Saturday, January 4, 2014

Do You Remember Where You Were?

There were several newspaper articles recently about health problems that can be caused by drinking unpasteurized milk. They reminded me of the story I heard told by my mother's first cousin, Doris Mae Adams Green. Doris could easily remember where she was during several major events of the 20th Century.

Doris was a double cousin since she married my Dad's first cousin, Woodrow Wilson Green. We have the same birthday, although a few years apart.

She was born May 28, 1915 in Cortez, Florida and died September 15, 2001 in Bristol, Tennessee.
Doris Adams Green

Doris had problems with her back which the doctors blamed on her drinking unpasteurized milk as a child. The vertebrae in her back deteriorated when she was in her twenties. Dairy cows were not tested for TB or other germs and her doctors said the raw milk was the cause of her problems. She had multiple back surgeries and hospitalizations over a period of forty years or so and was in a full body cast for a while.

When I knew her, Doris was a person who always had a smile and you wouldn't have known she had any physical problems. In fact the story she told wasn't about being so bad off but the unusual coincidence that went along with her many surgeries and hospitalizations.

It seems that often when she was in the hospital some major event or disaster happened.

The first time was in December 1941 when the Japanese decided to bomb Pearl Harbor at the same time she was in the hospital in the body cast. 

Four years later in April 1945 she was in the hospital again when President Franklin Roosevelt died.

In August 1960 she was admitted to the brand new Manatee Memorial Hospital for back surgery. Hurricane Donna with 130 mph winds decided to visit Florida at the same time. They had just finished the surgery when the worst part of the storm hit. She was in the recovery room and the nurses noticed water dripping from the ceiling.

They put her on a gurney and rolled her down to the first floor thinking the building was going to be evacuated. The hospital administrators decided they couldn't move the patients during the storm, so rolled her back to a private room on the second floor. The hospital didn't exactly have hurricane proof material. While she was in the room, still recovering from the surgery, water started blowing through the closed windows. The 2nd floor flooded from the water coming in the windows so Woodrow had to take off his shoes and wade though the water to get to her.

The last time she was in the hospital during a major event was in January 1986 when the Challenger Space Shuttle blew up.

So one big event for folks in Florida and three National events, where she could give the same answer if someone asked her do you remember where you were?

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