On Ecuador

There is So much more I could write about of this trip to Ecuador.  I may have already (dementia), but now to the main reason I’m typing this.  On the outskirts of Quito, there were a few shops and one had things like antiques as well as daily modern things…such as baskets.  Here is the photo demonstrating the piece that I am ashamed to present.  The shop had articles from everyday life in the jungle.  I got a small clay fired pot and, if you can believe, a blow-gun.  The blow gun came with a bamboo quiver like container with long splinters of bamboo wrapped on one end to allow them to be shot from the gun very accurately.  They would not allow me to buy (tho they had them there) the small coconut shell full of a black paste that was curare, to paralyse the prey.  The wrap material on the bamboo arrows is unusually fine and silky. I did it, so Just imagine me carrying this 5 foot long blowgun to the airport and then carrying it onto the plane where I could place it in a vertical storage space for the trip to the US.  Imagine trying that now, in our present age of terrorism fear. 

Then I saw the item.  It was a leather apron like article with ten brass bells suspended on it.  I asked (with a lot of difficulty in my Spanish) what it was for.  She was obviously embarrassed when she held it up against herself and did a little dance to make the bells ring.  They were very old and very used but very heavy.  She was blushing and I asked her if I could buy just one.  REally Dumb Bob!!  To break up this collection of antiquity because you didn’t think the extra baggage cost on the airlplane would be too much.  I have the Single bell and I have it with a collection of bells that I have used to play Santa ever since that time.

Ceremonial Bells

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Regarding death

I can never forget….oi…I’ve said THAT a lot too.  Teddy Gruver.  His Dad had a junk yard, and since my Dad did welding and machine shop business I spent some time with him and met Teddy there just before going into 4th grade at a different school than the first 3.    So, you may be able to understand a little of my emotions when I saw Teddy on a Friday at school, but he didn’t come the following Monday.  After being told he died, I was in a curious type of shock.  Something I had never experienced before.  I went to his home and was thanked for coming, and told that he died of appendicitis.  Something else I’d never heard of.  I can’t saw implicitly that it had a relation to my becoming a physician and surgeon but the bell does ring.  He was 10.  I was 9.  Sad.  I’m so happy to be able to treat kids of things that I can cure with a surgery or a cast or even a few sutures.  I could never be a paediatrician and have to deal with death in children. 

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Fun times

I had been to Fla. many times before this occasion, but with my Chief of surgery there to take the Fla. medical boards with me, I could hardly say no.  It was an intriguing experience of which I could write a few lines.  Ray smoked those little cigars that looked like a long cigarette.  The day I was to leave for my flight back to Pennsylvania I was walking in the yard around his Fla. home.  I discovered a couple anoles and I was quick enough to grab a couple in sequence.  After the first one, with it in my hand…I was looking around for something to keep it in, and to take it back to Chris in Penna.. I found one of the carton things those cigars he smoked and it was just the right size and shape to keep it in safely.  Then I caught another.  I figured that two could easily survive the plane ride in that carton so I added the second one, and put the box inside my suit vest pocket.  Yes,  I wore a suit in those days.  Who on earth decided that style of clothing was appropriate and up to the level of stature and cast?  

So, thru ticketing and thru what in those days was security, and on to the airplane.  I had a window seat in the first row in coach, and there was a youngster about 10-12 sitting next to me.   Take off was nominal and while I was looking out the window, a lizard jumped out and disappeared between me and the wall.  I sat back a bit shocked, and then….the second one jumped out and landed on my hand next to and fully in the gaze of the lad next to me.  He jumped around and screamed “Hey Mom…there’s a lizard on the plane.”!!  Of course I sat there innocently and it was gone in a flash.  We never saw a trace of it afterwards but I wonder if and how many people had such a surprise while flying on that plane.

