Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review: Dr. Joe, A Family Doctor in the Twentieth Century

http://www.docjoepalmisano.com/home.html
by: Joseph F. Palmisano, M.D.
 
A little background on this book and its author. Since Mary and I have retired to Ocean City we have become accustomed to 'happy hour'.  A group from where we live meets regularly, and while not everyone attends each get together we have a few regulars that enjoy each others company. This is where I met Doctor Joe. During our last meet up the discussion was WWII and a few of the battles, the battle of the bulge to be exact. I had mentioned that my uncle had fought in that battle and I remembered he always wore multiple shoes because of a problem with his feet, as a result of the cold. My recounting was sketchy at best since I remember that from such a young age. One thing lead to another and we talked about hometowns. Doctor Joe had mentioned Baltimore and then Shamokin, Pennsylvania. A coal cracker, I noted my entire family had settled in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Joe mentioned writing a book about his family history and his life. I am always looking for something to read and this book was right up my alley. Doctor Joe autographed a copy and I tucked it away, eager to dig in once I got home.

Doctor Joe started writing this book to document his family history and provide this info to future family members. Joe's son Michael encouraged him to also document his own life story and as a result the book took shape.

The retracing of family history is an art, so many stories and so many branches to the family tree. Joe brings us back to Sicily and root of that tree. The writing keeps you wanting to dig deeper and know more. It was different times back then and I enjoyed his look back. Many of the stories took me back to growing up and listening to my Aunts and Uncles recounting their stories growing up during that same era. There were few stories shared about WWII, and what I did hear was second hand at best but they too related to what I was reading.

Doctor Joe went on to document his early years in practice and the struggle to become established. I fondly remembered the days of doctors making house calls and knowing our family doctor as more of a friend of the family. It was both interesting and reassuring that the opposite side of the stethoscope felt the same way about their patients.

Joe provided a passionate background on his family, his first wife, who had passed at an early age and his current bride. As Doctor Joe stated he worked hard and played hard. An avid skier and world traveler, his retracing of his adventures were detailed and exciting.

It's been my pleasure to meet Joe and read about his family and his life story. An excellent book that takes you back to a simpler time, one that you'll just want to keep reading about.

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