Box 20, Folder 1, Document 130

Dublin Core


Box 20, Folder 1, Document 130

Text Item Type Metadata


Response to Needs
IT HAPPENED so m any years
ago that the whole countryside is changed and conditions
a r e entirely ·
different, but I
think the prin-«
ciple is t h e
same. Prin\
ciples have no I ~ ·,:::dateline. Like ~ ~ l ~ t.l1
it says in the
Book, they are
'-:::;- ~
the same yes·
terday, today
and fore ver.
He was a country doctor and
I was a country preacher. We
became fast friends, though he
was a good many years older
than I. Then one day he said,
"Preacher, I'm going to retire."
It hit me like a hammer in
the head. "Retire!" I said.
"Why, and what will all these
people do without you to doctor
them? "
He smiled. " I'm tired of travelling these muddy mountain
roads at all hours of the day
and night. I'm going t:o settle
down to looking after my farm,
DlY cattle, and my investments."
It still hit me-hard!
T h e r e were several other
preachers in the county, but
l.y one ot her doctor It w
4 \.
' -t-
u--!,. tM
_J_ •
'#k,-__. _. _
-,t 1 tli
Some Memories of th~ood~·
o ctor~·s
J~W ~
-v · { · 'ii•'
AGO Sa~day was the saddest day of my life.
the Emory Umversity Hospital after fighting a losing battle for almost a y~ar against the relentless a ttrition of age.
Had he lived one more week he would have been
87 years old.
(_ . .
F or the two-and-a-half months he was in the
\"'hospital it was apparent that it was only a matter
of time-and not much , at that-before the end
ed t

