Submitted by:
Kay Cunningham


            I Have my own appendix, and it has never done me any harm because I have lived right, and therefore, I expect to keep it. Hence, I insist that this book shall have an appendix, and if the reader doesn't like it he can cut it out.


            One day soon after I came to Marlin the telephone rang and an urgent call: "Oh, doctor, come at once, Dr. Torbett; a lady here has swallowed a teaspoon of tincture of iodine thinking it was Cascara. This is Miss Mamie White of the Artesia Hotel." I said, "Miss Mamie, you must give her two teaspoonsful of starch in a big glass of water, and have her drink it at once, and I will be there immediately with my stomach tube." And so I did, and when I got there I washed out the iodate of starch, which is blue and insoluble, and doesn't do the patient any harm. The starch saved the patient's life. She was not blue but happy.     

            If a patient has had an accident like the breaking of a bone or an injury to the spine, patient should not be moved and rushed to the doctor through excitement, as a great deal of harm may be done. Straighten the patient out in a comfortable position, and put something on, if necessary, to keep him warm, and put something cold to his head and heat to the feet, if you have it. Send for the doctor. If the patient is unconscious, and you cannot feel the pulse, then it will be well to put the patient on his back, and get astride the patient, and press slowly down on the lower ribs pushing them toward the back until the air is exhausted in the lungs, and then let up. Do this about 16 times a minute in the form of artificial respiration.   

            Every family should own a copy of the American Red Cross' First Aid Textbook, which is full of very valuable information in times of accidents and emergencies. If the patient has fluid in his lungs turn him on his front or face.    

            TAKING POISON: Poisons caused by food, or other chemical poisons taken by children or others can be prevented by having all poison medicine labeled plainly, and kept far away from the reach of children.    

            The first thing in all poisons, as indicated, the substance should be removed from stomach at once by means of the stomach tube or by vomiting, giving the patient plenty of water. Continue giving water until the fluid returned is clear. Soap suds with ordinary soap or plain salt water, or tickling the throat with a feather are also good. Ipecac is too slow. Epsom Salts will also help vomiting, and also purge the bowels, and clean out the system, after vomiting has taken place.    

            Of course, the first thing to do is to send for a doctor at once. In all poisons, even food poisons, dilute the poison with plenty of fluid, and, second, produce vomiting, or wash out the stomach with a small duodenal tube pushed through the nose, and then syringes are used for putting it in and taking it out, in case the patient does not cooperate, or is unconscious.   

            BOILS: An early boil just in the beginning may be stopped quickly in most cases, by taking a hypodermic needle, and putting the point of this about a quarter of an inch in a bottle of Carbolic Acid or Tincture of Iodine, and sticking this immediately right down into the middle of the boil about an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Take it out, and then put it in the Carbolic Acid or Tincture of Iodine again, and then put it back in the boil the second time. Do not squeeze the boil. If the boil is not reduced by this soon, then go to your doctor and have 100r X-ray treatment given, which will usually abort boils, and not only that, but even carbuncles. Don't forget it! Do it early! Don't squeeze the boil!     

            Acute prostatic inflammation or acute hemorrhoids may be relieved greatly and frequently by the use of one tablespoonful of Epsom Salts in a pint of hot water; put this in a fountain syringe, using the female nozzle. Put it into the rectum, using about two or three ounces; retain it three or four minutes, pass it by the side of the nozzle, and put in more and expel. Repeat several times. If pain or blood is increased see your doctor at once!   

            Don't forget that every patient has his own nervous system, and his own reaction to every treatment is what makes him better or worse, and watch that reaction.     

            Put your foot in the water every time you get in to take a bath, to be sure the water is not too hot. If you get dizzy, or your heart pounds, get out.  

            I have been in Marlin forty-nine years, and never had a patient to die in the bath tub. They die everywhere else. Patients bathe every day with blood pressure near 200/100 with no harm, but feel better.    

            For cold or aching feet use the hot spray three or four minutes, and then the cold one or two minutes; change three times, ending with cold always. Dry off and rub towards the body a minute. Don't rub varicose veins.     

