Monday, June 22

His Smile Did More Than Medicine

The man in the drug store booth a few days ago picked up an empty coffee cup and passed it to a waitress. “How ‘bout you getting’ me one mo’ cup of coffee,” he smiled. “That’s pretty good coffee and maybe my friend here would like to have a cup.”

The man was Dr. Martin Palmer, a friendly Hazard physician, who was taking a few minutes break between house calls and office work. He was in typical mood, wanting somebody to talk to.

Dr. Palmer always seemed to be in a hurry when he was on his feet or behind the wheel of his automobile. And he generally was, for he covered a wide territory and many persons with that little black bag. He was willing to go whenever and wherever called. But when he sat down either in a drug store booth or by a bedside, he appeared to drop stress and strain.

He liked to talk, especially about unnamed cases in his own profession. He seemingly did this to bring out points that led directly to his hearers. I left him many times knowing that he had warned me about my own health although he had not called names and pointed fingers.

It isn’t possible to forget his encouraging words during the troubled times – his patience, sincerity and effort to bring about a speedy recovery from whatever illness had befallen his patient.

Someone once said, “as a tiny drop of water when compared to a great sea” are the hours of man’s leisure time.” It well described Dr. Palmer’s life. He was interested in doing for others without thinking of himself. This was the way he wanted it.

I remember a statement he made while sitting by the bedside of my wife – the very day of his passing. He had called a drug store about some medicine. As he returned with it, I asked if it was something new. Dr. Palmer replied that it wasn’t new, that it had been with us all the time and that when our Creator above wants us to use it, He makes it available to us. After studying about the remark, I realized the truth in it.

So often Dr. Palmer’s presence and his smile did more for his patient than did medicine. 1956

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know Dr. Palmer but his wife was a substitute teacher and I loved her. I can see her face so plain. She was a sister to Chester Steven's wife and they lived right across from the HHS. If I am not mistaken the Palmers lived in the bottom part of the house. It was the first house across and I remember the Alcorns, the Parkers, etc. lived in that area of the street, and Mr. Whittinghill lived in the last house on that little block and I think later Mrs. Whitehead (Mrs. Higgins) lived there too.