HISTORY IN
    
THE COUNTY OF
          SAN LUIS OBISPO
 
Site  by Lynne Landwehr © 2004   

 

 

 

 

 

Features and Information:
Champions in Health, Part 2:

 

[Note: The following postcard dramatizations were written by members of the Medical History subcommittee working on the "Champions in Health, Part 2 1900-1929" project for the San Luis Obispo County Medical Society.  They are reprinted here with the  kind permission of Medical Society Director Kay Via Mickelson.  The video presentation, which incorporates these postcard dramatizations, is available through the SLO County Medical Society, tel. 805/544-3020.  --Lynne Landwehr] 

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Cayucos, May 16, 1907
My dear Rosa,
     As you must have heard, last Sunday there occurred a frightful wreck on the S.P.'s coast route-I know it too well, for I was one of the victims. A relief train, with nurses and physicians, was dispatched from San Luis Obispo. This provided help and hope for the survivors; a train from Santa Barbara removed the dead. 
     Drs. Stover and Jackson positioned themselves in the second car, in which I was placed. Their ministrations, along with support from merciful nurses, provided blessed respite from pain and suffering. In spite of their heroic efforts, two severely burned victims did succumb to their critical injuries en route. Even their passage was smoothed by the presence of these medical Good Samaritans.
     As for me, my injuries were minor. I will soon be completely well, but I long to see you. Please don't tarry too long in Monterey, though our country balls surely cannot compete with those at the Del Monte.
     Yours affectionately,
     Clara

DelMonteHotelMonterey1905.jpg (31476 bytes)
Del Monte Hotel, Monterey
(Click on photo to enlarge it.)

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Arroyo Grande, August, 1909
Dear Mr. Louis, 
     I had hoped to harvest our flower seeds last week, but the pains in my head and brain have become an illness which is subject to any change in the weather. With the sudden very dry, hot weather, I get a severe pressure in my brain and a pain which torments me dreadfully. Dr. Paulding says all I can do is treat it with German Aspirin. If I can harvest this week, I will need you to send me a crew of your Chinamen--the pay is the same as last year. 
     We hear you and your wife have a fine new baby boy. 
     Our congratulations to you! 
     L.C. Routzahn

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Morro Bay, August 23, 1910 
     Juan,
     Tthe tooth is removed. Gracious me, I had no pain--Dr. Castro used a new treatment he calls "Novocain," but I think he should call it "Miracle."
      Dr. C. still makes his dental rounds from San Luis to Morro Bay to Cayucos--but in an automobile! He says it's faster than his old rig, but tu sabes how he can talk, ay de mí!
     I will see you in two weeks. 
     Maria

"...dental rounds from San Luis to
Morro Bay to Cayucos...."


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Eastern France, October 8, 1918
My dear Mother,
     I hasten to write, that you may know I am safe in hospital, where I was taken after being slightly wounded. There is nothing to fear, I will soon be healed, and there is talk among the troops of an end-at last!-to the fighting. I pray that I may soon be once again with those I love most dearly.  
     How green and unspoiled the Nipomo hills will look to me, after the mud and blood of the trenches here!
     Your loving son,
     Alonzo

Troops in hospital, Eastern France, WWI

 

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San Luis Obispo, September 6, 1924
Dearest Aunt Gertrude:
     I am pleased to write to you regarding my latest endeavors. Mama may have mentioned to you that I have been selected into a nursing certification program here in San Luis Obispo. Dr. Mugler and Dr. Gallup are in charge of our program. They tell us the actual work done by a nurse can be learned by a person of ordinary intelligence, but they look for two qualities in the students they accept-good breeding and teachableness. It was such an honour for me to be selected. I have nine other women with me learning how to be nurses. 
     We live in a building next to the hospital. No men are allowed above the first floor and we all must be in bed by 10 p.m. unless we are working. I work twelve hours each day and have eight hours off each week. I do find I am busy but my work is rewarding and I enjoy learning. In my work I must be ready to do more than is expected of me. I consider my work an opportunity, and I bear in mind that the harder it is, the more training I am getting.

"We live in a building next to the hospital...."
1190 Marsh Street, next to the old hospital building
at 1160 Marsh, City of San Luis Obispo.

     There is much to learn and I am trying my best. The doctors expect unquestioning obedience to superiors. I find this less difficult than some. My father, as you know, had a similar requirement of his children. Dr. Mugler has told me to avoid a hurried manner. He said, "You may work quickly, Eunice, but the moment a suggestion of haste creeps in, the keen eye of the patient interprets it as a lack of interest, which in truth it is."
     You and Mama often told me my deportment was lacking, and I find that is still a lack in my general character. I am training my face to express or not to express emotion, as I will it. Dr. Gallup has said, "A nurse whose face is an open book is likely to be the occasion of much discomfort or even disaster."
     With great love and affection,
     Your niece, Eunice Norfleet

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Atascadero, June 10, 1925
Dear Mother and Father,
     By this photograph, you will see an indication of all the new babies here in the Colony. Here we are, Katy and I, right in the middle of the picture, waiting for the hospital nurses to come check all the little ones. Every single month, Mr. Lewis has a dollar taken out of everyone's paycheck-Edward's too-to pay for our medical expenses, so the baby is getting all the care she needs.
     With affection, Susan
     P.S. Thank you for sending the quilt.

WellBabyClinicAtascaderoHospital.jpg (125612 bytes)
Well-Baby Clinic, Atascadero Hospital, 1925
Click on photo to enlarge it.

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San Luis Obispo, June 23, 1926
Ruth,
     Greetings. Speaking as a worker at the San, I am confounded by Dr. Mugler and his strictness for a clean place. I welcome the work, but find it hard to please.
     The debris from the Tank Farm fire is mostly all cleaned up, but it will be a long time before the water in San Luis Creek runs clear again. We had very few injuries, though, among the men and boys who fought that fire. Praise be. 
     Will you be arriving in August? 
     Arthur

1160 Marsh Street, built as Stover Sanitarium c1905,
then called San Luis Sanitarium 
and then "old" French Hospital

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Paso de Robles, June 15, 1927
Querido Hermanito,
     Como tu sabes, I almost died with the last niño. Gracias al Dios for the miracle of blood transfusing. Am I now part someone else, with the blood of a stranger? Y despues? El Lindy solo across the ocean, blood through a tube - what kind of time do we live in?      Ven y visitarnos pronto ya que estoy bien. 
     Lucita

 

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