            THE COLONICS: I do not use the colonic in every condition like some irregulars do, but it helps those with soreness in the bowels, lumpy foul stools, etc. Have three glass irrigators - in the first one use one tablespoonful of Epsom Salts in one or two quarts of warm water. Let this in and out slowly. Follow this with three gallons of Methylen blue solution just moderately tinted blue. Follow this with three gallons of mild pink solution of Potassium Permanganate Solution. These mild antiseptics are bactericidal and oxydize chemical toxins, greatly helping patients with indican or urobilingen in the urine and corrected diet.    

            THE HOT AND COLD CONTRAST BATH: A few years ago a minister from the West, where they never do anything by halves, came to my office to show me his hands that were so swollen that he could not close them. "Just look at my hands; I can't close them. They are getting worse every day," he told me. I said, "They look like you have had them in hot water a long time." He said, "Yes, that's what I came here for - the hot water." I said, "You should clasp your fingers together and put them under the hot water two or three minutes, gently drawing the fingers through each other and do this for two or three minutes in hot water and then one or two minutes in cold water, according to the reaction feeling, but always end with cold water or you will have swollen fingers. In a few treatments, twice daily and not more than fifteen minutes each time, he was much better. All hot applications should be followed by cold towel rub off.    

            The problem child must have love, kindness and discipline. The mother should take her baby in her arms and lie down after each noon-day meal and say, "We are going to take a little trip to dreamland and sleep. Maybe the angels will whisper sweet thoughts in your ears and help you be a good and happy child." Don't fight nor scold the child. Think those happy thoughts and things you want the child to have and whisper them. Don't force the child to eat but have a fine healthy child that eats right; dine with your problem child and eat the right food and brag on how good it is and how strong and well it makes him. The example of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and how baseball teams must obey rules will be good examples to the unruly child to teach him discipline.    

            Every teen age boy and girl should read "The Americanization of Edward Bok" and the "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin."   

            If you have money to burn you can smoke, but don't forget the starving millions.    

            Be ashamed to hoard fat when millions are starving.     

            You must eat as long as you live. Learn to eat right! What you eat today will be working, thinking and doing right or wrong tomorrow. One man's food may be another man's poison.


            John Bennett with whom I boarded when I started practicing had a nasal catarrh and used yellow vaseline in his nose every night. He grew long black hairs in his nostrils and had to cut them off occasionally.     

            Mrs. Tate, sister of Dr. H. P. Curry of Marlin, came to me several years ago for baldness. I prescribed yellow vaseline, red pepper juice and a small bit of quinine mixed and rubbed into the scalp night and morning. In twelve months she proudly showed me a head of beautiful hair and said that it was produced by the daily use of the vaseline. Dr. Curry said she had plenty of nice hair when she died several years later. Don't wait until it is too late. Try it now!


"EAT WHAT YOU WANT," by Dr. W. W. Bauer and , wife of Chicago, is the most common-sense practical book I have ever seen. It costs only $1.00.    

            "MARRIAGE AND SEXUAL HARMONY" costs only 50 cents and is the best. ALSO "HARMONY IN MARRIAGE" costs 75 cents. The Methodist Publishing House of Dallas has them.     

            If you have an old Victrola, get it out and buy some vibra harp chimes records from Morrison Recording Laboratories of Aurora, Illinois. They are 12 inches, one side only, and cost $2.50 each. They will thrill you. "The Old Rugged Cross, ""One Sweetly Solemn Thought" and others. Get catalog.   

            I have heard all the dynamic preachers of ability - George Truett, Sam Jones, George Stuart, Billy Sunday, Gypsy Smith and others.    

            I was always religious and joined the church the first year that I was in Centenary College. Rev. George Truett had just come to Texas and held a ten-day meeting for Rev. Redden Andrews. He said he only had six sermons and when he preached them he wanted to leave, but Rev. Andrews told him to mix them up and make a hundred, and so he did. I never saw him that he did not recall that meeting.     

            Boyce House, the radio humorist, has a book, I Give You Texas, which contains about 500 Texas jokes.

