Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 13
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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and saw him hanged on Nix's Mate, a sand bar in Boston Harbor
long since washed away.
All this work hardened my muscle and instilled a feeling of
self-reliance that later stood me in good stead. I would not, of
course, recommend such strong discipline today, nor could I
hope to find social approbation for it. On the other hand, the
tests that inevitably must come are far too long evaded in our
incomparably easier times. At any rate, in my youthful baili-
wick, juvenile delinquency, I hardly need say, did not flourish.
It was about this time, when I was ten or eleven years old,
that I had an experience which I am sure gave me the first
impetus toward my medical vocation. In my part of the Canadian
world both the medical and the nursing professions were not
only held in extremely high regard, but they were considered an
open sesame to a better life.
One late summer day word flew about North Shore that a
neighbor, Julius Crawford, had lost a hand feeding wheat sheaves
into the cylinder of a horsepowered threshing machine. The
Crawford farm was not far from Grandma Grant's. Along with
the others who were offering help, I rushed there pell-mell. I
arrived just as Dr. Blackwell from Baie Verte drew into the
farmyard in his buggy. Fortunately, someone had intercepted
him as he was making his rounds through the hamlets of Cape
The scene is still vivid in my memory: the man with the torn
hand sprawled semi-conscious on a kitchen chair; the men
hovering by, grave, anxious, and not knowing what to do; and
the wife, biting her lips and whimpering as she twisted her apron
into a knot. For a moment, as I came from the fresh outdoors
into the kitchen's fierce heat, I felt faint. But this quickly passed
and gave way to a feeling of intense interest and curiosity.
Dr. Blackwell had no surgical apparatus with him, in fact
nothing but his satchel of medicines and a pocket instrument
case. I watched openmouthed as he took charge briskly. Then
and there I thought I want to be like that man.
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/25/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.