All American Barbecue

Suburbs BBQ

The Smell of Democracy in the Air

Every July 4th our split level development would be shrouded by the smoke of burning charcoal, the sizzling smell of democracy was in the air.

Besides a parade, nothing was more quintessentially American than a July 4th back yard barbecue. Like some sacred Old Testament tradition of sacrificing an animal to please the Lord, every Independence Day a burnt offering of seared flesh was offered up in homage to Uncle Sam.

And in that confident mid-century soaring bull market, Democracy was as vital to our health as a Delmonico steak.

Dad knew tossing a hunk of meat on a sizzling grill, the ubiquitous package of Kingsford briquettes at the ready, proclaimed to the world “I’m proud to be an American.”

The Smell of Capitalism In The Air

Wealth from Waste

In fact nothing was more American than those Kingsford briquettes. Invented by the quintessential American capitalist Henry Ford as a way of further lining his own pockets, Ford had a better idea. By charring the wood scraps left over from his Model T’s and mixing them with starch fillers and just the right amount of chemicals, industrious Mr. Ford created briquettes.

Ford Briquettes

The smell of democracy was indeed in the air – nothing reeked of capitalism more than turning industrial waste into profit.

Excerpt from Defrosting The Cold War:Fallout From My Nuclear Family Copyright (©) 2014 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved

 

 

The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest

Suburban Growth

By David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.

PA state archives - Harrisburgh

The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true.

LIS counts after-tax cash income from salaries, interest and stock dividends, among other sources, as well as direct government benefits such as tax credits.

The findings are striking because the most commonly cited economic statistics — such as per capita gross domestic product — continue to show that the United States has maintained its lead as the world’s richest large country. But those numbers are averages, which do not capture the distribution of income. With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world.

“The idea that the median American has so much more income than the middle class in all other parts of the world is not true these days,” said Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist who is not associated with LIS. “In 1960, we were massively richer than anyone else. In 1980, we were richer. In the 1990s, we were still richer.”

That is no longer the case, Professor Katz added. Continue reading

Nebraska Was the Good Life…

Nebraska was the good life

Art and Helen and their family on the farm. (Photo by Mary Anne Andrei / Bold Nebraska)

This article from Farm Aid profiles one of our neighbors from Nebraska. My daughter and  her husband live in the great state of Nebraska, and I have been to the beautiful Ogallala Aquifer. Are you for or against the Keystone XL Pipeline?

When Art Tanderup and his wife Helen envisioned their retirement, they saw themselves living a quiet, peaceful life on the 160 acres of Nebraska farmland passed down through three generations of Helen’s family. They wanted to tend to their corn, soybeans and rye, to be good stewards of their land, and to have something to leave their children and grandchildren. Then TransCanada Corporation arrived at the farm to tell the Tanderups the Keystone XL pipeline would run through their property. That’s when Art became a rabble-rouser.

Though Art grew up on farms and ranches, he didn’t think he’d become a farmer. He says, “My father was a poor farmer, and his operation wasn’t big enough to support both of us. So I went to college and followed in my mother’s footsteps as a teacher.” After a rewarding career as a teacher of English, journalism and speech, a library media specialist, and board member of the Nebraska National Education Association, Art “retired” to become a farmer. For fifteen years now, he and Helen have been farming near Neligh, Nebraska, on land that has been in Helen’s family for 100 years.

The Tanderups raise corn, soybeans and rye on their 160 acres. They use many conservation methods to protect the soil and water, including no-till farming, cover crops, and planting many trees. “Oftentimes, I compare the teaching and the farming as kind of the same. I like to see things grow, whether it’s kids or crops,” Art says as he describes his love for nurturing the land. “You try to do everything you can to protect it and make sure that it is well taken care of.”

That’s why Art is opposed to the 1,179 mile pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, crossing farms and ranches and lying above the Ogallala Aquifer, an essential water resource for the High Plains, both for drinking and irrigation water. “We try to be good stewards of the land,” Art says. “Allowing this pipeline would not make us good stewards.”

Standing in the Water

Wizipan Little Elk, of the Rosebud Sioux, and Art Tanderup risk arrest by standing in the Washington Monument Reflecting Pool in D.C. to protest TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. (Photo by Garth Lenz / iLCP)

Art was in the field planting soybeans when a TransCanada representative showed up at the farm to deliver the devastating news that the proposed pipeline would cross Art and Helen’s property, a mere 500 feet from their house and 600 feet from their well.

