The doctor is in

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 27, 2004

I am going to introduce you to a doctor who is the delight of the women in my retirement center. Wonder why? He is charming; cheerful and pleasant; but what’s very important is the fact that he’s available. Ever know a doctor you can see the same day you need help? I wouldn’t bet on it!

I know you’re anxious to meet this paragon of care and devotion. Patience please.

Don’t fret ladies. I’ll introduce you. His name is Dr. Desmond John Longfold, a fine Irish lad. He is married to Rosemarie McCurry and they are parents to four children, two of each.

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All who wondered why I chose Dr. Longfold to write about? Just be patient and I’ll explain. He’s the pride and joy of Magnolia Manor. Now I suppose you’ll want to know about that. You make it so hard for me. Magnolia Manor is a retirement and assisted living center. I live there. It’s in Smithfield. On we go-everyone likes Dr. Longfold as I already told you. You must learn to listen.

Since I’m Irish, I found myself learning about the land of my ancestors. To begin, (I’ll get back to you, doctor), at one time they elected as Prime Minister a Spaniard named de Valera. The whole of Europe asked, &uot;Why?&uot; He seemed to rule Ireland at a time when Irish Prime Ministers were mostly ignored. You heard a lot about him both in America and in Europe. But I digress.

I started to write about the good doctor. As a small boy he went to Irish elementary school and for high school off to England. He graduated and was college bound. Right away I said, &uot;Trinity College?&uot; Nope! While I trembled to think anyone would bypass Trinity off to England again and then to medical school. I did mention his dad was a doctor, didn’t I? He was, but in Ireland. In medical school he (Desmond) was interested in the proven things and not too much in what you worked in the every day aspects of the studies. He had just met a girl, her field pediatrics. They married in England, practiced in Ireland until Doctor had a call from Dr. Jameson in Smithfield, Virginia: &uot;Come and join me.&uot; There were only two doctors here then. After a while three more came. In 1999 he joined the Manor. So he’s ours.

We aren’t rich-we just made the mistake of growing old, something forced on us that we can’t exchange. Dr. Longfold takes care of us. It’s nice to go to a doctor who is not boring, and doesn’t send an enormous bill. He pats you on the shoulder or the arm, and then sees what’s wrong. I told him he’s a patter. Make sense? He knows a great deal of Irish history, mentions certain things by the year, and explains in terms of northern and southern Ireland. In 1929, he was born. He became a Catholic because his parents were. Now he’s sort of retired as he calls it.

Maybe he’ll always be sort of retired. I hope he remains. Suits me fine. Ireland’s loss is our gain and I hope if they have more like him, they’ll send them. We’ll pay postage. Good doctors are hard to find. We found one.

Florence Arena is a regular News-Herald columnist.