In Memory of Johnny’s Father

This picture was taken in 1997, when I went to my father’s 50 Year Medical Reunion and assisted him in all of his activities. A little background on my father…he was born on 9 July 1912 in Muncie, Indiana. He attended local schools and after graduating from Muncie Central High he attended Kenyon College in Ohio, Rollins College in South Florida, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and became an engineer. Later in his career, he graduated from Tulane Medical School during World War II and as a Naval Reserve officer he taught anatomy at Tulane for the war effort to train more doctors. He was a specialist in Tropical diseases and worked with the Hanson’s disease clinic near New Orleans. Due to this interest he was part of the consortium who was working to develop antibiotics such as sulfa and penicillin which would change the treatment of many infections as well as Hanson’s disease. It was paramount to the treatment of the war wounded as well.

Going to his reunion and meeting his class mates, I was associating with such medical legends as Drs. Alton Oscher, Leon Meier, Flora Finch, Bob Brown, Michael DeBakey, Dr. Herbert, Dr. F. Marascalco and many others. Dr. Michael de Bakey you may remember is the famous Houston Heart Surgeon who operated on Boris Yelson’s heart; which was a very successful operation. Bob Brown is not only an excellent Doctor, but he also was one of the New York Yankee’s better baseball players during 1948 and 1949. All are Tulane graduates in my Dad’s class or they had Interned with him.

After graduation he worked with Dr. Oscher in the Touro Infirmary and was recognized as intern of the year and later was offered a position in the clinic that Dr. Oscher was starting in New Orleans after the war. Instead my father chose to go to Fort Walton Beach in Northwest Florida and open a general practice as that area had no medical care at the time. This was front-line medicine dealing with all manner of treatment outside his office including house calls. Working with the local Congressman Bob Sikes they established a small hospital and attracted more doctors to the area. He was the doctor of record and call when US presidents came to visit the many armed forces bases in the area. He sat on the Florida medical exam board as well as being the head of the State Board of Health for some time. In the early 1970s he retired from medical practice.