Cartoon by Scott Anthony

Jerry's View: House calls can be hazardous for doctors

The latest flu scare in the Northwest prompted me to recall an event from the days of my youth.

There was a lot of scarlet fever, mumps, chicken pox, diphtheria, small pox and pneumonia when I was growing up in Portland in the ‘20's and ‘30s. It was common to have doctors come out to the house and nail a cardboard notice on your front porch warning others not to enter if someone was sick.

I was lucky. I never had any of those awful diseases but my sisters and brothers did. One day, a doctor parked his 1927 Ford sedan in front of our house.

We weren't bad kids but we had a mischievous streak.

My brother Russ opened the car door while the good doctor was tending to my little sis. Russ hopped in the driver's side. I got in on the other side.

We took an imaginary trip to the store, the park, downtown, all the way making motor sounds and shouting ooogah, ooogah and yelling at imaginary people on the street.

Whatever Russ did, it got the car moving. I think he loosened the brake. We began coasting on a downhill slope.

What a thrill. We were not exactly speeding but we were on our way. We got about a block away from the intersection at Vancouver Avenue where there were a lot of cars whizzing by.

That is when Russ hit the panic button only there was no button. We must have had guardian angels on our side because some workers had left a big pile of sand alongside the curb. Russell expertly steered the getaway car right into the sand pile and we stopped cold.

The doctor came out about then, shouted some bad words at us, but we were able to get away in the woods.

We never stole another car.

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