Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh, how times have changed

In 1954, while working as a busboy at the Sun Valley Lodge, I needed a minor operation. I went to the Sun Valley Hospital, which was three rooms on the third floor of the Lodge, where Averill Harriman paid Drs. Saviers and Moritz to work on me. I was 22 and walked from the surgery back to the dormitory.

Last week, at the age of 78, I had to go to the hospital again. This time, it was the emergency room of St. Luke's at 4 a.m. I went lying down comfortably in the back of an ambulance with an attractive blond woman holding my gurney.

I had collapsed in my home and could not get up, even with the assistance of my poor wife, Shirley. This was suddenly the "for worse" part of her wedding vows. She dialed 911 and within two minutes a Sun Valley Police officer was in the bedroom with us. Had he been waiting in the kitchen when the call came in? Within three minutes, four paramedics stabilized me. They weren't going to shoot me, after all. I tell you, nicer people had never been in my bedroom. Then came the pleasure of the emergency room itself. The doctors and nurses and technicians went about their business with such professionalism, confidence and friendship, none without a smile. They gave me a battery of tests, confirmed I was simply dehydrated and gave me an IV and water and juice to drink. I was pushed to the door by none other than the wife of the mayor of Ketchum. I guess the governor's wife didn't have time to get there. I was told to drink lots of liquids, which sounded like a good idea, but I soon learned that Jack Daniel's was not an acceptable liquid.

We are lucky to live in such a wonderful place. Thank you St Luke's, Ketchum paramedics and Sun Valley police.

Saul Turteltaub

Sun Valley

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