Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two Aspirins and a Call in the Morning

I’m Getting Older But Refuse to Grow Up

Charlie Revisited: In yesterday’s post we shared the adventures of Charlie, Jeannie, and Mr. Nasty. We are not sure what happened to Mr. Nasty. He is probably back home happily torturing the family pets. But we did hear the epilog to Charlie and Jeannie upon their return to Hurricane, UT (uh, that’s pronounced hur’ kun for you non-Utahns). Their identical luggage was returned to them but alas and alack, after three weeks on the road they returned to an icebox of a home. Seems a neighbor had moved during their trek away from home. The utility company got addresses mixed up and guess who’s utilities were shut off by mistake? Things that go bump in the middle of the night are exacerbated when no utilities are available to warm you up. Sorry, Charlie.

Memories of Clairton: I’ve written before about Pittsburgh suburb Clairton, PA. I was born at home in Clairton because I wanted to be near my mother when it happened. My parents were in the iron and steel business. My mother would iron and my father would steal. I entered a contest once. The winner got to go to Vegas for a week and the loser had to go to Pittsburgh. Locals rode a Noble J. Dick bus to “dawntawn Picksburgh.” The population didn’t change much – every time a baby was born some guy left town.

Clairton in the 1950s: On a more serious note, Clairton was a Norman Rockwell kind of town – at least in my memory. Set along the Monongehela River the mills made the coke that made the steel that made Pittsburgh Steel City. With a population of about 20,000 Clairton boasted at least three movie theaters, a dozen or so car dealerships, and a swimming pool in the high school. There were at least four doctors: Dr. Rascatti, Dr. Wright, Dr. Trunzo, Dr. DeEmidio, and Dr. Cutuly. I believe they are all gone now – except Dr. Cutuly.

A Most Unusual Man: Dr. Eugene Cutuly got his medical license in 1948 and began to practice in Clairton. Office visits cost $ 3 and home visits cost $ 4. He was one of the old time physicians who took care of children and adults. His telephone number was listed and it was not unusual for him to see patients at his home, especially during the past several decades when his office was a room in the home. Dr. Cutuly counted among his patients both my parents (who passed away at ages 87 and 90) and he was several years older than they!

A Career Ends: It was neither frailty of the mind nor body that made him decide to retire from practice. A slight case of vertigo and a tad less agility were the factors that made the 97-year old practicing physician decide to finally hang up his stethoscope. He is one in a million – a model of how America used to be and an example of what modern technology has cost. Count me among the legions of former patients who wish Dr. Cutuly a long, healthy and enjoyable retirement.

To read more about this special man see the following link:

A little blogging music Maestro… The Theme from Dr. Zhivago.

Dr. Forgot

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