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Saturday, May 27, 2017


First Hospital Visit

Except for when I was born in Peninsula General Hospital in 1943, I have only been there one time (until last year). That was in 1948 for an overnight stay to have my tonsils removed. Now, in 1948, there were no such things as “sleep-overs” so I had never been away from home overnight before. I thought of it as just a big adventure with all the attention and everything. Mom was worried I would be scared and made sure I had all my favorite and familiar things at the hospital with me. My favorite bear, Teddy, had been a constant companion since I got him for my first Christmas in 1943. My Dad even had to back-track 100 miles while we were on vacation because I had left Teddy in the diner where we had lunch. He wasn’t pleased but I was disconsolate and only the return of Teddy would solve the problem. He came along to the hospital as well as my favorite books and a couple of other toys.

The two charge nurses in the children’s ward were known to me as most everybody in Salisbury knew everybody in those days. One of them was Janie Ward. Her husband, Vernon, worked in the Engineering Lab at Martin & Schwartz where my father worked. I well remember visiting them where they first lived. It was the room at the very top of the Hotel Esther. Her father had offered to buy them a house, but Vernon told Janie that if she married him, she would have to make do with what he could provide. He was one of the smartest and hardest-working men I have ever known. He bought land in OceanCity and built four apartment buildings on them just working on them alone after work and on week-ends. He also started the Car Care business on the corner of Alexander Avenue and Route 13 while he was still working at (by now) Dresser.

The other nurse was Marie Waller. She went to St. Francis and I knew her from there. Her husband was Ed Waller and he ran Waller’s Confectionery across from the Court House. She just celebrated her 101st birthday on October 29th. She likes this story.

It seems that after assuring my mother that I would be all right, she told me that if I needed anything, I should just ask Miss Janie or Miss Marie. I was excited about this new adventure, but my excitement was apparently short-lived. As Mom was leaving and was a good ways down the hall, she heard my little voice above all else say, “Not my pants”. Apparently, the excitement was over for me and reality set in. I still joke with Mrs. Waller to this day that she was the first woman to get my pants off.


Anonymous said...

As always, thanks George, I wish you a Merry Christmas Buddy!

Anonymous said...

I did'nt think spoiled kids were invented until the 50's George.You have just proven me wrong.My first after birth stay in PRMC was in 1964 when I was 11and 1/2 years old after a car hit my bike while I was on it.I was in a huge room with 8 other boys with varying injuries.I just had a hairline left leg fracture,so I was out after 3 days.During my stay my mother brought me anything and everything I wanted.She was a nurse there,so she was always around to see that I was completely ruined.

Anonymous said...

prmc "back in the day" was a wonderful hospital. the doctors and nurses could do their job and they did it well. it was more personal and the treatment was superior compared to today.

many of the employees don't want to work and they certainly carry that attitude and let you know this in many ways.

Anonymous said...

In the summer of 1964 I broke my leg.I was 11.When I regained consciousness in PGH I was in a room with 8 other kids,including myself!We became good friends over the next few days.My mother would bring me those little round,thin bacon flavored crackers that I thought were the best things on earth.A cast messed up the rest of my summer but I learned not to veer my bike in front of cars running 80 mph any more.That speed was determined by the skid mark equation.My father said that the only thing that saved me was landing on my head.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that!! The entitlement sourpuss attitude runs deep and wide at PRMC.