Friday, April 19, 2013

Q. Quincy, M.E.

I have a t-shirt that says, "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel."  While I just use this as motivation to actually WRITE my novel, there is some truth to this statement, in a friend of mine that is nearby.  He is now retired, but was actively working when I first met him.  A doctor, and the former county Medical Examiner.

I drove by, and the first time I saw him, he was out working with the cows, in green surgical scrubs, and rubber boots.  (I since found out that he always saved his scrubs when they were unusable at the hospital, because he found them very comfortable, but the image is still jarring...)  He is an amazing man, with people, and with animals.  Everyone that I have talked to that had him as a doctor can't say nice enough about him.  His cattle are good, healthy, happy animals.

Don't let the man near anything mechanical, however.  As brilliant as he is with flesh, that is how NOT brilliant he is with anything geared or metal.  Husband and I have had to assist him with vehicles, gates, water pipes, lots of things of that ilk.  Yearly, Husband will assist him with getting his water tanks working in the spring, as well as the tank sprayers on his Gator.  Actually, Husband has helped him with that Gator, too!  I guess that worked  well for us, because when I fell and broke my leg, he came up, with said vehicle, helped me to the house, and was able to keep Husband from going into shock. (I wasn't having problems, poor Husband was!)

But he has always treated us as friends, and we have traded foodstuffs, (his wife makes awesome blackberry jam), and he loves kohlrabi, so I always have some in my garden.

However, when you ask, "How was your day?", be ready for an honest answer.  I had been sitting by, it was a warm, relaxed summer day, and he popped over to see how we were, and ask Husband if he could fix some little thing.  I casually asked how things were going.

"Oh, fine, I just had one bad case yesterday, it was a drowning, the body..."  I think I started turning slightly green after the description of the decomp, and other, um, notable items.  While he didn't share anything HIPPA oriented, I found out sooo much more than I think I ever really needed, (or wanted), to know about that profession...

He also tends to inadvertently talk over my head.  I read quite a bit, so I have tend to have a pretty extensive verbal vocabulary.  However, he will talk about something, and occasionally, he makes a medical reference.  I have to back up and ask him to clarify.  He looks astounded, like I just grew an ear on my nose.  I guess I will have to consider it a compliment that he has said, at least twice, "but I thought you knew that."

As I have been working on my book, I keep thinking about this man...  And I think there will have to be an M. E. somewhere in my book.  With cows.

(Quincy, M.E.)


  1. What that rule about art imitating life and vice versa? Everyone I know has popped up in one story or another- sometimes their appearance, sometimes their mannerisms, but most often their speech. And overwhelmingly honest answers seem like a great trait for a character!

  2. An M.E. with cows and maybe with not quite such lurid descriptions coming out of his mouth, unless you want your readers to turn green.

  3. Sounds like a good guy to base a character on. For your book, I mean.

  4. Wow! I have that same T-shirt. You never know when someone will say something you can use in your writing.


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