Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Addition to page 158 and others

Behind all this may be"The Leopard," which makes the point that Garibaldi was an exterminator, not a liberator, and first attracted the migrants to New Orleans before they suddenly learned about the Ku Klux Klan. Believing this version might assist moving the parade to a climate warmer than January usually provides, which it would take to induce me to return to future Mummers parades.

New blog--Skipping grades. My mother was a school teacher, and like all professions, school teachers take care of each other. Offhand, I don't know how tuba players take care of other tuba players, but I'm sure they do because it's a form of family tribalism which appears to be universal. I stumbled onto the school-skipping thing by being its unwitting beneficiary.

My mother was determined that I skip first grade for some reason still unknown to me, so she went into action back then, finding out all the rules for skipping a grade. It happened that the rules at my local school were more suitable for skipping half a year of kindergarten, plus a year of first grade, so that was what she went after. To accomplish this, one teacher was designated to screen the applicants, and so that particular teacher was targeted to become my mother's best friend. Somehow the two of them arranged the desired outcome while I was busy playing with wooden blocks somewhere else. Fifteen or so years later. public schools didn't suit my father, who wanted me to go to boarding school, so the problem became one of convincing someone else that a terrible mistake had been made in the records of my age, but it was just too late to fix it. Alternative solutions were proposed, but it was decided the simplest way to get it off his desk was to ignore it. Well, along came World War II and I was too young. Furthermore, I was pre-med.

So, a class of 1100 at Yale was quickly reduced to a couple hundred by Christmas, and I missed WW II entirely but was just right for the North Korean war. but as an officer. I realize that many contemporaries in Germany were swept into concentration camps by slightly different variations of the same happenstances, many Yale classmates were killed at the Battle of the Bulge, or even the Korean battles. But I was too young to do anything but watch the main agent, my mother, at work when I was in Kindergarten, and everything unfolded from that. I was lucky.

Originally published: Monday, December 30, 2019; most-recently modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2020