“When they came, they told us this is going to be a wonderful thing for us and if you don’t just jump on this bandwagon, you’re unpatriotic,” recalls Art. “That was kind of the feeling you were getting. You needed to help lower fuel prices, you needed to get people jobs, you needed to make this happen and you needed to step up and do your part by letting them put it on your land.”

The Tanderups told TransCanada they needed time before making a decision and then sprang into action. Relying on his library experience, Art began researching the pipeline and went back to TransCanada with questions. When he asked what they would do in the event of an oil leak into the aquifer, he found they don’t have a cleanup plan. Art explains, “The pipeline can leak up to 2% of its daily volume before their detection system even detects it, meaning 400,000 gallons of tars sand oil could leak per day before anyone knows.”

Art is also concerned about what the pipeline will carry, which is not conventional oil, but diluted bitumen, a material that will sink to the bottom of a body of water, mixing with sediment and organic matter, making the oil difficult to find and recover.

“They say it’s the safest pipeline ever built but we all know what happened to the safest ship that was ever built,” says Art. Throughout the process of trying to save his land, Art has become an unlikely activist and hero for those who oppose the pipeline. “I get referred to around the community as ‘that crazy pipeline guy,'” laughs Art.

Crop Art Protesting KXLIn his fight, Art has done everything he can, from joining Bold Nebraska and connecting with the Nebraska Easement Action Team, to testifying at hearings and trying to get local zoning regulations for his community. He provided his land for the artist John Quigley to create the world’s largest crop art installation as a way to get out in the media the feelings of America’s heartland. Seen from the sky, the crop art states loud and clear where Art and the fellow fighters stand (and Art got to drive the tractor that made that statement!)

A crop art image protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline covers an 80 acre corn field on Art’s farm. (Photo by Lou Dematteis and Bold Nebraska)

Their values around land stewardship, combined with the fact that the planned pipeline will come so close to their home and well, made Art and Helen’s decision a no-brainer. For others, the pipeline won’t come nearly as close to their homes or water supply. Many landowners have agreed to offers from TransCanada while others have fought to protect their land. The end result, Art reflects, is that neighbors are fighting, communities are divided and families are being torn apart over disagreements.

“There are families that have gotten along for years and years and now all of a sudden one of them decides that it’s okay to take the money and pay off the tractor or the combine and the other one says no,” says Art. “It’s difficult to be in that ‘no’ position.” While Art understands why some farmers have settled (“We all have bills to pay,” he says), he reflects that those fighting are typically small farmers like himself—the ones who have the least money to fight. “And all the money in the world is fighting us,” he admits.

Last week, Art traveled to Washington, D.C. with other farmers, ranchers and Native Americans to protest the pipeline as a unified front dubbed the Cowboy Indian Alliance. The six-day “Reject + Protect” event called attention to the real people impacted by the pipeline with a clear call to President Obama to reject the Keystone XL. During the week, the Cowboy Indian Alliance raised tipis on the National Mall, led peaceful marches, held rallies, shared their stories, and met with White House officials. Reject + Protect culminated with a march attended by thousands, including Farm Aid’s own Neil Young.

Art with Neil Young

Neil Young and Art Tanderup stand up for the land in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Bold Nebraska)

“It’s important to be part of the people here, out on the front lines of this situation and try to show that these are real people and they actually know what’s going on out there,” says Art. “We are not a bunch of radicals. We are real people with concerns and it’s important that President Obama and Secretary Kerry can see that.”

Because the pipeline crosses an international border, the U.S. State Department must approve it. An announcement was expected after a public comment period closed on March 7, resulting in an unprecedented 2.5 million public comments. But in an unexpected win for those opposing the pipeline, President Obama extended the comment period and pushed back the decision.

President Obama’s delay is in large part based on a recent court decision in Nebraska that found that it was unconstitutional for TransCanada to acquire land for the pipeline through eminent domain, in which the government forces a landowner to allow development on their private property if it is believed to be in the public’s benefit. The ruling was important, not just for the delay, but for the real issue at the heart of the fight against the pipeline. As Art puts it, “How can the government give a foreign corporation the right to come in and take your land for their profit? It’s not for your profit; it’s not for the common good. It’s for their profit and it puts everything at risk.”

