Thursday, January 22, 2015


By Beatrice M. Hanson

As I listen to the "pros and cons” on the question of sex education in the schools, I smile in recollection of how the children of a large family got around it some fifty years back.
Humorously speaking, we were practically raised on the subjects of health and sex.When we children reached the age where we could feed ourselves but had difficulty reaching for dinner plates at the dining room table,Mother invariably brought out the "Doctor's Book". When inserted under the children's buttocks, the desired height was reached. There he sat quite unaware of all the information on mankind’s ills he so innocently held down!The "Doctor's Book" bought by Papa from a travelling salesman,( and later he agreed it was a bad mistake ) weighed all of ten pounds with a good foot in width. Mother spent hours thumbing the pages for every kind of illness concerning her family, but ran into symptoms that intermingled, making one complaint not unlike another. Oftentimes s she put the big book aside to retreat to her own method of nursing. An aspirin on the tongue, cold wet clothes on a hot forehead, and a juicy quartered orange to suck on. Generally the little patient was up and about in a very short time.When we children arrived at the "curiosity stage" we waited for the time when Mother left the house to borrow a cup of sugar or flour from a neighbor before tip-toeing to the coat-closet to drag down the heavy book from a high shelf. With a knowing look, we would flip the pages until we came to a colored structure of a woman. Each organ operated on hinges that slid aside to disclose the next organ. When we came to the unknown infant curled up like a small kitten, we looked knowingly at one another, closed and quietly returned the book to its place on the shelf.If Mother ever suspected the reason why we didn't take her“Stork Story” seriously, she didn't let us know.
If the old " Doctor's Book" served a purpose it was to help satisfy our young appetites for food, and to some extent, our curiosities.