Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 43
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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Mr. Boren had sat down at a large worktable, lit by a student
oil lamp with a green shade. "Glad you came in, Donald," he
said in a friendly way. "I meant to tell you that you'll have to
keep this room picked up. But never throw anything away
unless you're told." Near Mr. Boren's table was a drawing
board set on trestles holding a large drawing on which he was
evidently about to work. The room contained all sorts of tools,
saws, planes, clamps, squares, rulers, compasses, drills, and the
like for making wooden models. It was rather like the draught-
ing room in a shipyard loft.
I put the thought of leaving aside. How could I disappoint
so kindly a man with such an interesting occupation? Instead, I
volunteered the information that once I, too, had built a model,
and with it had won a first prize at the Port Elgin Fair. The
model, whittled out of pine, was of the famous cantilever bridge
that spanned the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Had Mr. Boren
ever heard of this bridge? Indeed he had.
Mr. Boren confided to me that he, himself, was an engineer.
I later discovered-from Bridget, naturally-that he designed
railroad signal-block systems. Meanwhile, one thing led to an-
other, and pretty soon I was giving Mr. Boren a sketch of my
whole life's history. He heard me out, good man, and I felt
very much better. The truth was, I was very young, and very
lonely. Happily, too, the trip to the station went off successfully.
Time passed at the Borens' in the uneventful suburban fashion
of sixty years ago, with more Sunday trips to church and week-
day ones to the grocery. From loafers at the store I learned that
Alice's fiance had gone to Harvard, was an insufferable snob,
and drove a fast horse. His father, I was told, was milking the
state through political influence. I came to pity poor Mr. Boren,
who little knew what his haughty Alice was getting herself into.
I also learned from Bridget that Alice's parents considered her
too thin to be safely mated with a young man as robust as her
fiance. The poor skinny creature, Bridget said, weighed only
ninety pounds. Colorfully she described the irreparable destruc-
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/55/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.