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Letter to the Editor-Christmas With Doc Schaeferle

August 17, 2012
Northern-Sun Print
Christmas With Doc Schaeferle I was a freshman in high school, all of 14. Maybe the kid in me made it unable to sleep. I went downstairs way early and stretched out on the living room sofa, the smell of the Christmas tree filled the air. An hour later I woke up and jumped up to wake everyone. I got dizzy and bashed my head on a doorway. The folks were not happy to see me trailing blood and water from an improvised ice pack. Mother looked at the wound and directed father to take me to see Dr. Lawrence G. Schaeferle, on Christmas morning, before 8 a.m. I was sullen and silent on the ride, wondering how I could be so stupid. But when we got to Doc’s he had a good natured joke and a little ribbing to lift my spirits. Doc Schaeferle had been my doctor for the entire 14 years of my life. I remember the tootsie rolls in the waiting room. Anyway, eleven stitches and few more jokes and I was good as new. We opened presents at the usual time. I don’t think my kid sister even knew it happened. We were certainly blessed to have a doctor like Doc Schaeferle. Back in 1970 small towns were losing such community gems at an alarming rate. Gladbrook was pretty lucky. Doc was a throwback to an age when every community had a wizened old general practitioner like Jimmy Stewart in “The Shootist” or Burt Lancaster in “Field of Dreams”. One of the most succinct dialogue of the latter movie was when Lancaster tells Kevin Costner, “it wasn’t a tragedy that I didn’t play baseball, the tragedy would have been if I couldn’t have been a doctor in my community.” Here’s how I’ll remember Doc Schaeferle. On of the smartest, most decent men I’ve had the privilege to know. A pillar of the community. A credit to his profession and a good friend to most everyone in Gladbrook, particularly if you liked to drown worms at Union Grove or catch high school football games. I’m pretty sure anyone over the age of 40 probably has a fond remembrance of Doc. Back to the times when every community had a doctor, dentist, pharmacist (remember the Rexall Drug Store). I hope everyone takes a little time to think back when their lives and home were a little better, a little safer, to those growing up in Happy Creek.

Kirk R. Dahms Gladbrook, Iowa

 
 

 

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