If you don't have a change to ride in a flivver,
The next best thing as a health giver
Is try a little laughter for shaking up your liver.


Wear a smile on your face, a great broad smile,
And keep your soul chock-full of laughter.
You're having hell on earth for a little while,
Get it all used up here; you'll have none left hereafter.

            The Reader's Digest and Your Life are two magazines I would not miss for anything. They are always full of very valuable information that everyone should read, and I recommend them to my patients regularly.     

            Bishop Boaz recently said that he once heard the late Bishop Ward say, "If you wish to lay up treasures in heaven, you should place them in something on this earth that is going to heaven; not in money, land, stock, etc., but in the souls of human beings." We have recently increased our scholarship fund for young ministerial students, utilizing the Joe Perkins Theological School for that training. This fund is $10,000, which is the regular amount of the scholarship for a young minister. We hope that it will help train them so that they may influence thousands of others to the way of salvation.   

            Soon after coming to Marlin I began writing negro dialect rhymes which were published in the Dallas and Galveston News, the Houston Post and Chronicle, Greenville Herald and Waco Times-Herald. I used the pen name of Uncle Peter.


Old Rastus was a limping
     With his rheumatic knee,
     The preacher came collecting,
     'Twas cold as it could be.
     "I tells you, parson, on de lebil
     I's skeered of Heben, its clouds and bliss,
     So I's been flirtin' wid de debil,
     I needs a warmer place dan dis.
     Ef Heben's a land of milk and honey,
     Bofe always disagreed wid me,
     Dey's got no spirits and no money,
     Jes lak mos' niggers here you see."
     Next Sunday the parson preaching
     Said, "Hellias week all froze,
     And all dem niggers wid rheumatiz
     Ain't got a rag ob clothes."

            Aunt Sallie Corothers was here recently from Georgetown. She brought up memories of my teaching days at Enterprise in 1887. In a talk that

I made the children, I told them that I smelled liquor on the breath of some of them. I did not point out which ones, but I told them about the growing habit of drink and the wrecked homes that it caused. All children should pledge themselves never to touch liquor. Aunt Sallie said from that day on her father never kept it in the house and none of them ever touched it again.


Back of each Texas bluebonnet
     With its tints of red, white and blue,
     Are the golden beams of sunshine,
     Spring's showers and sparkling dew,
     Kissing kindly the barren hillsides,
     Waking seeds beneath the sod,
     Painting their petals with the hues of Heaven
     As the smiles of nature's God.
     Back of each smoky ringlet
     Is the spark of heat and fire,
     Back of each thought and action
     Is the heart's burning desire;
     Back of each undertaking
     That has won the smallest worth
     Is some Mother's love and guidance
     That has helped to give it birth.


            Patients can more readily detect the stimulus word, the reaction word and the delayed time when alone. Two or three days later the patient may read the list of words alone and the block words may help recall the buried incident that gave the psychic shock that caused the trouble and then root it out like the young man who was robbed of his $500.00.




            At the meeting of the American Congress of Physical Therapy in Washington, D. C., in 1941 at the Mayflower Hotel, I gave my poem, "Texas." During the banquet I was called on by Dr. Hollinger of Chicago, who was toastmaster, to give some poems and some "nigger stories."    

            I gave the story that I had heard Booker T. Washington tell at Madison Square Garden in 1899 - about the negro preacher who prayed for a turkey, and he didn't get it. Then he said, "Lord, send me to a turkey"; he got one that night. '     

            I told them I was going down to see George Washington Carver at Tuskegee, which I did the next day. Carver told me that he went out every morning like William Cullen Bryant did, "early in the morning among the trees, and heard the birds sing, and heard the voice of God through Nature speak to him, as an inspiration for the work he would do that day."     

            He showed me the plastics that he had made from okra and cotton stalks and showed me the pictures he had painted, and the gifts which had been given to him by Henry Ford. He was a remarkable negro man -a real prophet.

