Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 32
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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almost too quickly for my taste. But how proud I was of the fire-
men, mustachioed heroes every one.
On some of my explorations of the city I would walk beyond
Scollay Square, through Bowdoin Square, and down Cambridge
Street into the West End, where the Massachusetts General
Hospital is located. At the time I knew this famous place only
as a mass of red brick buildings. Here, one day, I saw the pre-
cipitous arrival of a curious black vehicle which, for a moment,
I thought was connected with the fire department because of its
speed. The flapping curtains and the body of the conveyance
were all a somber black. The whole episode took on a positively
sinister air when, from within the curtains, a man in white with
a hard-peaked blue cap emerged. Assisted by a driver, similarly
attired, he removed a third person on a stretcher.
This was my first view of an ambulance, a vehicle I was to
drive myself during my years as a medical student. The whole
affair made a disturbing impression on me-the pale man supine
beneath a blanket on the stretcher, the hurried stretcher-bearers,
and the disappearance of them all into the forbidding brick
Soon it was almost a year since my arrival in Boston. Most
of my waking hours were dedicated to sweeping shavings from
the floor, but little by little I had become more confident and
more aware of the plan and flow of the city. Life's juices were
stirring in me. Sometimes, against orders, I would steal down
India Street to Atlantic Avenue to look at the shipping and see
men who had sailed the waters of the world in steam or under
sail. The screaming of the gulls, the heave of green harbor water,
the cries of the stevedores, the squealing of the cranes as they
brought up cargo from the holds worked on me as on countless
boys since time immemorial.
I began to ask my aunt Lavinia if I could go to sea. I begged
so hard that, to silence me, she agreed to let me have a taste of
it. After all, I was used to the sea. I was now almost fourteen,
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/m1/44/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.