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To answer Nancy's question--no, I don't get my booth money back, which was $325. I'm moving on, but before I do, those new readers to Camera Crazy will better understand my dismay if they go back in time. Last year I wrote this. Enough said.

I don't know about you but I tend to like articles I agree with; somehow if a professional writer agrees with me, I feel validated. Here's an article from the Times hmmmm....... which definitely gives one pause. As many of you know, I was a mammographer for many years. I saw first hand the number of false positives, as well as the diagnosis of cancers that physicians have no idea what would happen if left alone--a type called Ductal Carcinoma InSitu, which in laymen's terms means, minute cancer cells in the duct that has not spread. One of the reasons you hear so much about women having breast cancer is because of this very diagnosis which is slightly dubious. There is growing suspicion that many women, pre mammogram screenings, lived with no ill effect, however, when given the option today, most women opt for radical treatment. Decisions, decisions.

Before I was a mammographer I took x-rays of all parts of the body. After graduating in 1971 I worked for a short while at a small place called Colonial Lab which no longer exists. If you can imagine, there was no image intensifier on the flouroscopy machine. The radiologist had to wear read goggles while performing a barium enema or upper GI series! If you've ever watched any medical shows and seen maybe a heart cath done, the doctor looks at a monitor to see what is happening inside the body. No monitors in that little place. Bruce and I were newlyweds then.

From there I went to a hospital on the west side of town which was then known as Mercy Hospital. The same radiologists I trained with at Winter Park Memorial Hospital practiced there. The funky thing about that place is that it was a Catholic hospital; the director of our department was a nun named Sister Ruth Ann. This was back in the days of white uniforms, shoes and stockings. Pant suits were just beginning to be acceptable wear--a really big deal.

Yesterday morning I had a 7AM appointment to have work done on the Honda--a recall thing. By 8:30 the work was completed. Because the dealership is adjacent to Mercy Drive I decided to see what the hospital looks like now that it is a substance abuse hospital.
Gosh, it has been so very long since I saw the place, which has a lovely setting on a lake and in the midst of very many pine trees. That said it is on a major road that is known as a high crime region. In fact, it's been that way for more than 35 years despite efforts to change things. Driving onto the property brought back so many memories. One I recall-- one night, just weeks before I was to deliver Matthew, I was called into the hospital in the middle of the night to x-ray a leg. I'd worn a kerchief on my messy bed head and a maternity dress. Walking into the emergency room, the staff, who I knew well,  didn't recognize me, thinking instead I was there to deliver! The patient stands out in my mind clearly. It was a femur x-ray on a gunshot victim. When I lifted the leg to put the x-ray cassette (film holder) underneath, I was met with a bloody, mangled mess. Yikes! In those days no one wore gloves, so you know what that must have been like.

As well, I worked there once the Catholic church sold the place to a private hospital group; actually several, as it went through multiple name changes through the years. Mostly I didn't work when the children were small, or at least not full time. I took a part time weekend job which nearly killed me. I needn't tell you that paying for day care for four children was out of the question. So...I took a job on Saturday working 16 hours, mostly by myself. By the time I drove home just after 11PM on that scary road, I was so tired I couldn't think. Many times, my feet hurt so bad from running around the hospital for so long, I could hardly stand on Sunday morning. I can't recall how long this went on, but what I do remember is that Bruce found caring for four boys all day Saturday pretty challenging! In reality, probably no more so than I.

Finally, while thinking of those days, AIDS comes to mind. Back then, it was a pretty misunderstood condition, with people frightened for their safety around patients with AIDS. Most hospitals did not welcome AIDS patients, however, there was an infectious disease doctor whose primary practice was for those patients, admitting them all to our hospital. I came to know and love them. Because I only worked once a week, oftentimes they would die before I returned, breaking my heart. As a young mother I couldn't help but think that they were somebodies beloved child. I did countless portable chest x-rays on patients because they oftentimes developed a particular kind of pneumonia that needed monitoring. Thank God there have been advances in that arena!

A serious road trip never materialized this week, however, because I was half-way there, I decided to drive out to Winter Garden to really get a feel for the town. From the hospital I traveled on Silver Star Road, an easy drive which led me right into the town. My first stop was where folks park when they want to ride on the "Rails to Trails" path that runs through the town. From there I took the road down to the shores of Lake Apopka, a huge lake, with 40 miles of shoreline. The link gives you a bit of the backstory, how the lake died due to fertilizer runoff as well as the devastation to wildlife. Efforts to return the lake to its former glory are ongoing. Bruce called just as I was heading out onto the long dock. As we were chatting I said, oh my gosh, I see an alligator:
I'm pretty sure he saw me too because he went underwater as I approached. There weren't a lot of birds but I did see one I've never encountered before. Great colors don't you think?
The bird kept hopping between all the foliage, and at times flapping it's wings.
While doing the market I had a customer mention "Trailer City" to me. I had no idea what she meant but now I do, as do you if you click the link. It is pictured in the background on the left:
Extremely neat and tidy.

There weren't many folks around as I meandered the pathway beside the lake; a very peaceful experience. I saw two things I've never seen before, one of which is this lightening monitor:
and secondly, this:
I told you that little town is dedicated to the future. The homes surrounding downtown are on large lots with giant oak canopies shading the streets. I'd love to live on a street named Surprise like I saw there. Our street name is so cumbersome.

You've got to love a little downtown with angled parking don't you? So easy and convenient.
Plus, well maintained brick streets! There are lots of little shops and restaurants, including this French bakery:
Music is a big part of Winter Garden's downtown life. I'm not alone in suffering from last weekend's rain. A three day music festival had to be all but canceled because of the weather.
Being in no hurry, I toured the Edgewater Hotel on Plant Street. Built in 1926, it has the original Otis elevator which the young woman operated with some sort of crank. I'm not entirely clear how it worked. As we were heading up to the second floor to see the rooms, I couldn't help but marvel at the invention of the Otis elevator. Now that was a game changer for sure! Very cool lobby area:
The rooms are reasonably priced and very tidy. In passing I mentioned the rails-trails running through town which is known as the West Orange Trail. Bike shops are abundant as are bike rentals. On a Saturday morning, there are scads of cyclists on the downtown streets ready for their ride, with some coming to the market to see what it's all about.
One shop I went browsing in surprised me with their vast record collection, all of which is for sale:
There were so many 45 rpm--apparently I'm behind the times and record players with the little adapter in the middle are easily purchased these days. One of the records I saw which I remember just loving to pieces when I was young was "Downtown" by Petula Clark. Let's see, in 1965 I was 12. Funny how you can remember the lyrics to songs isn't it? I've no doubt studies have been conducted on this phenomenon!

Earlier, I'd walked by a bar-b-que place which now that it was lunch time I had to try:
It was very difficult to decide on my side to go along with my half brisket sandwich. Fried okra or fried pickles? Pickles it was:
If you've never had them you should give them a try. Very tasty! Browsing a few more shops and that was that. My little road trip close to home.
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