As you really can't steer a snowtube, we hit it head on. I hit it literally head on. As we crashed, the sled bounced up, I bounced up, the sled bounced down and I bounced down onto it. On my head. On my left temple, to be exact. I lay there in the snow afterwards with the precautions from too many first aid classes running frantically through my mind.... suspected spinal injury.... don't move the victim if you suspect a spinal injury.... I gradually realized that, no, my back was not broken, and yes, I was able to speak. Now, several days and several chiropractor visits later, and still in pain, I have two things to say: a) don't abandon your sled on the hill and b) always listen to your mother.
(Note: somehow, while I landed groaning, my sister landed giggling. Apparently she smacked her eyebrow, though, and I guess it hurts a little bit when she makes an expression of surprise or displeasure... poor thing...)