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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Little Stevie Eichinger Loses His Tonsils

Keeping with the medical theme of last Monday's Blog entry, I came across the following brief news item in the July 11, 1940 edition of the Tuckerton Beacon.

When I first read the news item I was not sure if it referred to Steve Eichinger having his tonsils removed or his younger brother, Lee, who was known as "Chubby." I called Steve who confirmed that, indeed, it was he who had his tonsils out in 1940.

Little Stevie Eichinger

Steve remembered the incident as if were yesterday and related an interesting bit of information to me. As he remembers the episode, he was six years old and about to start school in New Gretna. He remembers being placed on a table, a cloth mask placed over his nose and mouth, and ether being dripped on the mask. He woke up in a hospital bed where they plied him with ice cream and sent him home.

As Steve tells it, everyone starting school at that time had to have their tonsils out, much as we now have requirements that children have certain shots before entering school. That seems rather harsh to me and somewhat unbelievable, but Steve was insistent it was true. Does anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere remember having their tonsils removed in order to be enrolled in school?

Pete S


  1. Hey, Pete.

    I was in nursery school when I had my tonsils out. Don't remember the operation itself, but I certainly remember the ice cream afterwards. It burned my throat, and I refused to eat any more after that first painful spoonful. And that, of course, was the only time in my life that I had to be forced to eat ice cream.

    Linda M

  2. I was four when my tonsils had to come out. I'm told I was a chatterbox back then, and I apparently overheard the nurses joking "he will shut up when we give him ether" and I told them "you aren't gonna give me ether!". Well, they did. And I still remember the white rubber cup they put over my mouth and the smell of the rubber (not the ether). But that is all I remember about it. When I was a teenager, my grandmother told me that after I had my tonsils out I wasn't the outgoing chatterbox I once was.
    An interesting observation. My mom used to put me down for a nap and then hear neighbors talking and laughing out on the street. I was up on the window sill "entertaining" them. Until I had my tonsils out anyway! :-)

    John Yates