Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 63
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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between Darwinism and the Old Testament version of the Crea-
tion. "Pierre University," he solemnly told me, "forever parts
company with Mr. Darwin. Ancestral monkeys shall never gain
entrance to these precincts. Mold from worms we will admit.
But that's all we yield to Mr. Darwin."
Here, in a nutshell, was the disadvantage of my new and
generous-hearted environment. Concepts to which educated
people in the East had long since accommodated themselves
were still unfamiliar here and heatedly debated. It was perhaps
just as well that I had been straightened out on such matters by
good Professor Hepel, and later had come into at least peripheral
contact with sophisticated minds at McLean, Bournewood, and
At Pierre University I studied with all my might and soaked
up information like a sponge. The very climate seemed to
sharpen my wits and unshackle my nature. This poverty-stricken
little prairie school was a godsend to me, and I am eternally
grateful to it.
Of amusements I had none, no courting of girls, no hunting,
drinking, gambling, or anything else. Only once do I recall
having any "fun" in the usual sense. At this time the Chautauqua
movement was in full swing, bringing all sorts of lecturers,
artists, and entertainers to the rural folk. It is a mistake to smile
at the na'vete of this lyceum spirit. There was a solid core to it,
and it reflected a true and splendid search for culture utterly
lacking in the mass communication media of today.
At a Chautauqua show put on in the college assembly room I
substituted for a lightning chalk artist stricken by illness. I was
something of a success, too, and a little success is a tonic thing,
just as surely as too great a success may be disastrous. I vividly
remember that in the audience was an extremely pretty girl with
a lovely smile and bright, corn-colored hair. I noticed her
especially because, once while I was studying in the college
library, she had come in, wrinkled her nose at my stable smell,
and moved away.
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/m1/75/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.