The Rock Wall

Posted August 15, 2013 at 9:57 am

Wednesday morning I drove in the hardest rain I have ever seen in my life. As I went to Pittsburg, there was lots of lightning in the northwest but no rain. Same thing when I headed home before 3 a.m. The storm met me about 3:30 a.m. on Hwy. 43 three miles south of Hwy. 54.

First the west-northwest wind hit and tried to take me off the road. Soon it carried the rain in sheets. By the time I got to Hwy. 54, I had trouble seeing the stop sign and couldn’t see the flashing red light.

When I turned east, it did get bad: the rain intensified to the point that I could just barely see the stripes in the middle of the lanes and the solid white line on the edge of the highway. Part of the time, I couldn’t see those lines. On high beams, I could see nothing but water and fog in the air. On low beams and fog lights, I could see just past the hood of my pickup.

I had to search for the driveway of a business where I leave papers. I couldn’t leave them because of the water so I left them at a convenience store where I leave papers.

When I called back over at about 7:30 a.m. to tell them where I had left their papers, the young lady told me her co-worker had just put them on the rack. So Nevada is a small town, too. The convenience store clerk must have recognized the lady and knew where she worked and sent the papers with her.

– Della Bailey stopped in to tell me about Martha Chambers Emergency Hospital where we both were born. Martha took in Della’s mother, Vivian Root Reeves, in 1946. Martha had started the hospital before 1945 and sold it in 1958. Then she went to work for the TB hospital in Mt. Vernon and worked there until her untimely death in 1962 from a blood clot following gall bladder surgery.

Della, who was also delivered by Dr. C. H. Sunderwirth, said she was named after Martha’s mother, Della, who rocked all the babies, probably including me.

I remembered a lady dressed in white and Della said that Martha always wore her nurse’s outfit. That memory was from a return visit for pneumonia when I was five, not from when I was born, in case you caught that possible inconsistency.

Della said that her mom remembers, with tears in her eyes, that between Martha Chambers, Dr. C. H. Sunderwirth and Pharmacist Elton Evans, no one ever had to go without medicine.

Della put Judy Nichols in touch with her mother so we should have more information later on this jewel of El Dorado Springs history. Della is on the board of the Wayside Inn Museum and is preparing items for the medical room.