Two Score and Ten Years Ago

Mom and Dad's trailer, 50 years ago

Mom and Dad’s trailer, 50 years ago

hamburgers on white bread, 50 years ago

hamburgers on white bread, 50 years ago

It was just about 50 years ago today that my parents were figuring out that Dr. Finch, the one who told them they wouldn’t be able to bear children, was a birdbrain. Maybe he really meant they wouldn’t be able to bear children as in tolerate them?  Guess that can’t be the case either since mom and dad ultimately ended up bearing AND tolerating four or them.

If it were me, just about to get hitched in 1963, and the doctor told me I was barren, I’d have freaked out.  Mom says they didn’t have time to freak out; they were busy planning their wedding.  And if after accepting the fact that I wouldn’t be having children, I then found out I WAS pregnant, you might as well have attached electrodes to my temples for some serious ECT shocking.  But my parents didn’t suffer nervous breakdowns with that news either; they were too excited.  Or maybe they were confused – perhaps they were in shock and thus didn’t need ECT.

Either way, it was around this time that mom first paid (literally) a visit to Dr. Campbell.  She has a check register that shows she paid $25.00 for a prenatal care visit on February 6, 1964.  Interestingly, some things never change.  I’m pretty sure that $25.00 was my co-pay last month to find out that I didn’t have a broken ankle but that I did have the flu.  Dr. Campbell ultimately delivered me, though unfortunately not from evil, and two of my three siblings.  He retired before my baby sis arrived and you’ll be happy to know that she seems to be doing quite well despite having had a different hand slap her butt into the world.

Speaking of the world and how some things never change, what was going on 50 years ago might as well be happening right now in 2014.  For example, in February of 1964, the VA decided it was time to stop handing out free tobacco products in their hospitals.  Sounds a bit similar to this week’s decision by CVS to take cigs off their shelves.

mom and dad's trailer 50 years ago - with grandpa's ashtray on the sofa arm

mom and dad’s trailer 50 years ago – with grandpa’s ashtray on the sofa arm

And just like who can marry who is a hot topic in 2014, it was also an issue back then.  Around this time in 1964, Elizabeth Taylor was busy suing Eddie Fisher for divorce so that she could marry Richard Burton…for the first time.  I guess it serves Eddie right in that he left Debbie Reynolds in order to marry Elizabeth, Debbie’s BF (apparently not BFF), in the first place.  At least Carrie Fisher, and her autobiographical book Wishful Drinking, came out of all of that marital mess.

I’ll wrap this up with a Requiescat in Pace to Dr. Patrick S. Ferazzi who was my pediatrician.  He passed away on 1/21/14, at age 90, just 8 months shy of my 50th birthday.

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