Friday, March 18, 2011

Stories from the Clippings

A Visit to Doernbecher Hospital at Night

While poking around in the clippings, I came across a lovely narrative about Doernbecher Memorial Hospital when it was still housed in the building we now call Dillehunt. The anonymous author was published in the Oregon Club Woman in 1935 but it still could have been published yesterday.
So here it is:

Up the hill in the darkness, climbing higher and higher, with the dark road twisting round and round, up and up. Trees standing in march formation along the road, tall, straight towering, until they become a part of the night. The little car, almost smothered as it climbs, feels the gloomy trees on each side and the darkness of the unseen forest beyond. Up and up.

Here is the top of the hill, the clearing, and impressive buidings serene and cool in the night; big white lighted buildings. Looking back down the road the trees still stand, shushing, with traffic and lights and noise all far below the white ones sparkling, and streaks of light zigzagging along lanes of lights. A muttering echo of the noise drifts up, confused, then lost.

But here, on the hill, are the big lighted buidings and the night wind breathes over them, and trees below sigh, and darkness surrounds them.

Here is the Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children. Lighted. The door is open at the night entrance.

Day Dawns

The city is still sleeping when dawn breaks over the hills. Blanketed under a light mist cloud the city seems to dream as though loath to slip out of the darkness.

But on Marquam Hill the sun is shining and all is stir and bustle. The birds sing with all their hearts from the boughs of trees or else cock their heads over the dew spangled grass listening for the address of some fat worm inching his way along. Trees are in blossom. Little new leaves, tender and delicate, tremble in feather green before the sun's rays. A robin accosts the morn.

Slowly the city, far below Marquam Hill, stretches and stirs. The sun, higher in the sky now, tears the mist into drifting veils with its bright glance, until the Willamette, threading its way through the city smiles back at the sun.

In Doernbecher Hospital white clad figures hurry back and forth. The long night is over; day is here. The little patients turn hopefully toward the windows where the sun is busy warming the window panes.

Then farther down the hall comes the signal: "Trays! Trays are here!" And another day begins.

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