If the pipeline is ultimately approved, the permeability of the ground and the location of the Ogallala Aquifer along the current proposed route may require that it to be moved to another location. But the bottom line for Art is this: “The pipeline doesn’t need to be any place. It doesn’t need to be built at all.” When asked what it would mean to win this battle, Art replies, “It means we can feel good about leaving this land to our children and grandchildren. Like you take care of your kids, you take care of your land and water.”

The Cowboy Alliance at Art's Farm

Members of the Cowboy Indian Alliance at Art’s farm. (Photo by Mary Anne Andrei / Bold Nebraska) 

Vanishing Americana

Mottvile, NY Post OfficeResident Pat Spillmann checks her post office box at the post office inside the Mottville Emporium in Mottville, N.Y., Monday, April 28, 2014.

Photos and Article By Kevin Rivoli | krivoli@syracuse.com

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL

Across rural America small town post offices are being closed in an effort by the U.S. Postal Service to stop mounting revenue losses.

Being an independent branch of the federal government, the postal service is mostly subsidized by postal fees. The fact that more people are paying bills and communicating online instead of mailing letters has forced the postal service to make deep cuts.

Many of the old brick-and-mortar post offices, slated for closure, could be morphed into village post offices. A village post office is one that is run by a small business owner as part of their retail operation offering limited postal services like selling stamps, PO boxes, or package services

-2a3ade7a10bff7e2Postal clerk Deb Holbein chats with Pat spillmann, right, and Maureen Bishop at the post office inside the Mottville Emporium in Mottville, N.Y. Holbein is also the owner of the Emporium.

Enter Deb Holbein, owner and operator of the Mottville Emporium. The Emporium offers consignment furniture, antiques, dry-cleaning and, of course, a post office, of which she is the clerk.

Mottville, a tiny hamlet in the town of Skaneateles, is made up of the fire department and a single two-story red building that is home to the Emporium and Tea and Treasures General Store.

That’s it. Blink while your driving and you miss it.

“Having a post office means we get to keep our zip code,” says Holbein. She’s quick to note that Mottville has had a post office since the late 1800’s. “We love our post office.”

-3b470a24df724eaePostal clerk Deb HolBein works in the post office at the Mottville Emporium in Mottville, N.Y. Holbein is also the owner of the Emporium.

Mottville resident Pat Spillmann agrees.

Spillmann makes her way through the small cramped overstocked shop to the back corner designated as the post office. She drops an envelope in the mail slot on the countertop, next to the greeting cards and bracelets, and then checks her post office box for the day’s mail. “I like to come in to chat and catch up on what’s going on around town,” she says.

The rural post office is an important fiber in the fabric of the community it serves, no matter how small. Like the 1980’s television sitcom Cheers – it’s a place where everyone knows your name.

-7ace04c55b93a896Mary Buttolph steps outside of the Mottville Emporium which houses the Mottville Post Office in Mottville, N.Y.

-7b4e1d275428835dThe Mottville post office shares space with the Mottville Emporium and Tea and Treasures General Store in Mottville, N.Y.

-6400045ea76176f4Owner and postal clerk Deb Holbein takes care of customer Ruth Klimek at the post office inside the Mottville Emporium in Mottville, N.Y.

This article first appeared in the April 30th edition of Syracuse.com America’s #1 Newspaper Website

 

 

The Aging Population of U.S. Manufacturing

America’s supply of skilled workers is running low and growing old. Blogger Frances Brunelle, at Accelerated Buy Sell Blog gives an interesting perspective on why the trough is not being replenished. Her words echo those of Eric Hanushek, in his book “Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School” and why dramatic changes need to be made to the American school system in order to salvage the country’s economic future.

U.S. Machinist

Post by Frances Brunelle

Last week I attended the quarterly meeting of the New Jersey Tooling & Manufacturing Association. The new president of the association, Mr. Alan Haveson, asked the audience by a show of hands, how many were in need of skilled workers. Almost every hand in the room went up. As I looked around the room, I noticed that a majority of the business owners were sporting grey, salt & pepper or white hair. Mr. Haveson went on to talk about the responsibility to transfer knowledge to the next generation before it’s too late. That night I enjoyed catching up with some of my long time customers. They all talked about how hard it is to find good qualified machinists. For a few seconds I wondered how the industry got itself into this position. I answered my own question in my head because I’ve read enough books, authored enough articles and been entrenched in the industry long enough to know.

