Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Edwin Young Chilton: The Good Neighbor

Edwin Young Chilton, M.D. was for many years the beloved physician of Howard Lake, Minnesota.  Howard Lake is known as the home of the good neighbor and Dr. Chilton was just that. For over three decades he labored throughout the countryside bringing healing and sympathy and brightness to hundreds of families, and sanctifying his memory to thousands of patients.

Born August 25, 1849 to Josua and Martha Freeman Chilton of Albany, Kentucky, Dr. Chilton received an academy education and then, while still a boy, began to read medicine with prominent physician, Dr. Elza Beckett, at Albany.  He graduated from Miami Medical College at Cincinnati and returned to Albany, where he practiced medicine from 1874 to 1880.  But, Dr. Chilton desired to seek his fortunes in a newer community, so in 1880 he moved to Howard Lake.  His success was assured from the start and he soon became one of the leading physicians in the county.  He kept well abreast of all the latest discoveries in the realms of medicine, philosophy and science, and in 1895, in order to further perfect himself, he took a post graduate course in the School of Surgery in New York City.  His thirty-four years in the village of Howard Lake were ones of great usefulness.  During thirty years of that time he was a leading member of the school board. In 1898, he was elected to the upper house of the Minnesota legislaturek, and did most efficient work as chairman of the committee on the State Hospital for the Insane. Possessed of a fraternal spirit, he was a popular member of the Masons, the Modern Woodman, the Knights of Pythias and the United Workmen.  He was likewise prominent in local affairs and served on numerous committees and delegations.  In 1875, Dr. Chilton married Laura Huddleston of Albany. Together, they had four children: Leo, Jessie, Alice and Freeman. After the passing of Laura, Dr. Chilton married Grace Tromly of Illinois.  They had two children: Walter and Madge. Dr. Chilton died May 25, 1914.  His death was sincerely mourned.

Celebrating the life and times of Edwin Young Chilton, M.D., beloved physician, community and state leader.

As an interesting side note: During the Civil War, Joshua Chilton, who was an industrious and peaceable citizen of Albany, was not permitted to remain at home because of his alignment with the Union. For this he was hated, threatened and even hunted, but nothing could deter him from his duty to his country. He was too old to join the Army, but two of his sons were not and served the Union well. Even though he literally became a refugee driven from his home, Joshua still rendered the Union cause good service. Eventually, Joshua Chilton was killed by General Bragg's soldiers during their visit to Kentucky.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just Like Guinevere

In folklore, Guinevere the legendary queen consort of King Arthur, was safe behind the walls of the castle. Then, Arthur's chief knight, Sir Lancelot, came along. Their affair eventually led to the downfall of Arthur's kingdom. After the affair was exposed, Guinevere was sentenced to burn at the stake, but Lancelot rescued her. She eventually fled to a convent when Arthur declared war against her lover. It was there, behind the walls of the convent, that Guinevere spent the rest of her life. Upon hearing the news of Arthur's death, and after discovering Guinevere had become a nun, Lancelot retired to a hermitage to live out the rest of his life in penitence, just like Guinevere.

The song, Guinevere, by The Eli Young Band says..."forgiveness ain't nothing but a lifeless tire on the shoulder of her soul that never rolls."

Life isn't always fair as we see it, or as we want it to be. We have our mountains and we have our valleys. You seem hard on the outside only because you have taught yourself to be that way because of past experiences. While you may think you need those walls, it is sad that you cannot see that perhaps there is a special someone who has come into your life, who is worth letting your guard down for.

For as much as she stumbled, she's runnin'
For as much as she runs, she's still here
Always hoping to find something quicker than heaven
To make the damage of her days disappear
Just like Guinevere

If there is one thing I have learned over the past few years, it is, just like Lancelot the once-brave knight, never let yourself be called out on strikes. ALWAYS go down swinging. Come what may, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you are going after Moby Dick, take along tarter sauce. And, NEVER give up on anyone or anything. Believe it or not, miracles happen.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Great American Fraud

Founded mainly on fraud and poison, patent-medicine methods were the rage in America between the mid 19th and early 20th centuries. Before it was finally put to an end, gullible America was spending some seventy-five million dollars in the purchase of patent medicines to cure all sorts of ailments. You name it and there a patented medicinal cure for it, but, it was mostly all fraud. Not all, but most. So, the government set out to separate the sheep from the goats, but an honest attempt to do that developed a lamentable lack of qualified candidates for the sheepfold. Some remedies were honest in their claims and effective for their purposes. "None of these "cures" really did cure any serious affection, although a majority of their users recovered. But, a majority, and a very large majority, of the sick would have recovered anyway. Were it not so, were one illness out of fifty fatal, and this earth would soon be depopulated," said Samuel Hopkins in his 1931 book, Great American Frauds.

