Box 20, Folder 1, Document 130

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AGO Satu fay was the saddest day of my life

7:05 the morning of July 27, 1962 that the Good Docto died
the Emory University Hospital after fighting a losing battle for at
most a year against the relentless attrition of age.

Had he lived one more week he would have been
87 years old.

For the two-and-a-half months he was in the
hospital if was apparent that it was only a matter
of time—and not much, at that—before the end ,
would come. It seemed to me that on no one day
could it be said that he was in better condition
than he had been the day before.

T am convinced that he knew he was living out
his last days yet the subject was never mentioned
between us. Before entering the hospital he had
put his affairs in order but without expressing any doubt that he
would be restored to useful good health. The matter of death was
never discussed.

The night before he died I left the hospital with a heavy heart.
The physicians who had exerted every skill at their command to
fight off the inevitable had told me the end was not far away. I,

_ too, had a premonition that the sands were running out.

I 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 needed.
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 my memory; words of counsel
that had guided me through the tesa shogjs of indecision and


Ther times when I feel his presence very near. This is
especialy. true,on Sunday's when t am almost consnced that he i
| of

the ‘sanctuary of the First
Ce: Harris’ associate,
“Synen tam watching ion that the feelings

‘he a In bias ocking chair jmeaueiaes =

feeling of MeaTjess was especially strong a few nights ago

Brana his last Bree as a 2 eae os

Response. to Needs

IT HAPPENED so many years
ago that the whole country-

side is changed and conditions
ar e entirely
different, but I
think the prin-
ciple is the
same. Prin-
ciples have no
dateline. Like
it says in the
Book, they are
the same yes-
terday, today
and forever.

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

He smiled. “I’m tired of trav-
elling these muddy mountain
roads at all hours of the day
and night. I’m going to settle
down to looking after my farm,
my cattle, and my investments.”
Tt still hit me—hard!


There were several other
Preachers in the county, but

Rice, Anbpput aud Toh Bate
wh ded the annual pititic of the Hemphill Bible Class

which he taught for many years and which meant so much to him.
Several others told me they had similar feelings. (As a tribute to
the memory of the Good Doctor the members of the Hemphill
Class are contributing the altar flowers for the services at the First
Methodist Church next Sunday.)

My recollections of the Good Doctor are happy ones. He was
one who let the sunshine of life disperse the shadows and had the
happy faculty of transmitting this attitude to others. He was a man


“The art of staying happily married is not nearly as
tough as the art of staying unhappily married.”

‘of good humor as well as one of good will. He had a religious faith

so strong that it overcame such doubts and indecisions as some-
times overcome other Men. He never, as the sayin& goes, set the
world on fire but he Started a few blazes here and there.

I have taken the liberty of writing this very personal column
on the anniversary of the Good Doctor’s death because I feel there
are many others whO May read it who also have lost loved ones
within the last year and share similar feelings about them,

Also, to those who tay be puzzled by the term “the Good
Doctor” I would like to explain that he was my pather—Dr. Wal-
lace Rogers—a Methodist minister who served his God, his de-
nomination and his fellow man with consecration and dedication
throughout his long life.


. BILL reel be Lenox Square purveyor of young folks’
clothing, fraterni th friends on The Mall . . ee shan
BYRON BROOKE, the mio and bond company exec , , |

ALBRIGHT, the clothing stoye advertising genius, dining
cent evening at Yori’s . - . apE WEINSTEIN, the advertising con-
sultant, seen days Of Yore when he was being in i
Ga (Ga)... The Reve BERT A. (BALDY) ‘Wi the
ter-of ato. commen u reditions n the ifterest of
ab 2 a convention SF = eri dimen R
that he ecmliy N

os aan eae

going to be hard to get anothe
doctor to come there and tak
his place. This was a long tim
ago. The shadow of the grea
depression was already dar]
across the mountains and mon
ey was scarce.

“You can’t!” I said, as se
rious as a young inexperiencec
preacher can say it, “You can’t!
Think of all the people who wil
die but who might live if you
keep on doctoring them.’ Anc
that led him off into a long ram:
bling dissertation about how he
had done his duty by them, anc
how he was now entitled to his
days of relaxation and rest.

Tt didn’t impress me.

“These people are the ones
who made you rich,” I said,
though rich was probably an ex-
travagance, because he was
only worth about three hundred
thousand dollars, or in that
neighborhood, but like I say,
that’s a real nice neighborhood.

So he retired. He looked after
his farm, his cattle and his in-
vestments, until there came a
day ... ora night, rather—cold,
rainy winter night.

We had already gone to bed;
then the phone rang. It was a
friend way back up in the val-
ley. He was much excited.
“Could you get ‘Doc’ to come up

sphere he asked, and his voice

trembled like a leaf in the wind.
“Mamie is going to have her
a tonight and we've die got
HY 157 dy

This was years before it was
thought necessary to have a
baby in a hospital.

It got me excited too. I called
Doe and he had already gone to
bed, too, and wasn’t any too
happy being called at that hour.


STF you don’t £0," in said, “T'm
going to announce from every
pulpit on my circuit that you've
Jet a woman suffer—and maybe
die—when you could have re-
lieved her suffering, delivered
her baby, and maybe saved her
life.” I wasn’t mad, but I was
as close to it as a preacher
ought to come. .

Reluctantly, he got out of bed
and went. Benevolent black-
mail, you'd say.

Just a few years ago, he died,
full of honors, and beloved by
all the people who called him
Doc to the end of ‘his days, and
called him when he was needed.

His farm never suffered. His
cattle took blue ribbons at shows
all over the South, but his great-
est happiness was in going back
where he was needed. ~

“You shook me up,” he used
to say, “but you also saved me
from a life of selfishness in
ae. I could have never been
Teally yy.”

Non eke ask you: Does a

doctor, or what-have-you,

hove the ight to retire when he

is i aehere the suf-
5 & sorrowf

Be she world? T doubt it, at

Deep down in us all is the de-
Sen as that We are still

= 0000

ant as own

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