Threshing The Wheat From The Chaff


| May/June 1973



This was the 'Year of no Christmas' for us. Beginning the first day of the Christmas Holiday Seasonal time for joy, health and the exuberance of good feeling toward all, I came down with the London Flu, and the following day the wife did likewise. It was the worst ordeal we had ever gone through. Five or six days and nights of fever, sitting in a chair with our feet propped up, our heads feeling like they were squeezed in a vise. Although we tried to stagger around and cook what was to be our Christmas dinner, when we sat down at the table we didn't even have the strength left to chew our food. Now and then I'd slip my one foot off the hassock, and onto our cat, Buster, to see if he was there. And he'd reply with a soft 'Meow' to reassure and comfort me by his presence. He was the only well 'person' in the house, and I wouldn't have blamed him had he left us for a more cheerful yuletide atmosphere. During this time I grew some chin-whiskers which must have matched those of Gabby Hayes in a non-rated nickel matinee western.

Following this ordeal, for five or six nights I couldn't sleep, from phlegm in my chest. All I did was stare up at the tongue-and-groove ceiling I had put up this Fall, and it stared back at my fevered brain. Finally the wife tuned in on an old Dick Van Dyke re-run, and I became so bored I actually bowed my head and dozed off a bit. It was the first sleep I'd had in a week of walking the floors at night. Now I know the therapeutic value of boring T-V re-runs, for from that instant on I began re-learning the healing art of sleeping the restful sleep that heals.

During our ordeal our minds were so fuzzy that we sent out half our Christmas cards before Christmas, hoping to finish the last half after our fever. But when we resumed, we again sent to the same ones which explains why some of our friends received two cards and others received none. And it was well after New Years that we finally wound up sending what we did send. Even then we couldn't recall who we had sent to, and who we didn't. But by that time it didn't matter anyway.

What really bugs me is that Dr. Reuben, director of the so-called Disease Control Center in Atlanta, Georgia, laughed about the London Flu, during a recent interview on the NBC Today Show. He said, 'Oh, you just have a couple days of coughing and fever, like any flu, and you can treat it yourself with aspirin or even chicken soup,' laughed he.

Well, I don't think it's a laughing matter when over a thousand people died of the London Flu Bug, not to count all the suffering of those who lived through it. My sincere answer is that the laughing Dr. Reuben needs a goodly dose of the London Flu to sober him down to the responsibility of his profession. The only laughing matter I can see is a so-called 'Disease Control Center' that not only did not control the disease, but didn't even report a majority of the London Flu cases. And this, to everyone who lived through it, is no laughing matter.

But, despite our ordeal, we did have our bright moments of joy and hope. From John D. Benner, Jr., of Lancaster, Pa., I received the following: 'I had an interesting experience this past week that I believe the Lord had a part in. I was looking for a nice job for over a year and was about to give up hope when I came across an ad for part-time help to assemble machinery at Champion Blower and Forge Company here in town.'