Newspapers bore a huge chunk of the blame for the popularity of the medicinal frauds. "The ignorant drug-taker, returning to health from some disease which he has overcome by the natural resistant powers of his body, dips his pen in gratitude and writes his testimonial. The man who dies in spite of the patent medicine, or perhaps because of it, doesn't bear witness to what it did for him," said Hopkins. "We see recorded only the favorable results: the unfavorable lie silent. How could it be otherwise when the only avenues of publicity are controlled by the advertisers?" he wrote.
I'm the happiest little woman In all this little town
And my merry laugh and singing
Takes the place of sigh and frown
And is like himself once more
And the world is just a paradise
With such happiness in store

One particularly heartless swindle that was operated mostly through newspapers, which also meant the United States Post Office, for over 50 years, finally came to an end in August of 1935, when the Postmaster General declared that the Dr. J.W. Haines Company, The Golden Specific Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio was engaged in conducting a scheme for obtaining money through the mail by means of false and fraudulent pretenses. In this scheme, mothers, wives and sisters were led to believe that they could cure their loved ones of the drink habit by the secret administration of the Haines Golden Treatment. Some 18 years earlier, in 1917, The Journal of the American Medical Association had denounced Haines Golden Treatment as 'a cruel humbug,' claiming that no cases of drunkenness was cured by such means. As it turned out, the Golden Treatment was nothing more than a mixture of milk sugar and starch, capsicum and a minute amount of ipecac.

Sadly, the advertisements did not pray on the alcoholic, but rather the family members, and apparently it was effective. Check out the ad copy below.

Even though Haines Golden Treatment was declared a fraud, most people remained convinced the product was the real deal.  When he died, Dr. Haines was eulogized as one of the people who invented a cure for drunkards.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Night There Were Zombies In My Backyard

Last night, I dreamed I fought zombies in the backyard of my old home place.  I was killing them left and right with a sling blade that some strange person had given me.  And, then one of the zombies' blood spilled on me and I became one.  Why do things that are going good sometimes go bad? I wish I knew the answer to that.  Suddenly, this feels like a Bob Dylan song.  All I know is there were these zombies in my backyard and I had a sling blade and I was killing them and then I became one.  After I turned into a zombie I woke up.  I guess zombies don't dream.  There were a couple of other people who were helping me kill the zombies.  I don't know who they were or how they got there.  All I know is I am glad they helped.  Killing zombies is hard work. My pastor says dreams like this happen when I eat too much pizza before I go to bed, but have you ever dreamed you fought zombies with a sling blade in your back yard and then became a zombie?  It was downright creepy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

These Are The Times That Try Men's Souls

Author Thomas Paine was the first person to publicly advocate that America should seek to be an independent nation, free from tyranny.  His ‘how to’ pamphlet, known as Common Sense, sold 100,000 copies, a best-seller among the two-million people in the American British colonies. It challenged the authority of the royal monarchy and inspired the people of America into a revolution.

“The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth,” he said.

While the people in the American British colonies were fed up with King George, Paine wrote: “But where, say some, is the king of America?  I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above...

...yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” said Paine in The Crisis. “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

Paine became known as 'Father of the American Revolution.'


On July 4, 1981, President Ronald Reagan wrote, “Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.”

God Bless America!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Penny From Heaven

It was Winston Churchill who said we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

This is a story about giving.

How often do we stop to say thank you for the little things in life? We see them every day. We feel them. We touch them. We hear them. We welcome them. They surround us. They help us. They are everywhere. We should thank them more often because, if you stop and think about it, those little things are real treasures beyond compare. Blue skies, new moons and raindrops, mentioned in Bing Crosby's 1936 song, are all pennies from Heaven, but there are so many more. For instance, my cousin, Emily. She is a penny from Heaven. I found this out the other day when she gave up one of her kidneys so that her aunt might live a more enjoyable life. Wow! Talk about a treasure given and received! Emily did it. Her brother said she was his hero. She is mine, too.

Something happened to Emily after she donated her kidney. I am older than she is so I have known her my entire life. She has always been full of joy, but after the transplant Emily came back home with a cup so full it is overflowing. I mean, it really shows big time. God has blessed her beyond measure and I am certain she would tell you He has blessed her even way, way beyond that!

The aunt's fortune fell in the form of a penny from Heaven called Emily. But, Emily's version is that donating the kidney evoked every emotion, above all thankfulness, within herself. In her words, "To the Creator, Healer, and Prayer Answerer, for my family whom I love beyond words and to my friends who are by far more than I deserve!" On Facebook, she quoted lyrics from the Chris Tomlin song:

"I will lift my eyes in the darkest night for I know my Savior reigns; And though the storms may come, I am holding on to the Rock I cling. How can I keep from singing Your praise? I know I am loved by the King, and it makes my heart want to sing!"

Donating a kidney is certainly no little thing. It's huge. It's more than huge, whatever that word is. It has to be one of the reasons why God put Emily on this earth. He knew her before she was born. That is pretty overwhelming. Her brother said Emily gave someone a second chance at enjoying life to its fullest. Buzz and Dolly Dimple would be so proud. She is a treasure, a penny from Heaven.

We all love you, Emily. Very much.

If you want the things you love
You must have showers
So when you hear it thunder
Don't run under a tree
There'll be pennies from heaven for you and me

Long may our Land be Bright with Freedom's Holy Light

Officially, the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, but after voting to approve it, a draft do...