5.02.2017

Journal, October 29, 1976 AM

Last night I finished James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small”. The book just ended with him T.B. {tuberculosis} testing cows on his honeymoon. Fitting I guess for a book about simple pleasures and the daily exhilarations of life, the fascination of experiences with people and animals. I remember the animals I have “doctored” with varying success. There was Rubber-legs, the calf we had to hold up to feed for weeks until we cured her with shots of vitamin A. There was the little Hampshire pig we wormed and gave antibiotics to, over and over, only to see him get skinnier, Razorback we called him. Then there was the only daughter of {a cow named} Cindy, our best milker, who injured a rear leg when very young, and became a scraggly, potbellied, unthrifty calf; I had to shoot her. Also there was {our best cow ever} Comet’s calf who was unthrifty and just dropped over one day. Finally there was Comet herself, who was 12 years old and down with milk fever {unable to stand up}, and Dad put her out of her misery. Herriot’s people brought back even more vivid memories. The Yorkshire Dales folk are not so different from the farmers of Adams County, not so very different.

I had my teeth drilled by the “rector” (chancellor or president) of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de El Salvador {National Autonomous University of El Salvador} at 2 PM. Dr. Alfaro Castillo is an impressive man. Of average height for a Salvadoran (about 5’ 5”), he is handsome, a natty dresser and speaks rapid, flowing, perfectly enunciated Spanish. I arrived early, and about 20 to two he was deposited in front of his office by a colleague, unlocked the door and invited me in. I overheard him on the phone saying he hadn’t had time to eat. The University is in turmoil these days. There have been student demonstrations protesting an increase in fees, cars overturned, windows broken, students wounded by police (fortunately no deaths yet). Without complaint or reference to the fact that I had been late for and missed my previous appointment, he led me into the operating room and did his usual lightning fast job of examining my teeth. He filled 2 cavities, took 2 X-rays and didn’t cut short the verbal niceties, but it seemed like I was in there for no more than 10 minutes. The actual time was about 20 minutes. He’s a superb dentist and rector of the University, a man of incredible energy.

Mauricio, Mike’s {Shank} Italian houseguest, began his stay with us last night. He is a small man, extremely handsome in the dark Italian manner. He speaks softly and too smoothly, but I’ve had little chance to make a study of him yet. He’s reputed to be a superb cook and did indeed bring his spices. Mike said he was a sociology professor who had taught in Italy and worked on a project in Mexico.

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