Sunday, April 26, 1959
Mary Nichols Diary (cont.) – I was night supervisor of John Gaston Hospital until I left after graduation in May. These were joys of spring time and joys of youth. I met a number of young men and several wanted me to marry them. My family sold their stock and other things and bought a place with acreage on Mallory Ave. East of 51 or better known then as Hernando Rd.
Mamma often met me when I got my hours off and we went to a show and would eat. She was still not 40 and Papa was nearly 60. I am sure I didn’t appreciate all the joy my mother got from meeting me up town and us getting together. I was young and as I’ve said we simply don’t appreciate the things we have till they are gone. She was so good and I can see her happy smile and feel her goodness, love and the purity of her inner soul.
I met Floyd Webb who was a medical sophomore my first few weeks after entering the
Monday, April 27, 1959
hospital school. He was very nice and we went together over two years. I knew and felt I could have trusted him for I never met a nicer person than he was to me, but again there is something, he drank and after, we quit going together he went back to drink, and through the years, I heard of him. He drank and died several years ago in Ark. of a heart attack, but he respected womanhood and told me once, of awakening after being out on a drinking spree and he found his mother knelt in prayer for him. The world has many – people in it that are good.
There was Dr. W. G. Tabb another who graduated with first honor. He really, I felt, was too attentive – sent me flowers at least once a week. I was never without candy and would take me to entertainments, shows and we often dinned out up town in Memphis.
Tuesday, April 28, 1959
I rather liked the rainy nights and the lights would glisten on the wet streets.
Williford Bland was my first boy friend. He was raised in Millington, and I never met or knew a truer Christian. He, too, asked me to marry him as well as Dr. Tabb.
Guess Dr. Cecil Warde of Millington was the most romantic of them all. He loved me from the start and continued to tell me until a few days before I married your dad. He wrote me 24 pages – begging me not to marry your dad – life is a strange thing, for as I started out to tell you – meeting your dad was just meeting another person. It was a year later, after I had graduated from John Gaston, I met him again, at Baptist where I was on duty. He wanted to call and take me to a movie and do you know that was the last time I ever dated any one else besides just him. He, as you know Nancy, is a very persistent person so that was the end of the others
Wednesday, April 29, 1959
Walter F. Piercy, my brother, left for his home in Quincy, Ill after being here two weeks. He arrived two weeks before from the Soldiers and Sailors Home at Quincy. He only weighed 137 lbs, He had gained when he left and weighed 145 lbs.
Now, on back to the year I married your dad. He had a girl named Myrtle Freeman at Dresden, Tenn. where his brother, Walter, was principal of the Cobb and Nichols School. It was there he met Myrtle and feel so in love. Later, when he went to Vanderbilt to study medicine, he forgot Myrtle and had a real nice girlfriend named Anna Deal Bramble – who went to Ward Belmont but a woman named Violet, and she wasn’t so nice, helped him not to go too much with Anna Deal. Your Aunt Mat was head nurse, at one of the hospitals at that time. She was later head nurse of Vanderbilt and the City Hospital too in
Thursday, April 30, 1959
Nashville. Your dad was young and gay, so after 2 years it was decided he was to come to Memphis where he wouldn’t be with Violet and people he knew like her. So he completed his medical school at Memphis, also took State Board and received his license there in Memphis too.
This now is the summer of 1913 – I met your dad at the nurse’s home at John Gaston (then known as the City Hospital). He was going with other girls and I was having dates with others. I graduated on May 8 of 1913 – 13 of us girls and we graduated at the Medical College. Later John Gaston graduates belonged to UT Alumni and of course we who graduated before that too were UT alumni members.
John Gaston actually gave their nurses and still does the best training because we were free to do for all the patients and in the private institutions, there were private nurses in attendance under private doctors. The first operation on the heart, done in Memphis, I had the privilege to see done in operating room. I was night supervisor of nurses, at the time and that was my night to be in charge of operations, every other night, the head nurse of operation room was on duty.
Any way, Dr. Max Galtman Sr., one of the stuff surgeons, was to operate on the mullato negro man, who had been stabbed. When he got inside he found a gap in the heart. He made one stitch, expecting the negro to die any second. He kept on till he made six stitches. The negro continued to live, was closed and returned to a private room on Dr. Galtman’s request. He lived and I saw him discharged so, that was the first heart operation done successfully in Memphis.