The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Roving Rabbis And The Roving Doctor

A view of the North-West corner of Connecticut.

While visiting patients in Sharon Hospital on Friday we drove past a house with a sign hanging in the front:

Dr. Schwartz -Podiatrist

I stopped Mendel,
"Schwartz is a Jewish name . . ."
So we pulled into the driveway and parked.
The front porch had a swing with a little girl curled up on it; a black dog at the foot of the porch-swing watched us with its two large golden eyes as we entered the door of the practice.

The room's walls were covered with pictures of various people, several Soviet-Russian alcohol posters (Beer, Cognac and some other drink that I couldn't make out), a large Coca-Cola button and about a dozen flags from various countries. In the middle of it all sat a tan, broad shouldered man with the words 'Northwest Wrestling Club' written on his t-shirt; a pen in one hand and a phone pressed between his ear and shoulder. Looking up he flashed us a smile, gave us a thumbs up and then motioned for us to take a seat.
"How can I help you gentlemen?"
"We were in area and saw the name Schwartz outside - we figured with a name like that you most be a brother."
"You bet! Me? I'm 200% Jewish . . . both of my parents!"

Within the first few minutes of conversation Dr. Schwartz had told it all to us,

"There are a bunch of Jewish doctors around here, but I don't speak to them much - we have nothing in common!"

And it wasn't hard to see why, for the good doctor was far from a humdrum chiropodist - he had been to 21 countries before turning 21!

"Let me show you guys something."

Schwartz darted to the back of the office and returned a few seconds later with a blue, well traveled backpack. The front of the pack was covered with badges and flags from various countries and cities around the world, and a survival knife hung from the side.
"Where ever I went, I would barter and trade to get these patches! I didn't have a big budget -I would go to, let's say, Ireland and live off a loaf of bread and stick of butter for a week . . . But in the meantime I would find people, speak to them, get invited for some dinner and then crash in their houses - it was great! My philosophy in traveling was that since to truly appreciate a city one needs to spend months there, which isn't happening, you might as well only spend a day and pack in as many places as you can."

Our conversation meandered like the doctor's travels - he not only fixed feet, but cars and roofs as well.
The phone rang.

"Yah, bring over a couple of beers and we'll fix the car tonight."

At one point he asked us why we traveled in a Ford . . .
So we went back behind the practice to see his set of wheels - a large bus that the family travels in (He has five kids).
What had once been a run of the mill yellow school bus was now a silver schwartz machine . . . the inside floors had been tiled and most of the chairs had been removed - instead there was a bed, a sink with a fridge, a small library of books and a large dreamcatcher.
"You drive around in one of these guys, and people will be standing in lines to come in!"

Frankly, I couldn't agree more . . .

We came back in and told the good doctor that it was time to 'talk business' as they say.
"When was the last time you put on tefillin?"
"If I knew what they were, I could tell you." He responded.

We made a Bar-Mitzvah on the spot.

He's my kind of Doctor.

Of note: President Lincoln's chiropodist was a Jew. Read about him here

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Sefirah said...

thats really beautiful

Mottel said...

What the picture, or the story?
If the pictures, which?

Irina Tsukerman said...

What an amazing guy he seems to be!

Mottel said...

He's one wild guy . . .
But he's also a real sweetheart.