Photographer: Manolo L B Mantero
We were just about through with a pediatrician, my sister and me. We’d moved from the Upper West Side in the ‘80’s off Bway to 103rd st before my pre-teen years.
Finding a family doctor was simple; he worked in the ground floor of our building.
Many recollections of my doctor visits are clear and well preserved. He was a fine doctor and a decent man. His nurses were kind, friendly and took a liking to all of us.
Dr. B cared for my health from a gawky young girl into my adulthood. Small gems of wisdom were slipped in during visits. He was genuine, a doctor in the widest sense. It wasn’t until years later that I had gone over some of these memories and I am delighted by my experience, it’s uniqueness and, more broadly, the way in which I was raised.
Dr. B died 4 years ago, a loving husband and father, a notable figure in his profession and an African American.
Just before leaving for college I scheduled my check-up with Dr. B. His office was now down the block, a little larger to accommodate his ever-growing following. In the waiting room it was the first time that I’d noticed I was the only white person. It was simply a quick mental note, a snapshot I’d taken before sitting down with my book and keeping my nerves in check for the imminent blood to be drawn from my arm. Warm smiles passed between the nurses, the same nurses, and me and I set about waiting.
Jewels of memory inform me of what I came from and who I am.
© Leslie I Partridge Sachs