Clyde: Where do we fit in?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 27, 2022

Ubi caritas est vera

Deus ibi est


Where care and love is

There is God



In the grand scheme of things, where do we fit in? Masks are over: We didn’t catch the epizoodics. Gas prices are up. Russians are on the outskirts of town. Who wants to work or fight? Do we just want to let the rest of the world go by? Who cares anyway?


From the Anglo-Saxon “caru” or sorrow, Karfreitag was the old name for Good Friday in Germany, a symbol of grief and pain and the worry and anxiety that follows us around. The Latin “garrulous” meant to cry out or scream. Help is on the way, but from where?


We have caregivers, caretakers, heartcare, healthcare, NuCare, Medicare, childcare, lawn care, eldercare, daycare, aircare, petcare, and finally perpetual care from the undertaker. How do some people decide to care for others while some Yankees care more about their dogs than their next door neighbors. “Thou art given to pleasures that dwellest carelessly” (Isiah 47:8). Ask the street people, the Narcan survivor, the A.A. member, the homeless, the outpatient, the orphan, the disabled vet, the guest with the meal in the Styrofoam box. Who continues to care for the carefree?


At this point, please stop for a little reader-audience participation. Join in with singing out loud the verse of “I’d like to teach the world to sing.” Go ahead, we all know it. We also all know we care, but we walk around like 1984 zombies, not speaking, or lending a helping hand, expecting someone else to be paid to reach out and touch someone. Who cares for the EMTs? Who caresses the careworn and who prays for the preachers?


The 1949 City of Salisbury phone book lists 25 graduate nurses and 30 practical nurses. Names that sound like they should be nurses: Mae Horner, Myrtle Butler, Nell Culbertson, Mildred Snow. Some with sweet first names like Florence, Mary, Alice, Sara, or Ruth. Others suggest the pain and torture inflicted by Nurse Anna Higgenbottom, Pauline Caraturo, Una Fayssoux, Rosa Ferguson or Wilma Bluster. “Colored” nurses, listed separately, included Ilar Howie, Roxie Nash and Bertha Rice. Along with 35 physicians and surgeons and 56 clergymen, a few mid-wives and a wet nurse or two, the town was taken care of. Doctors Kyle Black, Geo Busby, Choate, Erb, Field, Freezor, Frazier, Glover, Ketchie, Little, McCutchan, Monk, Rendleman and Wright had offices in the Grubb-Wallace Building where you rode up in the brass elevator cage with a full time attendant.


The Whitehead Sanitorium at 303 N. Futon along with Dr. O.E. Stokes covered most of the block. The old Lowery Hospital at West Innes at North Ellis was responsible for most births. Our town also had nine billard parlors and one hatchery, Mr. Pittman, on Route 2. Who remembers all those who did their best to care for others during their hard times, past wars or the COVID years?


Try to take the terrible tales of toppled tombstones to the truthful task and trek toward troublesome trails of threats of toothless twisted traitors testing our tenacity. Or you can just walk away, René, unless you are hopelessly devoted. “And the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things entering in, choke the word and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). “Take me by the hand pretty mamma, all night long.”


While you are waiting to visit a patient, one a day please, a newly renovated display of nursing can be seen in the hallway to the left at RMH, built in 1934,. Lots of care goes on at Novant if you need it. So, take care of yourself or someone else if you care to. Care goes on, even if you don’t receive it, you can give it. And say thank you out loud to those who care enough to share.

Clyde lives in Salisbury.