It was Mother's Day, 1950. I was 1 year and 8 months old - certainly old enough to give my mother a special Mother's Day gift. My parents and I lived in an upper flat on Drexel in Detroit and the only means of entrance and exit was by an outside stairway.
All on my own, I came up with this gift for my mother. I worked on it the night before Mother's Day. Quite a gift, wouldn't you say?
Yes, that is a full body cast - the result of a fall on the bedroom floor the afternoon before Mother's Day and the accomplishment of doing the splits. My poor mother didn't know what had happened and certainly didn't realize the magnitude of the injury. She has told me that I cried so terribly that she called my father home from work and together they took me to Saratoga Hospital in Detroit. There I was found to have a broken left leg. There was an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital that night and the leg was set with the above full body cast. Quite a chore for my petite mother to carry a 1 1/2 year old up and down the stairs with this heavy cast. I had just been learning to walk and had to learn that all over again.
Quite a Mother's Day gift!
Fast forward to 1981 and I was working at Saratoga Hospital as the Medical Staff Coordinator. Imagine my surprise to see the same orthopedic surgeon, Clarence Maguire, M.D., still on staff at the hospital near 30 years since my broken leg. He was near retirement and thoroughly enjoyed hearing how he had been the surgeon to take care of me on Mother's Day, 1950 and he chuckled at the photo - casts like that were certainly not used any more!
Above photo - personal collection of Cheryl Schulte
Paul Koenig on the S.S. Veendam
10 years ago