This didn’t happen over night. It was slow and steady. It happened one student at a time, being told that manufacturing was not a worthy profession. It happened in almost every high school across the country, as guidance counselors encouraged other types of careers.

We, as a society, allowed the image of US manufacturing to be tarnished.

We didn’t speak up. We didn’t allow our voices to be heard. We allowed our collective paradigm to shift away from the idea that making things here at home is a good and worthy profession. When did graduating college with a mountain of debt and a degree for something for which one can’t find a job become the norm?

Skilled WorkerThe whole situation reminds me of the story of how DeBeers altered the way many nations looked at diamond engagement rings over the course of a generation. In 1967 only about 5% of Japanese women sported a diamond engagement ring. In 1981 the figure rose to about 60%. How did DeBeers accomplish this? The same way they did in every other country, through advertising. Through relentless advertising over multiple media, the rare became the norm and a new paradigm was created for the furtherance of the company’s bottom line.

Are you asking what diamonds have to do with a generation of US students rejecting manufacturing as a viable career? Was this rejection the paradigm of generations past? Of course not! It was slow and steady encouragement and “advertising,” by an industry that would make more money based on student’s choices. Before I inspire a bunch of hate mail, I am NOT saying that traditional four-year colleges are bad. What I’m saying is that we all must keep in mind that the secondary education system is a business that seeks its own perpetuation. Colleges are a business just like DeBeers that have a vested interest in an entire population viewing what they provide as an absolute must. I think that it’s smart to question the “norms” in society. Don’t think so? Where are the jobs today? How many folks do you know have their adult children living with them, because they can’t find employment after college? How fast would these kids find a job if they knew how to program a CNC machining center?

Manufacturing Workers

So how do we fix this? We didn’t get here over night, and this won’t be fixed overnight. But it can be a slow and steady storm. An army of people who work in manufacturing and supporting industries speaking, writing, advertising and advocating for the industry. It starts with people like Al Haveson challenging the membership of a State Manufacturing Association to do their part to pass the baton to the next generation. It starts with folks like Anthony LaMastra, former president of the same association, working hard to get a regional manufacturing training center in our state. It starts with apprenticeship programs around the country. It starts with people like Gene Haas making generous donations of machining centers to manufacturing educational programs throughout the country. It starts with other machine tool builders following Mr. Haas’s lead. It starts with people like you going to your son or daughters school to talk about how cool it is to MAKE things

So many MILLIONS of great minds within the manufacturing community will retire in the next 10-20 years. What can you do to give back after you retire? Will you be a volunteer, a mentor or a writer? How will you help champion the industry once you retire? What would result if this conversation happens at EVERY state manufacturing association? What if it happens at a national level?.

What happens if we go “DeBeers” on an entire generation of young people to champion US manufacturing?

We wouldn’t just save our industry; we’d save our economy and perhaps our nation. I will do my part….will you?

Original Post

Colds, Flu and the Story of Kleenex

Sniffles

It’s the height of cold and flu season again which means it’s all out war on sniffles and red running noses.

For those battle fatigued sufferers, endless reinforcements of Kleenex are constantly being supplied to the front lines.

Today we take for granted those ubiquitous boxes of soothing tissues, but for an earlier generation who battled the 1918 flu epidemic, the existence of Kleenex would have been nothing short of a miracle.

Kleenex Cleans Up

Kleenex wouldn’t make its debut until the mid 1920s and a grateful nation suffering from hay fever and winter colds sat up and took note.

No one was more grateful than my grandmother Sadie.

Tucked into her sleeve, or balled up in her pocket, Nana Sadie never went anywhere without a tissue at the ready, her first line of defense against deadly germs. Nana was certain the air was filled with dust and germs which could then be inhaled resulting in a nasty cold…or worse.

To her, the invention of Kleenex was a modern marvel of science, rivaling sulfa drugs and penicillin in saving mankind. With the simple toss of a disposable Kleenex into a waste basket, you were wiping out thousands of dangerous germs, and saving countless lives.