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In my youth

As I’ve said, I learned all of the first 3 years of schooling in the first year, because of the one room schoolhouse.  That was as unique as me being the youngest in class all the way to Med school, where there was one person younger than I.  I’d put his name here if I could remember it.  Harvy something.  Dicky Doverspike was my almost constant companion.  We played in the creek (BIG creek), and we hunted and fished and hiked and were Boy Scouts together, tho he dropped out of that.  Then, in school, I was not a team player, and I really didn’t care for football and track and basketball.  Never even heard of soccer, being in the boonies.  But when it came to drawing or choosing sides and players…I was always last in being chosen.  I tolerated it, but yes, it did affect me.  I couldn’t run far as I would have bad cramping pain in my right upper side.  Later they told me it was due to liver filling with blood.  Ok, but it was a hassle.

All I wanted was an education.  I enjoyed learning but it wasn’t all that easy.  I certainly developed a fairly vast memory.  I’ve only read a few books in my time.  The Sleeping Prophet (Edgar Caycee), and some teacher chosen by Sinclair Lewis, and a French  Scientific book…all in college.  Prophet was my choice, tho I don’t know how I came by it back then.  And now I am presently living in an area that Caycee visited.  I recommend that book with a strong urge.

Having taken a dance class forced on me by Mom, I learned at an early age (10-12) about ballet, and tap, and ballroom, and waltz and jitterbug.  That made me popular on Saturday nights when we gathered in the basement of one of the banks for teen dance gathering.  I loved to dance and that made me a bit popular in those years.

I started hunting at an early age too.  Problem is (to me), that I can’t remember the first years, as it was little more than taking a walk, but thru fields and woods rather than on a trail or path.  I shot rabbits and ring-necked pheasant, and squirrels.  I got my first deer when I was 12.  Like I’ve said, I was brought up on wild game meat, and it is true. Because of the economy as well as the local area, small town etc, it was cheaper to eat wild meat than to buy store meat.  Fielt dressing the animals likely had something to do with my education towards being a physician.  And I loved it then as I do now.


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High school classmate Lum Adams

I recognize that I’m not exactly cheating here, but I am posting a discussion with Lum (Larry) Adams.  He was a classmate in high school. He bullied me one time that I can remember but in time, and thru his wife, we are chatting.  Cut and paste here to see the change and a bit of lifestyle in those days.  (we graduated in 1955

I grew up with coal subject almost at a daily thing…..thing could be a better word, but I forget so much. I wouldn’t be a doc if it didn’t exist.  Clarion Co, would not  have existed without it. My uncle took is into mines behind a coal car pulled by a shetland pony.  Carbide lantern was soon part of my clutch, used them heavily in college, exploring caves.  I’ve surely written a note of my experience with the poor guy trapped in a mine and I was to help him out.  Again, thank God Dad arrived.  I can recall union problems when I was in high school (maybe earlier) and Dad worried of the outcome.  Of course 99+ % of Dads work was related to coal.  I can recall being lifted up by an old steam shovel…me in the bucket.  And running a dozer being allowed to understand and use the levers.  Delivering to some poor guy up across from Howard Bish’ house a full tank (big tank) of O2…and dragging it up two flights to him…blue from lack of O2…smoking a cigarette and breathing so bad it scared me.  Getting the hell out of Dodge (are it were) to Tampa…away from coal.  I knew it couldn’t possibly last and it was a LOT of years later that Dad accepted that truth to me.  Then, get out of Tampa…a whole book in itself…back to TN..closest thing to normal life as I could get as a surgeon…to the largest coal mines in Va.  The entire county, existed on Coal and tobacco.  Very long story.  I am happy that the tobacco thing changed (I’d like to think I had a part in it.).   Wow.  Commode that late in life.  I wonder of the shock!!  I’ve seen (honest) a 4 hole outhouse and wonder of the conversations.  I do remember Lum and Abner very well.  Never heard you called Buck.  How is Bill managing?  I’d be dead if it wasn’t Mary working on keeping me alive.  Your lady has affected your life dramatically and you sure can be proud of how you are doing.  I do need to add to my blog.  Wish I could remember stuff. 🙂  How old was your Dad when he died?  You should come sit with me by the fire sometime 😉  We’d have a Lot to talk about.  Now I’m curious how you type.  Both hands or two fingers?  When did that change?

I can add something interesting right here.  Typing changed our brains in a very positive way.  Then I learned Morse code and learned to send code at a very high speed, and that caused another brain growth.  Then computers came.   WOW.  We’re speeding toward oblivion. 

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