Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Googling a tribute to my Grandfather

My Grandpa, Dr R.A.F. Jack, passed away a few months ago, aged 89. It was a comfort at his funeral to see how highly regarded he was in the community and beyond: as well as being the village doctor for close to half-a-century, he was a respected and well-loved elder in our church, and he was known in the medical field for his work with homeopathy.

Though he pre-dated the internet by many years, when I googled his name, I turned up several references. Admittedly, these results were somewhat drowned out by pages referring to a certain aviationary body born two years before him. But once I’d filtered those out, I found a few gems.

I discovered that Amazon stock his book, Homeopathy in General Practice, currently number 1,252,945 on their Best Seller list. I found a bibliography of his other published works. Then there was a magazine article about his work written by an appreciative patient. She records his unorthodox method of checking that she wasn’t suffering from a trapped nerve – putting a sandbag under her knee, and bouncing another on top!

And finally, in the Letters page of the British Medical Journal from June 1955 I found this:

Redundant Circulars
Dr. R. A. F. JACK (Bromsgrove) writes: My young family have
helped me to-deal with the surfeit of advertisements that daily
swell my morning post. The elder two, who by now have lost
all interest in opening them, content themselves with collecting
the stamps and bemoan the fact that so many envelopes these
days are franked. -They then pass them on to the younger two,
who, armed with a pair of scissors each, cut out patterns or any
interesting figures or illustrations that take their fancy. They
preserve all blotters for me; and all large white envelopes that
can be ungummed are put aside for subsequent painting practice
or for conversion into paper darts. The result is that my wife and
I get an extra quarter of an hour's peace each morning, so that in
one way or another we all benefit from the unremitting onslaught
of the various drug houses.

The eldest of the two stamp collectors mentioned is my Dad, now himself a GP, and semi-retired!


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