1918 Flu Epidemichealth-flu -winter 1918

As a veteran of the first and worst flu epidemic every, old fears and suspicion borne of that war, had scarred Nana Sadie for life.

In 1918 America was at war, not only over there but here at home as well. The Influenza epidemic of 1918 meant it was all out war on the home front too.

The public in 1918 and 1919 was petrified of the Flu.

It was a panicky time, when everyone and everything became suspect as the cause of contamination mirroring the Red Scare which reached near hysteria that year.

Provoked by a fear that a Bolshevik revolution in America was imminent – a revolution that would destroy the American Way of Life, ordinary people became suspect of being Anarchists and Communists.

So it was with the Influenza, when even everyday items such as books, candy wrappers came under scrutiny and attack as transmitters of the dreaded disease.

health-handkerchief

Everything came under suspicion – paper money, ice cream, even wet laundry. No one was safe from that villainous brute Influenza.

“Everyday someone else you knew got sick,” my grandmother would explain sadly.

“It killed the young, the strong, the healthy, the rich, the poor, people who had so much to live for…my own brother and sister, so young, God-rest-their-souls. People avoided one another, they didn’t speak, if they did they turned their faces away to avoid the other persons breathing…”

Dangerous germs, scowling and sneering could be lurking right around the corner- yesterday a suspiciously shared sarsaparilla in a soda fountain, today, a sneeze on a shared seat in a sullied streetcar, tomorrow-who knows- the blunder of a borrowed book from the public library.

But the favorite source of blame continued to be handkerchiefs. Continue reading

Coke & American Diversity-It’s the Real Thing

Coke Ad - 1948

“Hospitality-So Easy and Welcome with Coke” vintage Coca Cola Ad 1948

Real America is causing a controversy for some real Americans.

Coca Cola’s multilingual Superbowl commercial celebrating American diversity has stirred up xenophobic rage across social media.

In the great cultural cauldron of 21st century America there still seems to be one basic ingredient to being a real American…English-speaking, heterosexual, and Caucasian.

Vintage Coke Ad 1946

Once upon a time no one reinforced this more than that all American beverage Coca Cola.

Their sentimental mid-century ads portraying an America that existed primarily in our Norman Rockwell fueled fantasies, were as syrupy sweet as the elixir they sold. Like all advertising at the time, their heartwarming illustrations of small town America were a color and ethnic free zone.

#SpeakAmerican

The internet was abuzz with angry comments after the ad appeared, creating a deluge of pseudo patriotic hashtags to break out on twitter. The outrage at “America the Beautiful” being sung in anything but English resulted in some calling for a boycott of Coke, that most American of products.

Well apparently that old-fashioned recipe for prejudice is still being used by some real Americans who are outraged at a Coca Cola commercial showing real America. The spot features people from diverse backgrounds singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages.

Vintage Coca Cola Ad

Coke is as American as apple pie and baseball - Vintage Coca Cola ad

Face the Facts

The fact is, some conservative pundits are uncomfortable with the look of America and its diversity.

The fact is, the America Coke displayed, is the Real Thing!

That a broadcast commercial might reflect this actual diversity of thought like the multicultural and sexually diverse fabric of modern America is as refreshing as a frosty bottle of Coke!

While All-American Coca Cola has now beautifully embraced American diversity, the cranky critics of the Coke commercial crying “un American” seem stuck in a time warp .

This isn’t “their” America – that is the Mad Men mid-century America where the “other” was best kept in the shadows. Perhaps they long for a simpler time like the ones served up with extra sugar by Coke in their vintage advertisements.

Their notion of what constitutes an American is as dated as the portrayal of real America that Coca Cola once pictured in their ads

 The Right to Happiness and a Bottle of Coke

Coke at the Soda Fountain - 1946

“There’s always a welcome – at your favorite soda fountain.This congenial club is as warm and American as an old-fashioned barbecue or band concert right in the village square.” vintage Coca Cola ad 1946

Coke has long been associated with the American way.

“The soda fountain” that dispensed Coca Cola was, they explained in a 1946 ad, “as American as Independence Day …the very expression of Democracy!”

These slice of life images showing Americans enjoying a refreshing pause in their American dream life often took place in that neighborhood soda fountain- “the friendliest place in town”- that is, as long as you weren’t Asian, Hispanic or African-American.

