Monday, September 27, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: A Letter from the Hospital - November 25, 1936

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them. If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post in the comments.

This week I transcribe a letter my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch, sent to his sister, Bert, in November of 1936, while he was recovering from an appendicitis attack and surgery.

St. Luke’s Hospital
St. Louis, Mo.
Nov. 25, 1936

Dear Bert:

I experienced the greatest pleasure today when I was permitted to get out of bed for the first time in seven days and was able to walk around. I was fortunate in this whole affair in that it came on me so suddenly I didn’t spend any time worrying about it beforehand. Then the operation was so successful that I didn’t suffer any pain and hardly any discomfort since I came to the hospital. Nevertheless, the experience has taught me to have more respect and sympathy for anyone who is ill or has an operation. Something I never had before because as long back as I can remember I’ve never been ill other than for a toothache or stomach ache (the real kind) and just for a few hours at a time.

Well anyway the excitement about me is all over and you can go ahead with the wedding. Hope it’s as great a success as my operation.

As far as I know I’m in excellent condition and will leave the hospital tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day. I’ll really have something to be thankful for when I get out of here.

I’ll stay away from work possibly another week although I feel I could start back today. I’ll be well taken care of when I get out of here and have everything provided for.

The flowers from the folks were certainly the most and the best I ever received. They’ve got lots of life for they’re still here in full bloom as good as new. Tell everyone they were appreciated.

I heard of your long distance call the other day and was sorry I couldn’t call you myself to let you know how well I am. Nevertheless, the one you talked to was as competent to answer as I would be myself.

Best regards to everyone and see you again.



1) I wonder who my grandfather references with "the one you talked to was as competent to answer."  Possibly a doctor or nurse.  But also possibly his soon-to-be wife, Myrtle Van Every.

Since he mentions his sister's upcoming wedding, and doesn't mention his own, I have a suspicion he proposed while in the hospital, or sometime between then and December 6 when he wrote a letter to his boss.  Martin and Myrtle were married on December 31.

2) To never be ill beyond a toothache/stomachache until age 29 is rather unusual, I think.  I actually recall him to be consistently healthy, and in good physical shape, up until his final years.

No comments: