Support Ken

Click here to support Ken Steinhoff through your Amazon purchases.

Purchases made at Amazon.com from that link put 6% of the total transaction price in Dad's pocket at no additional cost to you. You're going to shop online anyway, right? Do it through Amazon.com to support this web site.

Or, if you'd rather just send him a random amount of money, you can do that too...







Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.


Dr. Herbert Is the Reason I Can’t Eat Popsicles

Ken Steinhoff in front of Dr. Charles T. Herbert’s office

Ken Steinhoff on steps of Dr. Charles T Herberts Office 337x600 Dr. Herbert Is the Reason I Cant Eat Popsicles

A little white building that struck fear in my heart

Dr. Charles T. Herbert had an office in a small, white brick building at 824 Good Hope St., directly across from St. Francis Hospital. That was the place where my parents took me for all my vaccinations, school exams, Boy Scout camp physicals and for coughs and sniffles.

I was prone to sore throats, so I’d get hauled off to see Dr. Herbert and his nurse, Miss Mohr, several times a year. [Note: I originally spelled the name Moore, but consensus seems to be building that the correct spelling is Mohr. I’ll make the change, but I’m wishy-washy enough to change it back if the tide turns.]

I’d sit on this table that was covered with something like waxed paper and wait my fate. Eventually, he’d bustle into the room with the scary reflector thing on his head and reach for the tongue depressor.

Open W-I-D-E, here comes the depressor

That tongue depressor was made out of an unsanded 2×4. After about a half an hour of peering this way and that way, making “Uh huh and Hmmmm” sounds, he’d reach into a glass container that looked like a malt glass and extract a 12-foot-long cotton swab that he’d dip into Mercurochrome.

Putting all his weight on the tongue depressor which has been sandpapering my tongue, he’d jam that swab so far down your throat that I thought my toenails would be coated red. Then, he’d work it around like he was churning butter.

To this day, I can’t eat a Popsicle or anything else on a wooden stick. Some folks cringe when they hear fingernails on a chalk board. I don’t know if a tongue can cringe, but that’s what happens when mine is confronted with a wooden stick of any kind. Shivers are going up and down my spine right now just thinking about it.

Out of the Past

There was a note in The Southeast Missourian’s Out of the Past Column on Sept. 3, 2009, that mentioned the office:

25 years ago: Sept. 3, 1984

Dr. John M. Freeze, Cape Girardeau dentist, has purchased one-half of a building at 2857 Independence St., from Dr. Charles T. Herbert, whose offices occupy the other half; Freeze is relocating his office to the new space.

My mother thought that Dr. Herbert moved to Florida after he retired.

Dr. Herbert’s office in 2001

Dr. Charles T. Herbert office 2001 500x320 Dr. Herbert Is the Reason I Cant Eat Popsicles

So, what’s the story about Mercurochrome?

It dawned on me that I can’t remember the last time I saw a bottle of Mercurochrome. It used to be a staple in Boy Scout first aid kits for cuts and scrapes. My grandson, Malcolm, is a walking petri dish and a spreader of Plague, but I haven’t heard his parents mention him getting his throat swabbed.

Someone else had asked that very question, “What happened to Mercurochrome?”

You’re dating yourself, pops. Few under age 30 have ever heard of this stuff. In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared that Mercurochrome, generically known as merbromin, was “not generally recognized as safe and effective” as an over-the-counter antiseptic and forbade its sale across state lines. A few traditionalists complained: Whaddya mean, not generally recognized as safe? Moms have been daubing it on their kids’ owies since the Harding administration! But the more reasonable reaction was: It’s about time.

For many years the FDA, faced with the task of regulating thousands of pharmaceuticals and food additives, many of which long predated federal oversight, has maintained the so-called GRAS (generally recognized etc) list, originally compiled as a way of grandfathering in products like Mercurochrome that had been around for ages and hadn’t hurt or killed a noticeable number of people. Recognizing that from a scientific standpoint such a standard left a lot to be desired, the FDA has been whittling away at the unexamined products on the GRAS list over time. Mercurochrome and other drugs containing mercury came up for scrutiny as part of a general review of over-the-counter antiseptics that began in 1978, and for good reason–mercury in large enough doses is a poison that harms the brain, the kidneys, and developing fetuses. While no one’s offered evidence of mass Mercurochrome poisoning, the medical literature contains scattered reports of mercury toxicity due to use of the antiseptic, and these days the burden of proof is on drug manufacturers to show that their products’ benefits outweigh the risks.

I sure wish the FDA had come to that conclusion about 55 years ago and saved me from a lifetime of Popsicle deprivation.

71 comments to Dr. Herbert Is the Reason I Can’t Eat Popsicles

  • Linda Suedekum

    Oh my gosh.
    Dr Herbert was something else. I went to him when I was in 3rd grade. My dad noticed that I had turned in knees. On my visit to Dr Herbert, he took my shoes and twisted them and told my mom to get me a (explicitve) decent pair of shoes. I had to wear saddle oxfords with steel in them. I hated those shoes. I wetn to Franklin school at that time, I had my friends pull me down the blacktoped hill to try to wear them out!

  • Rodger Meinz

    I recall those 4ft wide, wooden sticks…and, if memory serves, he handed out one of those planks at visit’s end, dipped in some sort of molasses concoction that was supposed to be tasty….but, what I most recall about Dr. Herbert was that he made house-calls….talk about dating yourself!

  • Preston "Pep" Foster

    Ditto to Ken and Rick. Dr. Charlie Tom Herbert spent his final years in and around the Big Bear area of Kentucky Lake, and was a close friend and fishing partner to Jack Baker who was owner and proprietor of the Moors resort in Benton, KY up to the late 1980’s. My deadly allergy to penicillin and any near derivative is, according to an allergist, probably derived from overdoses of penicillin during my early years. “The gift that keeps on giving.”

  • I missed the steel shoes, but I wore orthopedic shoes with inserts because I was slightly knock-kneed, as they called it back then.

    Buster Brown shoes from a store down on Main Street. I was disappointed because my Mother wouldn’t let me stick my feet in the X-ray machine to see my toes.
    I think that lasted until about the sixth grade.

    I had forgotten Dr. Herbert’s colorful vocabulary. You’re right. His bedside manner was a bit brusque, to put it mildly.

  • I vaguely remember those “rewards” sticks, but I probably never licked one after he gave me my wooden stick phobia.

    I don’t know if he ever made a house call to see me or my brothers. My parents both had transportation, so they probably just threw our bodies in the car and hauled us in. I feel safer thinking that maybe he didn’t know where I lived.

  • Preston "Pep" Foster

    Upon further reflection; Can anyone identify the disinfectant cmell (carboilic acid?) which was used in C.T. Herbert’s office and waiting room? I can remember the whiff of aroma entering the front door as a distant early warning of dire things to come. That, kids, is Pavlov’s bell, the olfactory equivalent.
    I can clearly remember walking up to Ms. Mohr’s sepulchral greeting, and then having to walk “The Green Mile” down that hall to the examining rooms (with the aforementioned waxed paper covering). White lab coats don’t do a lot for me, either!

  • Jerrette Davis Hobson

    I always thought Dr. Herbert was what the devil looked like. I was ill as a child so I spent many hours at Dr. Herbert,or Dr. Reynolds office. Miss Moore made those flavored tounge depresser at home. The health department would have a fit today.
    Dr Herbert did have a very “colorful” vocabulary.I had taken my son into the office and just as I sat down Dr. Herbert called me back to his office.As I walked in Dr. said to the lady in his office I,d like you to meet one of my little shi-tasses. I could have fallen through the floor.
    I always disliked a visit from or to the Dr.but both Herbert and Reynolds saved my life when I was about six
    The throat swabb was made with iodine and glycern.
    Thanks again for all the memories. It,s funny how even unpleasant things seem warm and fuzy as we get older..

    jerrette

  • Pep calls Dr. Herbert’s nurse Miss Mohr; I spelled it like it sounded, “Moore.”

    I suspect Pep may be right. Anyone want to set me straight?

    • Chuck Blitstein

      Just a view of Dr. Herbert’s office immediately conjures up many memories; e.g., do we really have to go in? Ken, Pep is right; we believe the correct spelling is Miss Mohr. Rick is right, as well: Dr. Herbert did, in fact, make house calls. Mary says whenever she saw Dr. Herbert’s car pull up, she knew she was going to get a shot. My Mother used to tell of the time when someone was very sick, Larry, I, or both, and she had to “track down” Dr. Herbert at the country club. He was not of the same mindset re the severity of the situation and said he would see us the next day at his office. My mother suggested that if he couldn’t make it to the house, then she would bring us to the country club. Pouring on that southern charm it was … Now, now Mrs. Blitstein, no need to do that, I’ll be over. He did come by that night and I imagine his shots were given with great gusto, then!

      Like many of us, we brought another generation of patients to Dr. Herbert notwithstanding that we never lived in Cape. When “home” for the 10-year reunion in Aug ’73 we took our daughter to Dr. Herbert, evidence is a check for $2 payable to Dr. C. T. Herbert, insurance co-pay, maybe? I found the check in Lori’s file, not certain why I kept it other than sentimental reasons, I guess.

      We had heard that Dr. Herbert retired to Tallahassee, FL; maybe that was before Kentucky Lake, as Pep points out. Pep, you must have been well if you went in the front door; I remember the sign … Sick children use side door. I never could understand that, if you were well, you went in the front door, if sick, you used the side door, but didn’t we all wind up in or near the same place? And that smell! You’re right, Pep; obviously an antiseptic of some sort yet different from other offices.

      While I have no aversion to popsicles, to this day I have great difficulty swallowing medication without food; wonder if the root cause could be gag reflex experiences with tongue depressors, caramel coated or not?

      Ken, I think Buckner’s had an X-ray machine but are you talking about Gaylor’s Shoe Store on Main Street? They definitely sold Buster Brown shoes.

      Thanks for another great trip down memory lane.

  • Chuck,

    It’s funny that I don’t remember the Dr. Herbert office smell. Maybe I made a conscious effort to start shutting down all my senses as soon as we pulled up in front of the building.

    GAYLOR’S. That’s the one.

    Stick around. I found some pictures of a Fluoroscope machine that I’m going to post in a few minutes.

  • Mark Steinhoff

    I remember the sign on the side door that was relegated to sick children only, but we were never sick enough to have to go through it.

    I always thought that Dr. Herbert looked like a cross between Walt Disney and Walter Cronkite. Whenever we would go for a sore throat we would end up in his office and he would ask,”If you want to get better, then stop drinking that snot soup, blow your nose!” and we would of course assure him that would do exactly that.

    Despite the stern appearance that Ms. Mohr presented, she diid have on of the best gardens in her backyard. She lived in a corner house on Independence and had a huge iris garden that could be seen from the road.

    I also remember standing on the porch of Dr. Herbert’s office and watching all the hubbub across the street at the hospital when actor James Arness (Matt Dillion of Gunsmoke) came to town and visited the hospital.

  • brenda lapp

    I so enjoyed your pictures of Dr. Herbert’s office and the thoughts about him. He was our pediatrician also. How vividly I remember sitting in the waiting room agonizing over when I’d have to face Miss Moore(Mohr?) with her authoritative voice directing Mama and me to a room with the instruction,”Strip to the waist.” I don’t know which was worse…sitting on the table stripped to the waist waiting for his arrival or hearing the gruff comments that I knew were sure to follow. I think my mother was equally intimidated by Dr. Herbert. He once told my brother to call on his own when he was sick because my mother didn’t have enough sense to call before the illness was advanced.

    My mother often told the story of how embarrassed she was when Miss Moore(Mohr?) offered me a molasses lollipop(made on a tongue depressor) and I said I’d rather have some candy corn. By the way, I believe that it was William rather than Independence where she lived.

    When I was growing up, my parents owned the Idan-Ha Hotel. One night when I was in the lobby, who should I see coming in the door but Dr. Herbert!!!! I remember running and screaming through the lobby and the hallway to hide in the ladies’ room close to the Rainbow Room until my mother caught up to me and convinced me that he was not “coming to get me.” He was coming to attend a banquet or eat in the coffee shop, I guess, but the reason for his visit had nothing to do with my siblings or me. After this incident, Dr. Herbert called me “Fireball” whenever he saw me. He said that “Brenda” means “branded by fire” so he thought the name was fitting.

    Do not misunderstand my childish fears. My family had much respect for Dr. Herbert’s medical expertise despite his less than pleasant bedside manner.

    Many was the time that Dr. Herbert came to our home when my sister, brother, or I was sick, sometimes very late at night. When I was in the Fourth Grade I had a serious kidney disease. During that time, he came every day at first because I had to have a shot daily, then several times a week. He had given orders that I was to stay in bed with no physical activity other than getting up to go to the bathroom and no excitement, not even television. After a few days of this, Daddy took pity on me and brought home a portable television from the hotel for me to watch from my bed. Once Mama had to run upstairs to move the TV from my room when he arrived earlier than expected.

    When I was doing my student teaching at the college Campus School, Dr. Herbert’s step-daughter was in my Fifth Grade class. I don’t know if his first wife died or if they were divorced.

    Dr. Herbert was certainly a colorful character! I remember him fondly and with gratitude for the medical care we received.

    Kenny, thank you so much for the work you do to find, post, and identify your pictures, and writing with such wit and familiarity. Your endeavor has afforded me many fond memories.

  • Sheila Hopkins Phillips

    Ken,
    You are bringing back soooo many memories with your fine writing and excellent photography!
    Thank you.
    Sheila

  • Sheila and Brenda,

    I’m blushing. Thanks for the compliments.

    Feel free to jump in and share your memories of Cape with the group. That’s what’s making it fun. To see if others remember things the same way that I did.

  • Ken Trowbridge

    I still remember the time Dr. Herbert made a house call to see me about my chronic sore throat. Of course, the tongue depressors and Mercurochrome swabs were soon produced. After I bit off about 3 or 4 of those 2×4 depressors, my mom produced an old GI surplus steel mess-kit spoon to use to pry my recalcitrant mouth open. AfterI dented the spoon with my clenched teeth, Dr Herbert pronounced that if I was well enough to do that, I probably didn’t need my throat painted after all…. Guess you win one once in a while.

    • Good Grief Trowbridge (of all people), Dr. Herbert, Dr. Elrod, Dr. Reynolds, all had a lot to do with my early years…Dr. Elrod delivered me across the street, Dr. Herbert was my doctor for years, Dr. Reynolds took my tonsils out, again, across the street, and we drove to Cape from Bernie!!! I got to go to old Doc Waddle in Dexter if it wasn’t too bad, I do remember the tongue depressors with hard candy on the one end, not too bad, but the wooden stick feeling still exists to this day, just like you two, regards to Cape and all, later, kkr

  • Linda Fowler

    I found these “Dr. Herbert” comments/stories by accident trying to find out when he died. Does anyone remember the clowns in the exam room at the end of the hall? My 40 year old daughter still has a clown phobia. I am over 60 and was his patient as a child and took my 2 children to him until his retirement. I have enjoyed and chuckled at the comments, brought back old memories.
    To clarify, Mrs. Mohr did live on William Street, she and Dr. Herbert were in the military together I believe.

    He was colorful and a little unconventional but his practices worked for me and my kids. I still offer some of his “remedies” for my grandchildren.
    What year did he die?

    • Here’s the obit that ran in The Southeast Missourian.

      He died in Tallahassee, FL, Feb. 13, 1997, at his home. He was 87.

      He started practice in Cape in 1937 and was a medical officer in North Africa in World War II. He retired in 1980.

      I don’t have a clown phobia, but I’m not particularly fond of them. Maybe I’ve had better luck than your daughter at repressing those memories.

    • Linda,

      I have an important update that may bring comfort to your daughter.

      I was driving by Dr. Herbert’s office this afternoon (it’s been painted orange, by the way), when I saw a woman sitting outside the building. She said that she lived there. She didn’t seem to know a whole lot about the history of the building.

      Just as I turned to leave, I asked if she had seen any pictures of clowns on the walls. She said that walls had been painted before they moved in.

      The good news is that the clowns are gone.

      The bad news is that they are still there, hiding, waiting for someone to strip off the paint that’s covering them.

      Maybe you shouldn’t share that last thought with your paranoid daughter.

  • Dixie Allan

    I too was a patient of Dr. Herbert. I am 67 years old and he also took care of my two children. I absolutely loved him but have since found out that is unusual. I didn’t like to have my throat “swabbed” but loved Dr. Herbert. Now, Mrs. Mohr was another story – I was really afraid of her. I later found out it was Mrs. Mohn that dipped his tongue depressors in caramel for all the children!

  • Ken Trowbridge

    Dr. Herbert may have been “unconventional”, but I really think we could use more like him. He took the time to think about what ailed you rather than just run some “tests”…

  • Cory Foster

    I seem to recall that following years of using mercurochrome for sore throats, Dr. Herbert changed to use of silver iodide (also formerly used extensively in photography). It was truly awful stuff, but it did seem to clear up a sore throat in one application. Either that or I just lied about how much it hurt so that I didn’t have to get a second dose so soon after the first one.

    Many years after my last encounter with Dr. Herbert, I developed an interest in architecture, especially the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright – prairie, arts and crafts, et al – and I always thought back to Dr. Herbert’s office (and the old Luedders photo studio after it moved farther west on Broadway, I think)…the built-in sofas/benches, the large tables. the use of glass blocks.

    Thanks, Ken. Great stuff – obviously touching a lot of people.

  • Cory,

    Are you talking about Leuder’s Studio at 427 Broadway, near the Rialto? That’s the only place I can remember it being.

    I took a photo of the building back in the fall. I’ll dig it out and do a little more digging. I think I brought back one of my Dad’s scrapbooks that has pictures of Paul Leuders and my dad running around when they were in high school at Central. They were both members of what was called the Kodak Club.

    After I heard that Mr. Leuders had died, I was concerned about what was going to happen to his treasure trove of Cape Girardeau pictures. He and Frony were the two people most responsible of documenting Cape for generations.

    I was relieved to hear that his collection is at SEMO.

    Leuders was the portrait photographer against whom I judged all others. He was a master technician and a genuinely nice guy.

  • Ken Trowbridge

    I don’t mean to quibble about chemistry (that was best done in Mr. O’Loughlin’s class), but I’m informed by my mother (who ought to know, she drug me in to Dr. Herbert often enough) that it was silver nitrate that Dr. Herbert used. The stuff is extremely caustic and can be used to cauterize wounds. Gah. I gag at the memory…

  • I always assumed it was Mercurochrome because that’s what my mother used at home for throat swabbing. It smelled and tasted the same as Dr. Herbert’s elixir of pain. Her touch was about as deft at Dr. Herbert’s. Both of them had a sadistic streak when it came to sore throats.

    Ahh, the snap of a rubber glove and the sight of a tongue depressor. Both are things better left unthought of.

    Maybe I should start a Facebook fan page, “Did Dr. Herbert ever swab your throat?”

  • Sheila Hopkins Phillips

    Well, I just finished off two yummy banana popsicles, thankfully before I re-visited your blog, Ken.
    I must be confused between Herbert and Brunton. I thought it was Brunton’s wife was gave me on of those molasses covered sticks after I was walked in a trance by Brunton to the front area. Later, I thought it odd that, since I was told to cut back on candy that candy is the very thing I received from the dentist.
    So, I got the candy stick from Herbert after all, and a got mercurochrome swabbings from him as well; nasty taste. The article you showed had an ironic statement, . . .”mercurochrome. . .hadn’t killed a noticeable number of people. . . .WELL, that is so reassuring; in other word, some people died from the poison, while others did not–well hot damn; we’re survivors. Where did people like this train, in the Nazi medical and dental camps??
    We made it through our young years alive, however, with all the germs there were around, without Lysol wipes and sprays (which I do use extensively in my house). I do believe we “Boombers” are a tough bunch– survivors, achievers, and I am proud to be of the “Boomer Generation.”

  • charlie

    I vaguely remember going to the doctor in that building in the late 60’s early 70’s. But I couldn’t remember who the doctor was. Growing up I remember going to Dr. Kinder in the Medical Arts building and he always heard cats in my ears.

  • Sheila Hopkins Phillips

    AHA! Perhaps now I know the reason why I DO NOT LIKE CLOWNS! TO ME THEY BODE ILL; THEY ARE FRIGHTENING! Gee, thanks to memory too, Dr. H.!
    Ken, not even Dr. Herbert and the 2 X 4’s can keep me away from banana popsicles, although, when I eat two (I cannot stop at one)now I think of your experience and shiver a bit. That passes, and I go ahead and finish off my two banana popsicles.
    Sheila

  • Sheila Hopkins Phillips

    Ah, Yes, then there is Dr. Kinder to whom I took my three children in their young years. Dr. “BOWTIE/MR. ROGERS & MR. CONSERVATIVE” Kinder. I remained about two weeks ahead of what Dr. Kinder told me to do. My kids were tired of just milk; they needed that milked-down rice cereal to suck out of an “Infafeeder,” and then they were happy campers!
    Sheila

  • Sheila Hopkins Phillips

    Ken,
    You mentioned that now Dr. Herbert’s former office is painted orange. Actually, that orange paint is really layers of mercurochrome and iodine mixed to formulate an orange dye–quite gagging, actually.
    Spooky to think that those damnable clowns are still under the painted walls. . .
    Sheila

  • botkier handbags

    I am speechless. This is a great blog and very engaging too. Great work! That’s not really much coming from an amateur writer like me, but it’s all I could say after diving into your posts. Great grammar and vocabulary. Unlike other blogs. You really know what you’re talking about too. So much that you made me want to explore more. Your blog has become a stepping stone for me, my friend. Thanks for the articulate journey. I really enjoyed the 27 posts that I have read so far.

  • larry

    I just found this and it brought back many memories.
    i was a patient of Dr. Herbert’s until i was 18 in 1980.
    i went and visited him in in office to sign a form and also asked him to sign his name for me as a keepsake and he wrote in latin the english equivilant of ‘one teaspon of whiskey a day’. I still have it.

  • Janis Slinkard Ticer

    I also saw Dr. Herbert until I was about six. All I really remember are the candy sticks–I liked them; maybe because candy was a real treat for me. After Dr. Herbert, I saw Dr. John T. Crowe–also a colorful character and I loved him! Enjoyed reading comments from Pep and Cory–have wondered about them over the years. Chuck, I really liked your story about the country club. Maybe weill see each other at a reunion again sometime.

  • Stephanie Daniel Bunton

    I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say that these posts are really hilarious – not the illnesses themselves, of course, but the detailed descriptions of the Doc, Nurse, Office and Meds are a hoot!

  • Jean Hengst-Freeman

    Awww, memories of Doc Herbert. My husband Don and I were great friends of him and his second wife Libby. We would go down to Kentucky Lake with him and we’d have to stop at a few “taverns” before we got there. I was pregnant with my little surprise, but Doc (I always called him just Doc, not Charles and he’d always call me gal)would say “well gal, all you can have is half a beer”. Then he’d give me that big old laugh of his.

    The first time I was over to the “cabin”, which would probably sleep 8 people comfortably, I thought oh, this is a nice “cabin”. I wouldn’t mind having one like it. Don and Doc would get up early and then Libby and then I’d finally drag out to the kitchen, get my cup of coffee and join everyone on the deck that overlooked the lake. Doc would look at me with my hair all toussled and say “well, good morning sunshine..it’s about damn time you got up”. He was really a funny fellow if you got to know him personally.

    I have so many great memories of him and Libby, I could fill up this page. But….you either loved him or hated him. I’ve seen Doc rip a new a**hole for a mother that did not follow his instructions. He was really into preventive medicine before anyone else was.

    When my little surprise was born, here he comes in the door with a beer bottle wrapped in tin foil with a ribbon and a cigarette sticking out of the ribbon and inside the beer bottle was the biggest Peony I’d ever seen. He was a sweetheart and so was Libby. She was about 25 years younger than him if I remember correctly and they did retire to Florida.

    I sure do miss that old fart. LOL

  • Ginny johnston

    I also went to Dr Herbert and remember the tongue depressor. He was a great Dr and always knew right away what was wrong with me. God rest his soul, I’m sure.

  • Mary A Seyer

    Can’t believe I am just now reading this blog about Dr. Herbert which you wrote a year or so ago! He was my childhood doctor as well and most of my sibilings, and one of my childrens also. I loved him and his candy tongue depressors! They tasted like molasses to me but could have been caramel also. I do not remember the “spooky” clown you are talking about at the end of the hall, but I do remember Mrs. Mohr. I remember that my mom was worried that we would become bow-legged if we went barefoot and Dr. Herbert told her, toddlers do not need to wear shoes until they start to walk outside! So,I never bought shoes for my kids until they were able to do that! Thanks for the walk down memory lane, everyone. RIP! Dr. Herbert, you did well.

  • Mary Jo Feverston Shelton

    I can agree with everything that has been said about Ms. Mohr, Dr. Herbert and Dr. Reynolds. I made many, many trips to those two doctor’s offices with my daughter. How well I remember the swabbing with the silver nitrate–not just my daughter. Dr. Herbert would say to me “Open up, I can’t get her well if Mom is sick” and he really did swab to your toes…and it was really bad stuff but it worked.

  • Ken Roussel

    Yep, I got the “Buster Brown Shoe Treatment”, courtesy of Dr. Herbert, and the throat swabbing at least once!!!! BUT, I was in love with Ms.Mohr and her hard caramel tongue depressors!!!!, but I still get “the popsicle stick” reaction with whatever!!!!!Regards, molater, kkr

  • April

    Oh, my. I have heard of Dr. Herbert, and I know he was my doctor when I was a baby. Since I turned out to be one of those kids who were always getting sick I am SO grateful that my parent’s switched pediatricians before we got to the point that I can remember. MY childhood doctor visits all had Dr. Pinkstaff (really, wouldn’t you change your name) of Sikeston singing “April in Paris” to me. MUCH better. I was probably near the end of Dr. Herbert’s practice – maybe my parents switched because he retired?

    Somewhere between 10-15 years ago, Joe Craig bought and updated the Lueders building and ran it for awhile as a secondary photo studio, so I got to WORK in that building occassionally. I remember there was one small storage room in the basement in the NE corner that gave me the creeps. I never did figure out what it was about that one room I hated, but the rest of the building was awesome. Oh, and the bridal portrait of my mom that came from Lueders – wowser – beautiful.

  • April

    Okay, looking at the above comment better, we definitely switched doctors before he retired, but it WAS in his last decade.

  • Ruthie

    Ken, I never saw Dr. Herbert , the physician although I did go to his son the dentist. But I do remember mercurochrome. At least I remember a vile, burning dark colored antiseptic that would be applied to ouchies!

    • External ouchies were no problem. In fact, I can’t imagine being hauled off to Dr. Herbert for anything like that.

      Mother would faint at the sight of blood, although she was usually pretty good about getting the tourniquet on you before she crumpled to the floor.

      INTERNAL ouchies were phobia-creating.

  • Just imagine him coming to your house! I was so sick one time, he had to make a housecall! I really thought I was doomed! I hated his mustache more than anything!

  • Janet (Zickfield) Burns

    Ken, I love your photo blogs. This one certainly has gotten a lot of reaction.

    My memories of Dr. Herbert are a little different. When I had polio at three years, he came to our house, sized up the situation, and told my parents the hospital wards were pretty full and he thought they could manage my care at home. We lived near Southeast Hospital, and for awhile he visited our home almost every day. Under his direction, Mother bought a wringer washer and learned to do the Kenny treatments. I will never smell hot, wet wool without thinking of that. Because at first I was almost unbendable, Dad got inventive and worked with Cape Mattress to create a special pieced mattress that would allow me to stay flat while they bathed me etc. Eventually my parents took me to Barnes Hospital for an evaluation, but for some reason they and Dr. Herbert were dissatisfied. Warm Springs, Georgia, was renowned and very busy during those years. Dr. Herbert called Warm Springs, stayed on the line until he got the medical director off the golf course and to the phone, and somehow got me an appointment for an evaluation. Mother and I took the train, which for a four-year-old was a grand adventure. Looking back as a mother, I cannot imagine my mother’s emotions in taking that trip with me alone, trying to manage me with braces & crutches up and down the rocking train corridors, changing trains — and hoping things would somehow work out. Thanks to Dr. Herbert making quite a “splash” in the Warm Springs community, they knew who Mother was when we arrived, and after many x-rays, and much poking and prodding they agreed to accept me for treatment some months down the line. After that, when we weren’t staying there for a few weeks at a time, it was four quick trips a year for years, and finally after elementary school, “only” two trips a year.

    I must have gotten every childhood disease possible and some multiple times. Yes, I got my throat swabbed, too. And I remember the tongue depressors in the jar; but I still like popsicles. I don’t remember the clown on the wall. What I remember most was Dr. Herbert’s scent – pipe smoke and cologne – maybe Old Spice. I could smell him coming before he rounded a corner. We weren’t in his office much. I think Dr. Herbert felt bad for my mother who during that time didn’t drive. She had to get me with crutches & braces along with younger brother, Kent, into a cab to get to and from the office – which if I remember right had a couple of steps. Icing on the cake.

    Instead, he made home visits and sometimes did phone consults; the pharmacy delivered the medicine (those really were the days). But sometimes with the phone consults, Mother got to be a bit much for him. I can remember her going to the closet, getting out her big black medical book, and hunting thorough it. Sometimes she would decide she could handle whatever illness or injury we had. Other times she would call Dr. Herbert and say something like “She has a temperature of 100, her glands are swollen and there is a fine red rash on her face and chest. I think she has German measles.” The phone was in the hall, not far from my room and I could hear Dr. Herbert roar over the phone, “Woman, I AM THE DOCTOR! I’ll be there late this afternoon!!” And, to my grade-school amusement, much of the time his diagnosis agreed with hers.

    I got strep throat a lot. There was some kind of sulfa drug that came chocolate-flavored. It must not have been real chocolate, because I was allergic to chocolate. To my mind, to have something that I was allowed to have that looked like the chocolate I could not have and love, that tasted SOOOO bad was cruel and unusual punishment (worse by far than the tongue depressors!). After several rounds of that and other medicines, eventually my mother asked if perhaps I should have my tonsils out. Dr. Herbert practically exploded and said something like, “Tonsils are there for a reason and you don’t go jerking them out if you don’t have to.” He won that one; I still have my tonsils, and once I survived those childhood diseases I have been incredibly healthy as an adult. Now of course the prevailing wisdom is to keep tonsils.

    Looking back, there were a lot of things, for me at least, that that irascible man was correct about, and in many cases ahead of his time. I was and am very appreciative of his efforts and persistence on my behalf. He was the one who fought for better treatments for me when others said I would be in a wheelchair for life and never walk. Well, maybe I did not walk on two feet, but I sure did on four.

    When Mark and I planned to marry, Dr. Herbert was still my physician (yes, at 24!), and we went to see him. He told Mark that, yes, I could have children and then proceeded to tell him quite firmly that he had best treat me well. We invited him to our wedding, and I am proud to say he was there to see me walk down the aisle.

    • Great story and a much different perspective on Dr. Herbert.

      A Facebook friend was ranting about the dangers of vaccines on her page the other day. I told her she’s too young to have gone through the polio scares of the 50s. I’ll take my chance with vaccines, thank you very much.

  • Tom

    After reading through all of this about the late Dr Herbert, the following comes to mind. I wonder if anyone else remembers these.

    Right after he would finish swabbing your throat came the command, “Spit it out! Spit it out!” as if he himself knew how bad it was in the first place!

    Second, and not nearly so dramatic was what he wanted you to say when he was listening to your lungs with the stethoscope. “Nine Nine. Nine Nine.”

    I too was bed ridden when I was 5 years old with a severe case of tonsillitis. My white blood cell count was up so high that I was told I was on the verge of rheumatic fever which can damage the heart muscle. I was another one that was told not to have any excitement of any kind. No TV etc and missed almost 6 months of kindergarten because of my illness. I’m happy to report that I came through all of that with flying colors thanks to Dr Herbert and I think Dr Reynolds who kept my tonsils. =)

  • Richard Herbert

    Everything that I have just read is true, your research is great and an honor to him. He was his own man, but would move heaven earth (which as growing up with him I believe he could) to heal a child. He would come in from working on a child at the hospital all night, change and head to the office. On the Mercurochrome it was also contained 10% silver nitrate which would cauterize any strep throat which I used on my own child. You ought to have him as a father, many a time I would wake up in the morning with a needle in my arm or him swabbing my throat out. God help any mother who let her child go almost beyond help. The one thing that I really remember is when a mother rang our door bell with her baby in her arms convulsing,(our house was closer to her than the hospital)he then barked out orders for me to start chopping up a block of ice to put in the sink where he put the baby. When the baby cooled down, he then gave it a cool baking soda enema which brought the temperature down. He then told the mother that he was taking the baby to the hospital and for her to follow him to make sure that they would both get there alive. He then stated to her that she didn’t deserve to be the baby’s mother because she almost waited too long to help the baby. It was a real learning experience growing up having him as a father.

    Richard Herbert (Dr. Herbert’s son)

    • Thank you for your comments. As much as we kids feared him, he probably kept a lot of us alive at the time.

      If you read through all the comments, it’s obvious that none of us will forget him.

  • Dixie Allan

    I also was a patient of Dr. Herbert. Unlike so many of you I worshiped the man. I was never afraid of him but Nurse Mohr was another story. She scared me so bad until Dr. Herbert told me she was the one that dipped the tongue depressors in caramel. When I was expecting my first child I called his office to see if he would take my baby as a patient and of course he did but he had my husband and I come to his office before the baby was born because he wanted to meet the man I married. I guess he passed because he gave us orders on raising children. Anyway, I am so glad he was a part of our lives and I will never forget him.

  • Beverly Shell

    I just found this website about Dr. Herbert. I still blame my white coat syndrome I have today when I go to the doctor on Dr. Herbert and Miss Mohr. I would always beg my mother to let me stay in the car when she would take one of my brothers to see him because I knew he would “paint my throat” if he saw me in the waiting room even if I wasn’t sick. I would duck down under his office window when going in so he couldn’t see me. My brother was in his office and ran out to the car to hide and he came out to the car and gave him his shot. I don’t know who scared me the most him or nurse Mohr. My mother said he would have been the perfect doctor if only he had not cursed so much. Thank goodness I found a doctor later on that let me know there are sweet,kind,caring doctors like the late Dr. James Grable. Who knows I may not be here today without Dr. Herbert, but his name and the picture of that building still brings fear.

  • Dr. Herbert believed in the salt water treatment for children’s noses, and woe be unto a mother who took a sick child in to see him, without having subjected said infant to a proper drowning with his 1/4th tsp to a pint of sterilized water!
    The controversial part was the toddy, made with whiskey and lemon juice to break up the phlegm.
    He was a formidable presence, all right.

    • Salt water was the accepted way of opening up your nose in the days before Nostrilla, Afrin and the other long-lasting nose sprays.

      I think one of the reasons I’m a near teetotaler are those hot toddies. Turned me off booze.

      Wife Lila has been pouring hot tea and honey down me all day. It seems to be having a positive effect. Several naps have helped, too.

  • Thank you Ken,
    I loved the walk down memory lane. My daughters are now 42 and 40 and the name Dr. Herbert still gives them shivers. He was my Pediatrition and their doctor later. His first words to me before the first one was born was “I am not concerned with your feelings, but I am concerned about the health of your child” On two separate occasions, I got a chewing out. It was my fault for forgetting “the” rules. My daughters were still very young and I would bathe and get them dressed up to go to Cape Girardeau. The first thing they would ask is “Are we going to Dr. Herberts’ office”? I was always honest and would say yes. Their next question was ALWAYS “Is he going to paint my throat”? I would always say “I’m not sure”. Even though they were very frightened of him, I trusted him completely with their care. I knew that he really cared, never ordered unnecessary, expensive tests and has on numerous occasions checked on them at night and would see them on weekends if he felt he needed to. Gone are the days when you got that kind of treatment. After all these years we still use some of his home remedies. We were plagued with chronic sore throats, so we were always douching the nose with salt water, adding whiskey to hot lemonade or Pepsi for coughs etc. I look back now and have many memories of how after the throat painting and usually Penicillin shots that in just a couple of days they were almost back to normal. The one shot saved lots of whining about liquis meds that you took for 10 days or so. Thank you Dr. Herbert. Thank you Ken for the articles, I really appreciate the great job you do.

  • Emily Simpson Wigger

    Enjoyed the post regarding Dr. Herbert, he delivered me and was my Dr. for many, many years. The posts brought back many memories. I read the one by Richard Herbert, his son, and wondering where Tom Herbert is these days. I was not aware of a Richard, somehow I thought Tom was an only child. If memory serves me right, I think Tom became a dentist.

  • Jan Dunham

    Ken, if I’m not mistaken, Homer Gilbert, who worked at Gaylors, is the one who fitted kids with the orthopedic shoes. His daughter Sarah and I were best friends. Sarah was also a patient I’d Dr Herbert.

  • Such a cool thread. I just noticed my vaccination record in my baby book with CT’s signature. I’m feeling kind of proud to have his official signature after reading the posts.
    I read w/ amusement Ken’s description of the throat exam. What I did notice that was absent from the thread was any comment regarding the “E” treatment. I guess if Dr. Herbert wasn’t carry out an assault on one end of your anatomy, he was ordering an assault on the other end b/c if you had a temperature above 103, your parents were ordered to execute the “enema.” I always wondered if Dr. Kinder’s patients were subjected to the mercurochrome and enema cures.
    My sister Emily, whom Dad characterized as having a “fireball” personality, always managed to disarm Dr. H’s formidable demeanor. When she refused a shot, he told her (oh so nicely) she could kick him in the rear if it actually “hurt.” She followed up with a swift kick to his derriere.
    Dr. Herbert’s first wife occasionally commissioned a baked, homemade cake from my mother, which CT picked up on his way home. He took those occasions to peer down at our table and evaluate the nutritional elements of our dinner meal.
    One of the pleasant aspects of a Dr. Herbert office visit was the beautiful inlaid tile floor that I think had images from nursery school books? Correct? Anyone remember or have a pic of this?
    Well, God bless Dr. Herbert for all of our wonderful memories. Although I thought he looked like the devil incarnate, I think we can rest assured he crossed the pearly gates with his medical bag in tow to a blessed angelic realm.

  • Ken, not sure I hit the post button 1st time, so disregard if I did and this is a 2nd
    Such a cool thread. I just noticed my vaccination record in my baby book with CT’s signature. I’m feeling kind of proud to have his official signature after reading the posts.
    I read w/ amusement Ken’s description of the throat exam. What I did notice that was absent from the thread was any comment regarding the “E” treatment. I guess if Dr. Herbert wasn’t carry out an assault on one end of your anatomy, he was ordering an assault on the other end b/c if you had a temperature above 103, your parents were ordered to execute the “enema.” I always wondered if Dr. Kinder’s patients were subjected to the mercurochrome and enema cures.
    My sister Emily, whom Dad characterized as having a “fireball” personality, always managed to disarm Dr. H’s formidable demeanor. When she refused a shot, he told her (oh so nicely) she could kick him in the rear if it actually “hurt.” She followed up with a swift kick to his derriere.
    Dr. Herbert’s first wife occasionally commissioned a baked, homemade cake from my mother, which CT picked up on his way home. He took those occasions to peer down at our table and evaluate the nutritional elements of our dinner meal.
    One of the pleasant aspects of a Dr. Herbert office visit was the beautiful inlaid tile floor that I think had images from nursery school books? Correct? Anyone remember or have a pic of this?
    Well, God bless Dr. Herbert for all of our wonderful memories. Although I thought he looked like the devil incarnate, I think we can rest assured he crossed the pearly gates with his medical bag in tow to a blessed angelic realm.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>