Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Warm Springs, GA

(First of all, Shreve put that picture of the high heeled shoes on my blog. It is a ridiculous picture and like some of you commented, far from realism. I have never painted sitting down. I have never painted in a dress. This was a publicity photo, taken by the publisher of a very fine paper called The Valley Pioneer in Danville CA. I had painted two portraits from photos sent by the staffs of California Governor Brown and Richard Nixon who were running for governor. I was hired by an interior decorator in Los Angeles whose name I have forgotten. She used the two portraits at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The rooms she created were called THE BODOIR OF MRS BROWN and THE BODOIR OF MRS NIXON. Both of the portraits were in front of me when the photo was taken but instead of concentrating on them, the photographer featured my shoes. Go figure. Someone asked for the year it was taken. Google the year Nixon ran for governor of CA.)

Warm Springs Foundation Hospial is a fair distance from the town of Warm Springs. The town consisted of a rail road station, a hotel and I suppose a gas station and a grocery store. If you wanted more excitement you had to go to Macon or Atlanta. There were two of us PTs on the train when I arrived. we did not know then that we would be living in the same cottage. Her name was Phyllis Mortimer, and alwas was called 'Snerdie'. If it weren't for that, I would have bet you that Charlie Mac Carty & Mortimer Snerd were not yet popular that early. We were picked up by the chauffeur.

Warm Springs was a wonderful, thriving institution. Morale there was higher than any I had seen before. Two teenage boys were lying prone on their stretchers one day, arguing which of them was better off. It was a long argument, and as far as I was concerned it was a heroic occurence. Neither boy had much muscle power but one had a hand he could use almost normally, and the other could shrug his shoulder. I am sure they both eventually used ther muscles and much more to live a fruitful life. That attitude really impressed me.

Our lives were full of excitement. We had breakfast in a huge dining room were patients arrived on crutches, in wheelchairs and on stretchers. Most of the Doctors had their meals there and all the nurses and PTs and I suppose the office staff also.
After the meal we PTs had classes and then we had fascinating practical work on paitients in their rooms or patients in the gym or patients in the pool. They had much time to rest and we were free to do what we wanted. some of us liked to play Bridge and the grown up patients were allowed to bypass that rest period and could play. There was a very attractive engineer from Proctor and Gamble who was a super Bridge Player. He used to call me 'Olga the beautiful Spy' I could not understand how I got that name. But soon even I noticed that no matter where I sat in the dining room, there was a strange man sitting near enough to her the conversation at our table. It turned out that President Roosevelt was coming for a visit, and since I was fairly new in the country, I was to be investigated. Apparently I passed whatever test I was taking for suddenly one day 'there he was.

Next time.


Anonymous said...

What makes this even funnier is that Grandma's real name is not Olga!

hello haha narf said...

i love this story. your story!

scargosun said...

Wow! Not exaclty your stelthiest spy I guess. I am glad you passed. You remind me of Julia Child.

Anonymous said...

My mother was a school teacher from the 50's to the 80's and she did wear a dress and heels to teach in for most of her career. I was at a big teachers luncheon with her this fall and asked how the did it. The answer was that their feet hurt all the time, and they now they wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of heels!

Marlene said...

Well I guess you were not hungry this job...sounds like you really enjoyed your profession.. and took pride in it..thats a great feeling to have.
Marlene from Cambria

amy said...

I confess I don't know all the names you mention. Some of them I've heard but only have a vague idea who they are--like Greta Garbo. I'm 28 and a writer and I love reading your living history and memoirs here.

I had to look up "Mortimer Snerd." I found this funny post on a political blog describing who he was.

Puppet Master

From Charles B. : Bush_and_Cheney_Mortimer_Snerd_and_Edgar_Bergen.gif

"And here's a scary thought: While reading an review of the book, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency, by Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein, I discovered that Cheney's Secret Service code name is "Edgar" -- referring to Edgar Bergen, the famous ventrioquist who mastered and manipulated his idiotic yokel dummy, Mortimer Snerd (George W. Bush). If that's true, this says it all."

Haphazardkat said...

ha ha ha! LOVE the high heel picture! Your granddaughter has a fantastic eye for photography and in my opinion got it right on choosing to post it on your blog.
It has depth and speaks well of the multifaceted person I've gotten to know through this blog :)

kat-vancouver WA

Emily and Laura said...

Reading your blog has become one of the highlights of my day. Thank you so much for sharing your fascinating life with us!

And that photo may have been ridiculously posed, but those are indeed killer heels. :)

Anonymous said...

Danville CA! I live in Danville CA!!! I'm going to the library to see if I can find an achive of you. Love reading your stories!