, !
o me
t on no one day
could it be said that he was in better condition
' - 1.
than he had been the day before.
.· ~ · ,
. I am convinced that ~e knew he was living out
~ )
his last days yet the ubJect was never mentioned
between us. Before entering the hospital he had
put his affairs in order but without expres~ing any doubt that he
would be reslored to useful good heal th. The of death was
never discussed.
The n_i~ht before he died J left the hospital with a heavy heart.
The phys1C1ans who had exerted every skill at their command to
fi.e:ht off the inevitable had told me the end was not far away. I,
too, had a premonition that the sands were running out.
So, after returning home, I wrote his obituary and marked it
"Hold For Release." I planned to give it to Harold Davis The
Journal's city editor, to be placed in his files for use when n~ed.
At the time I didn't realize it would be needed the next day.
A year has passed since the Good Doctor died. Time has worn
away the keen edge of grief. But no day has passed since his death
that he hasn't been in my thoughts. At odd moments I recall
amusing things he had said or done ; bits of his personal philosophy
of living that had been etched in my memory , words of counsel
that had guided me through the treacherous shows of indecision and
There are times when I feel his presence very near. This is
ei;pecially true on unday when I am aln1ost conduced tl'lal he is
sitting in his accustomed place in the sanctuary of the First
Methoclist Churcll here he rendered his last service as a minister
of the gospel as Dr. Pi rce Harris' associate. There are
when I am watc
televi ·on that the
· ooies aver me that
commenting about
he is sitting in bi rocking c · .this and that.
This feeling of n 1ess was especially ~ rong a few nights ago
t t ~ :~ ~7be:~re~~:8!
It got me excited too. I called
-k,:;.. .~ · • N Doc and he had already gone to
Zt,NP ,tJLX,
LA11 I.IV\
"' v bed, too, and wasn't any too
attended the annual pi c of the Hemphill Bible Class
happy being called at that hour.
which he taught for _m any years and which meant 50 much to him.
Several others told me they had similar feelings <As a tribute to
d 't
.. I ·ct "I'
the memory of the Good Doctor the members · of the Hemphill
. you on go,
sai • . m
Class are contributing the altar flowers for the services at the First
go~ to ann01;1nc~ from ev~1:7
Methodist Chw·ch next Sunday.)
pulpit on my c1rcwt that you ve
My recollections of tlhe Good Doctor are happy ones. He was
l~t a woman suffer-a nd maybe
one who let the sunshine of life disperse the shadows and had the
<!ie-when you c?Uld ha~e rehappy faculty of transmitting this attitude to others. He was a man
liheevedb bher sduffermgbe, deled
r a Y, an may sav
- - - - -- -- - -- - -- - -- -- - - -- lif " I
d b t 1
e. 1 watosn .1 ma • u
as c ose
I as a preac er
" T he art of staying happ ily married is not nearly as
ought to oome.
t ough as the art of stu11ing unhappily married ."
Reluctantly, he got out of bed
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -an~ went. Benevolent blackof good humor as well as one of good will . He had a religious faith
mail, yo~i'd say.
so strong that it overcarne such doubts and indecisions as some,Just a few years ago, he died,
times overcom e other men. He never, as the saying goes, set the
full of honors, and beloved by
world on fire but he started a few blazes here and there.
all the people who . called him
I have taken the liberty of writing this very personal column
Doc to ~he end of his days, and
on the anniversary of the GOOd Doctor 's death because I feel there
call~ hun when he was neede<_I.
are many others who ma:v read it who also have lost loved ones
HIS farm never suffered. His
within the last year and share similar feelings about them.
cattle took b\ue ribbons at shows
Also, to those who inay be puzzled by the term "ttJ.e Good
all over the South, but his greatDoctor " I would like to_ e>q>l~ that he was my father-Dr. Walest happiness was in going back
lace Rogers-a Methodist IJlllUSler who served his God his de·
where he was needed.
nomination and his fellow inan with consecration and dedication
"You shook me up," he used
throughout his long life.
to say, "b~t you also. saved ~e
fro!n a life of selfishness m
which I could have never been
• ·. ·BILL CRYSTAL, _the ~nox Square purveyor of s,oung folks'
really happy."
clotlung, fraternizing witll friends on The Mall · . . Likewi e
Now, let me ask you: Does a
BYRON BROOKE. the stoclt and bond company exec .
man, doctor. or what-ha\ e-you,
AU3RIGHT, the clothing ·tore advertising geruu , dining · of a rehave the r ight to retn·e when he
cent evening at Yogi's .. . ABE WE.INSTEil . the advertising <>onis needed to help relievp the . ufsultant, recalling days of YQJ.·e ~ hen he was being reared in Auf rings nnd sins of a sorrowful
nd haken
gust.a !Ga.l .. . The REV.
ERT A. IBALDY > Fil E, the
l'ld '? I doubt .it.
- ftn
· the blterest of
Deep down in u all i. the rlebet 1· aiter-d nner and convention speak
~ ~~ (?!Ut, si) e to know that we are stiil
the CPA, proud of the r11ct that he recently has
avoirdupois .. . Pome In Which L Contained An Observation Conearning The Virtues Of Ffltgality:
Persons who indulge in thrift
Give their own morale a lift.
7:05 the m_o rrun_g of July Tl , 1962 ~at_the Good Docto died in
going to be hard to get anoth
doctor to come there and
his place. This was a long ·
ago. The shadow of the gre~
depr ession was already darl
across the mountains and mon
ey was scarce.
"You can't! " I said, as se
rious as a young inexperiencefj
preacher can say it, "You can't
Think of all the people Who wi]
die but who might live if yo
keep on doctoring them." Ano
that led him off into a long ra
bling dissertation about how hE
had done his duty by them, and
how be was now entitled to !ill
days of relaxation and rest.
It didn't impress me.
"These people are the ones
who made you rich," I said
though rich was probably an extravagance, because he was
only wor th about three hundred
thousand dollars, or in thae
neighborhood, but like I say,
that's a real nice neighborhood.
So he retired. He looked
his farm, his cattle and his investments, until there came
day . . . or a night , r ather-cold,
rainy winter night.
We had already gone to bed;
then the phone rang. It was a
friend way back up in the val
He was , excited.
Could you get Doc to ~ome ~P
. J.llere?" he asked, and his voice
'r trembled like a leaf in the wind.
"Mamie is going to have her
~ t~!~t .~nd we've just got

Social Bookmarking


Transcribe This Item


Document Viewer