Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Call the Doctor

I remember when Milton Berle, Red Skelton and Pinky Lee were on television.

And not only that, I remember when doctors made house calls.

“Wow, you are really old. Did they come by horse and wagon?”

Well, not quite, but they came to our front door carrying their little black bag.

Dr. Ostrander and Dr. Thornton were the two who came to our home during the 40s when I was “too sick to go to school.”

I can remember both of them, but especially Dr. Thornton, who was my mother’s doctor when she was growing up.

The thing I remember most about those two doctors was that “little black bag”  they carried with them. Several tools of their trade were in that bag.

I was fascinated by the instrument that the doctor used to listen to my heartbeat, officially known as the stethoscope. I remember Dr. Thornton letting me listen to my own heart ticking.

There were always some little pills in the doctor’s bag, one for the patient and one for his little brother. We looked forward to that little pill when we discovered  it tasted a lot more like candy than like any kind of medicine could have tasted.

I especially remember a particular visit by Dr. Thornton. That day I had told my mother that I was too sick to go back to school after lunch. It wasn’t the first time she had heard that; she told me I would feel better when I got back to school.

“I think he’s really sick this time,” my friend Tucker told my mother, saying I had a hard time walking home from school.

Later in the afternoon, my mother called Dr. Thornton. After checking me over, Dr. Thornton told my mother I had all the symptoms of appendicitis.

Later that evening, he returned and Dr. Dyer, a surgeon, was with him. They had trouble finding a hospital room, but they finally did. They scheduled surgery — the next day my appendix was removed.

Dr. Ostrander was familiar with my father’s family for a long time. I don’t remember my father ever going to a doctor when I was growing up but if he did, it would have been Dr. Ostrander.

I went to Dr. Ostrander’s office when my grandfather was in charge of getting me to a doctor. I remember his white hair and I thought he was old. And, of course, I remember his “little black bag.”

TV game shows

I hadn’t watched a television game show in many years until a couple of weeks ago. We were at a pub/restaurant and the room was full of men who stopped after work for  liquid refreshment.

They were all involved in watching “Wheel of Fortune” on TV.  They were shouting answers, cheering and having a good time.

A few days ago, while visiting friends, we were watching the Wheel and Jeopardy on their new digital television set. I hadn’t watched either show in many years, except for the short time with the men at the restaurant last week, but I fondly remember watching “Jeopardy” every week night several years ago when visiting my mother.

Mom rattled off the answers quicker than the contestants, while I just sat and watched.

While watching my friends’ television set I discovered that I still don’t know the answers, and when I do, I forget to put them in the form of a question.

I was glad to see that Alex Trebeck, Pat Sajak and Vanna White are still going strong. I thought that Vanna looked particularly good on digital TV.

40 Winks

I do a lot of the writing that I do while sitting in the most comfortable chair in the house. While thinking about what I want to write and how I want to write it, I often begin to get sleepy and soon drop off for 40 winks (or even a few more than that).

Sometimes, when I open my eyes after a short (or not so short) nap, I seem to have gotten new ideas while I was “resting.” Other times I have no idea what I was thinking about and have to figure out where I was going with the half-finished thought that I left behind on paper.

This is a fairly recent development created by the fact I am now categorized as a “retiree,” and as part of that designation I have also officially become a “napper”.

A good sermon

As the father of a minister, I shouldn’t be telling minister jokes, but here’s a couple I couldn’t resist.

“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, and to have the two as close together as possible.” — George Burns

“The best illustration of the value of brief speech reckoned in dollars was given by Mark Twain. His story was that when he had listened for five minutes to the preacher telling of the heathen, he wept and was going to contribute $50.

“After 10 minutes more of the sermon he reduced the amount of his prospective contribution to $25.

“After half an hour more he cut the sum to $5.

“At the end of an hour of oratory when the plate was passed he took $2.”

 

. . . Roy Hodge

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