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Shumate column: Pizza parlor rescue

By Margaret Shumate
For the Salisbury Post
Reading Karen Carpenter’s recent article about her father and his Vespa Ciao experience in 1974 brought back fond memories for me as well.
Also employed by the then Rowan Memorial Hospital during this time span, I knew and admired her dad, Bruce South. Back then, the hospital was relatively small and most all employees knew each other. I worked mostly in the business offices, but occasionally at the switchboard/reception area and as a clerk in the emergency room. I could name every physician on the staff and was familiar with all the department heads.
Joyce Trexler was a fellow employee and good friend. She was secretary and right hand to the director of nursing.
I remember her as being a great multitasker and having a very warm, caring and outgoing personality.
She was the brains and organizer of the first RMH bowling league, of which I was a participant. We bowled one night a week at Woodleaf Lanes and had some great times. These were sanctioned games and we all put forth a lot of effort to win as often as possible. We were proud to wear our RWH bowling shirts and to compete for trophies for our team and the hospital.
Several department heads were included in the mix of employees representing various departments of the hospital. There was Jon Hough, radiology; Bob Kirkman, inhalation (now respiratory) therapy, and of course, Bruce South, physical therapy. We were honored to have these men on our team.
One night, after a big win and top honors for RMH, some of us went to Village Inn Pizza Parlor, which was on East Innes Street, to celebrate our victory. Some of the men ordered beer with their pizza. This contributed somewhat to the jubilant atmosphere already in place, and soon we became much too loud.
Not boisterous, mind you ó but really loud. The manager approached our tables and cautioned us to either quiet down or leave.
How embarrassing!
Bruce immediately stood up and softened the chatter volume when he stated that it would not be in our best interests to read in the next day’s Salisbury Post that RMH employees, including reputable department heads, were ousted from a local pizza parlor.
‘Nuff said!
It was tragic that Bruce died at such a young age and in the prime of his life. I’m sure his family dearly misses him. And, so do his RMH friends and bowling buddies of times past.
To Bruce: We’re confident that you continue to be a peacemaker and are still striving to bowl that perfect game.
And what better Score Keeper than our gracious, Heavenly Father.
LifePlus columnist Margaret Shumate lives in Salisbury.

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