Charlie White M.D. Recently, readers of this blog have made several excellent recommendations of books to read. I am in the process of reading and sharing my thoughts on those books. I am currently reading “The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the remarkable American life of a 109-year-old man.”

David Von Drehl is the author. In 2007 he moved with his family to Kansas City, Missouri. His neighbor was Charlie White, born in 1905. David’s first interaction with his new neighbor was seeing him washing his girlfriend’s car. He was 102 and it was August in Kansas City.

Among very interesting adventures and heartwarming advice in the book, I was particularly interested in the development of medicine. When Charlie graduated from medical school the absence of scientific knowledge was staggering. In many situations. Charlie was honest in saying “We had no treatments. In many cases we gave comfort and prayer.”

The author gave many instances of how the absence of medical knowledge led people to believe con-men. Men who got rich off of false promises and conspiracies. The major advances in treatment came in Charlie’s lifetime. Big advances in diagnostics, antibiotics and vaccinations greatly increased the ability for treatments and health.

Sadly, we still find many people fail to understand scientific probabilities and believe in their own singular experiences. They ignore or deny medical advice while accepting conspiracy theories. In my home county in Western Kansas, people would not take the COVID vaccine because they believed the government was using it to inject microchips in them. Choosing to not be vaccinated or choosing an alternative treatment is one thing; choosing to not take a vaccine because a microchip is being put in you is quite another.

I have good friend who is from a large family in a small town in rural Alabama. All of the children got college degrees and were very successful. He tells of having to hitchhike to college with one bag and working his way through school.

He is a very successful pharmacist who knows drugs, data and treatment. He has seen many advancements in his long life. He asked me the other day, “when did taking vaccines become a political issue?” I just shook my head. I had no answer.

Whether or not you are interested in medicine, the book is an easy and excellent read about a fascinating life. I recommend it.

LEGAL versus ILLEGAL arrows, dilemmas concept.

Unauthorized or Illegal? Last week, I reported a Pew Research article about immigration. One reader expressed concern about calling the immigrants unauthorized. He believed they should be called illegal. The issue is a legitimate concern.

I learned something new from investigating the terms. When a person crosses the border without a visa that is an illegal act and the person is an illegal immigrant. I did not know that when a person with a visa crosses the border and overstays their visa, by law that is a civil and not a criminal act.

The term unauthorized covers both the criminal and the civil action. Since counting both categories is important for understanding our immigration problem, using the inclusive term is appropriate for the research. If you are interested a scholarly look at the terms read the following:

Words Matter: Illegal Immigrant, Undocumented Immigrant, or Unauthorized Immigrant? – Markkula Center for Applied Ethics (

The Number 1 Religion in Alabama. If you are a college football fan, you know Alabama was picked to be the fourth team in the National Championship playoffs. They had one loss. They lost to Texas in an early season game. Texas (also a one-loss team) finished third and will play Washington in one of the semifinal games. Alabama will play top-ranked Michigan in the other semifinal.

Florida State was undefeated and finished behind both Alabama and Texas. The team, their conference, their fans and all who hate Alabama and Texas were very upset.

According to our son Scott, who graduated from the Alabama law school, the key to the decision was the strength of schedule. Alabama had the second strongest in the nation and Florida State was 55th.

Personally, I am glad Alabama got in. I am not so excited for the team or the fans as I am for the headache it saved me. Unless you live in the South you have no idea the outcry, the moaning, the complaining, the commentary that would have occurred on the radio, internet and TV if no SEC team were picked in the top four teams. The outcry this year would echo across the South for years to come.

Hopefully a 12-team playoff will ease tensions next year.

Good News

Some weeks have more heartwarming stories than others. This week has particularly good stories.

This Teen Is Bringing Some Color And Fun To The Elderly This Holiday Season (

‘I Never Had A Machine Hug Me’: Man Ditches Casino For Gifting Needy Kids Free Bikes (

Middle School Principal Adopts Student After She Gets Suspended (

Support Pours In For Two Boys After Act Of Kindness Caught On Camera (




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