The “friendliest place in town” was also the whitest place in town.

Americas Friendliest Neighborhood Club

“Not far from you right now is a neighborhood branch of Americas friendliest club-the soda fountain,” begins this folksy Coke ad from 1946.

“Here folks get to know each other better. There’s always something going on in the friendly exchange at the soda fountain.”

Now instead of a “friendly soda fountain the place where everybody can good-naturedly air their opinions, parade their pet peeves and add your 2 bits worth to world opinions,” we have the internet where friendly folk can rage to their heart’s content.

To read the article in its entirety jump over to Envisioning the American Dream

Dryhootch

In the President’s State of the Union address last night, he stated, “As this time of war draws to a close, a new generation of heroes returns to civilian life. We’ll keep slashing that backlog so our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned and our wounded warriors receive the health care — including the mental health care — that they need. We’ll keep working to help all our veterans translate their skills and leadership into jobs here at home, and we will all continue to join forces to honor and support our remarkable military families.”

In our current issue we feature a story about a non-profit Milwaukee coffee shop doing just that. A place where Vets help Vets survive – at home. In their honor we, reprint here.

Dryhootch cafe

Continue reading

Encore Entrepreneurs

Come In We're Open

Someone, somewhere, has coined older entrepreneurs as “Encore Entrepreneurs,” has a ring to it don’t you think? Lately there have been many discussions and quite a bit of press about this phenomenon, from the Boston Globe, to The Guardian, to the BBC. The U.S. Small Business Administration even has a site dedicated to it. A 2011 study by Encore.org and Metlife showed that 9 million people, or 9 percent of all those ages 44 to 70, are in encore careers and no less than 31 million Americans ages 44 to 77 are interested in pursuing encore careers. What is the reason behind it, why are Boomers not retiring, but instead starting a Second Act. Got me to thinking that we would love to hear your story and to feature it in Our USA.

Continue reading

A Thing of the Past

The Doctor is Always Within Reach

Vintage ad Mallory Electronics 1949

 A Thing of the Past

Today when it is unthinkable to go anywhere without your smartphone in hand, it’s hard to imagine the excitement and wonderment generated by this post war ad that hinted at the future possibility of a mobile car phone that functioned merely as a…. phone.

Traditionally, progress was what Americans could always count on…new and better ways of doing things.

Replacing one convenience for a new improved model that would irrevocably improve your life for the better has always been the American Way.

Calling All Doctors!

Mallory Electronics

It may be two in the morning raining buckets but in 1949 you could always count on Dr. Higgins. Like the US mail neither rain nor snow nor dark of night could stop the beloved family doctor from making a house call.

When a call for help comes the doctor can’t say no!

But imagine the time when Doc Higgins can be reached even when he’s at the wheel of his old Buick just by picking up his mobile phone. That was the near future offered up to the hopeful reader in this optimistic 1949 advertisement.

Thanks to Mallory, a manufacturer of parts for modern electronic equipment and their contribution to the future of the mobile phone, “the family doctor would always be within reach of his patients. In emergencies he can give directions over the phone as he speed to the side of the stricken.”

“Modern miracles of communication were already happening,” the ad explains. “The spoken message is no longer chained to fixed routes defined by existing wire lines. With equipment now available, explained by Mallory “oral messages can now be sent from one moving vehicle to another and to central control points.”

Call Waiting

Doctors Smoking!

The Doctor Makes his Rounds.

“Wherever he goes, he is welcome…his life is dedicated to serving others” the copy in the ad reads. ” Not all his calls are associated with illness. He is often friend and counselor. His satisfactions in life are reflected in the smiling faces of youngsters like this one and countless others whom he has long attended. Yes, the doctor represents an honored profession…his professional reputation and his record of service are his most cherished possessions.”

Of course this illustration appeared in a 1946 ad for Camels cigarettes, where our kindly family doctor heartily endorses smoking, so perhaps his professional reputation was less than sterling.

Of course modern miracles of communications like the car phone did come to pass, but the idea of a doctor making house calls has become as antiquated as the ad itself.

You may be able to speed dial your doctor on your mobile phone but good luck in getting a timely appointment.

Now all you can count on in our ailing health care system is interminable office waits and astronomical costs.

Today, the smart phone has replaced the car phone but the house call by a family doctor…irreplaceable.