The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 28
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
I haven't decided whether I am his partner, his bacteriologist, or his
office boy. Suppose it is mostly the latter. I am to keep record of cases
and examinations, and make microscopic examinations. Just think of
that, won't you? Wouldn't it make Benedict laugh! I told the doctor
that I had never handled a microscope in my life. He laughed, said
something complimentary about my head, and added, "you'll learn it,
you'll learn it. . . ." He didn't say that he would expect me to go with
him on his calls and hold his horses, but that's what I did this morning,
and on pleasant mornings I think I'll volunteer to continue.
Before turning himself over to Dr. Baird, he found the
monotony of idleness hardest to bear. Time after time he wrote,
in substance: "Oh, but I do wish I had something to do and
the strength to do it." I received several letters from him
during this time, but find only one. He tried to make light
of his situation, but the ghastly humor showed between the
I am living a pretty hard life in El Paso, he wrote. In Austin I at
least deluded myself into thinking that I passed for somebody. Down
the street politicians and bank presidents would bow cordially; at Von
Boeckmann's Schutze would bow and scrape and swear he would rather
do business with me than any other man at the University; and on the
campus, the humble Freshman would frequently tip his hat and the girls
would beam beamingly --I felt like somebody. It's all different here;
as I pass along I hear - "There goes another lunger; El Paso ought
to pass an ordinance to keep those fellows away from here."
Living conditions continued to be distressing throughout his
stay in El Paso. He visited Las Cruces, forty miles up the river,
and Mesilla Park near by; but both were unsuitable. Then for
a time, he found comfortable room and board on a fruit farm
midway between El Paso and Ysleta. The grape crop was coming
in, and he killed some hours pleasantly helping Mrs. Porcher,
his landlady, pack grapes. He even played with the idea of
buying land and starting a chicken ranch. He was driven from
the Porcher farm by an outbreak of typhoid. Dr. Baird urged
him to buy a tent and live in the doctor's back yard, as some
patients were doing; but he finally combined with a fellow-
patient and rented a cottage, where, for a time, he cooked his
own meals and rebelled continually against washing the dishes.
He felt sometimes better, sometimes worse; but it is doubtful
that he ever improved. Often he thought he might have fared
as well, and certainly lived more contentedly, on his father's
farm. As the time approached for the University to open in
September, he wondered how he could stay away. On September
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/37/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.