Friday, October 16, 2015

Frances, Francis, and Bess

by Pa Rock
Road Warrior

I've just returned from a rushed trip to Kansas City where I did some preliminary lab work for a surgery that I will have there on the 26th of October.  While heading to the big city Wednesday, I had to make a stop in Willow Springs to see my cardiologist.  (He is based in Springfield and travels to Willow once a month to see his rural patients.)   As I stood in line to register, I had the pleasure of listening to an old couple as they also got registered.

The old man told the receptionist that his name was Francis, to which his wife interrupted, "My name is Frances, too - only my name has an 'e' and his has an 'i.'"  She went on to add, "The way you can tell whether its a man's name or a woman's name is that women have an 'e' like in 'her,' and men have an 'i' like in 'him'"  I had never heard that before - and thought it was rather clever!

The following morning (yesterday) I was interviewed by an older nurse at Research Hospital in Kansas City.  When I told my doctor there a couple of weeks ago that Harry Truman had died in that hospital, the young fellow was surprised.  I pulled the same line on the nurse yesterday, and she wasn't surprised at all.  In fact she replied, "Yes, I know.  Bess died here, too."  The nurse went on to say that she had not been working there when Harry died at the hospital, but that she knew he had an entire floor of the hospital to himself.  The nurse said that she had seen Bess during one of her final visits to Research Hospital when she was confined to the ICU.  She said that a Secret Service agent was on duty at all times sitting in a chair outside of the ICU.  "Like anyone would have tried to harm sweet old Bess!"  she added.

Bess Truman was 97 at the time of her death this week in 1982.

That almost sounds like the plot line for a charming, feel-good movie.  It could be called "Guarding Bess," and it might make a great career vehicle for Shirley MacLaine.  I picture someone like Kevin Costner in the role of the Secret Service agent.

Hey Hollywood, pay attention!  This is good stuff!

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