I just read in the newspaper that my childhood pediatrician is retiring.
As a child, my yearly checkups in the Bay Area were a summer rite. Since my mom was a teacher, I would get my visits to the doctor, the dentist and the optometrist every summer (late 1970s/early 1980s), using her health care coverage.
My mom had asked my aunt for recommendations for a good pediatrician. My aunt, who lived in Hong Kong, but summered in Los Altos, recommended Dr. Zamvil. (I think she may have taken her sons there too.) So we went to see him once and liked him enough to make the trek from Oakland to Middlefield Road every year. Dr. Zamvil was very kindly, and I looked forward to my annual checkups with him, although I remember hating the TB test with the four pinpricks into my forearm. And although he was probably only in his 50’s at the time, I had this impression of him being very old.
Fast forward to 1992. I was attending Berkeley. One day I was driving down Middlefield Road to a funeral home (my aunt’s father had passed away.) I passed his office and saw the “Louis Zamvil” sign there.
“Wow,” I though to myself. “He’s still practicing?”
Today, I live in Mountain View, but I still go to the same dentistry and optometry practices in the East Bay that I went to as a kid. My original dentist in Oakland, Dr. Mogensen retired and sold his practice to Dr. Fong in the mid- 1990s. My original optometrist Dr. Sucher tragically died of a heart attack last year; he was only in his 50’s. Everytime I went to see him in El Cerrito, he would sing the Simon and Garfunkel song “Cecilia” to me.