did local emergency work on account of a
doctor shortage created by the war, came to examine me. He
decided very quickly that I should not walk upstairs, so he
and my father car- ried me up and put me to bed. After a while Dr. Van
Nuys arrived, poked me, listened to me, and confirmed Uncle Chandler's
diagnosis. This was my second siege of rheumatic fever. The first had
been at the age of four, and both attacks stemmed from a chronic heart
condition which fortunately I outgrew. I was bed-ridden for the better
part of two months and convalesced for two more, which seriously
handicapped my scholastic progress.
Spring had come before I could do much in the way of exer- cise.
One day I went to a brush fire just off the Post Road, and,
as I watched the flames raging across the field into some shrub-bery, a
very angry old lady with a broom came up to me. She
had evidently been fighting the fire because she was sweating
"You ought to be ashamed of yourself," she barked. "A
healthy boy like you just standing and looking at the fire instead
of fighting it !"
Soon after this incident I joined the school car pool again,
and the first day I told Gene White how thankful I was that he
had waited for me the night I got sick.
"I didn't want to," he said, "but Olsen insisted."
Several years earlier, in 1915, the Fields gave a big party
celebrating the hundredth anniversary of their friendship with
the Fiskes. A great many members of both families, young and
old, attended. The grand climax of the evening was the presenta-tion of
an engraved silver bowl to the Fields from the Fiskes,