(Given as the toastmaster's toast to "Texas" at a medical banquet, Atlantic City, September, 1923)

Down where mesquite trees are covered with thorns
     And the rusty frogs are crowned with horns;
     But the starry nights are followed by radiant morns,
     That's my home in grand old Texas.
     Down where the flowers forever bloom
     There's more of sunshine than there is of gloom;
     But everybody has lots of elbow room,
     That's my home in grand old Texas.
     Down where Old Glory is still a -flying,
     More folks are born each day than are dying,
     But a fellow can make friends without half-way trying,
     That's my home in grand old Texas.
     Down there wild flowers give bees their honey,
     Folks live for love, as well as for money.
     But we are never too blind to see things funny,
     That's my home in grand old Texas.
     Down there I am trying to fill my mission-
     Hardly have time to go a-fishing;
     A body, mind, soul and heart physician,
     To me that's grand old Texas.
     Down where the winter seldom vexes-
     Not too close to the fighting Mexes,
     Home of the New York Giants in Texas;
     That's my home in grand old Texas.
     Down there the voters put the ban
     On the famous well-known Ku Klux Klan
     With a woman as governor instead of a man
     Swapping the night shirt off for the petticoat plan.
     That's my home in grand old Texas.
     Down where we often have very little rain,
     Each visitor in town has a rheumatic pain,
     But when a Doctor makes rhymes they don't think he's insane.
     That's my home in Marlin, Texas.


Mt. Avalon, Ark.
August 25th, '46

     O God of man, of heaven and earth
     Who gave through Christ the glad new birth
     And gave to man his master mind
     With power to seek, to search and find
     The golden truths of Nature's soul
     Which Thou has planned for his control
     That bring us joy and lift us higher
     To catch the sparks of heaven's fire
     Prometheus brought to us below
     To light the paths our feet should go.
     The souls of science and of art
     Have each one done its wondrous part
     To light the night like living day
     And chase the darkness far away.
     The lightning thoughts of man's own brain
     On ether waves can now attain
     The speed of light through boundless space
     To bless or curse the human race.
     That spark divine that we possess
     By Will directed now can bless
     The world with Love and Heavenly Peace
     Each throbbing heart can help increase
     Till tyrants' wars from earth are gone
     Then happy hearts will light the dawn
     That breaks into the joyous day
     When selfish Hates have passed away.
     With beauty here to feast upon
     We bless the Shrine of Avalon
     That Love through us may brightly shine
     To light our souls with sparks divine
     And hear God's call,- we must, we can
     Help bring the Brotherhood of Man.

-J. W. Torbett, M.D. Marlin, Texas


   "The Doctors' calling is a noble art:
     To make a broken body whole again,
     Of such physicians' lives must be a part
     To ease the racking torments of dark pain-
     But holy is the healing of a soul
     Bowed down in utter darkness and despair
     To set lost feet anew toward shining goal,
     And bring a ray of living sunlight there.
     Such was the work of Jesus when He came
     With healing hands beside the Galilee,
     And such the work of him we come to name
     In honor here tonight. . . for thus does he
     Mend broken bodies with his skillful art,
     And build new souls with his own loving heart."

By Leslie Dean Robertson, Rising Star, Texas.
Poet Laureate of Texas. September 11, 1940.
Read at a banquet in the Methodist Home
on the 20th anniversary of Dr. Torbett's
chairmanship of the General Board.


Lord help me sleep that I may keep
     My health and strength and joy and power
     To do the tasks that duty asks
     My heart and soul to do each hour
     So that each morning I can say:
     "I"m growing better ev'ry day."


     In my treatment of 48 addict cases only one remained cured.


I call my muse for singing
   A song of peace and joy
    With tender memories clinging
Around a big tall boy.
He grew to manhood early.,
Was always kind and true,
His hair was brown and curly,
His eyes were heavenly blue.
He always longed for flying
And quickly won his wings,
But still he kept on trying
To master all those things
That makes a perfect flyer,
To help us win this war
With that Atlantic Charter
And all that it stands for.
And soon they sent him over
To fight upon the front
And down those hating Nazis
With every sort of stunt.
He flew a deadly Spitfire
And proudly called it Kay,*
It brought him many laurels
Until that fateful day
He flew so near to Heaven
He could not fly up higher,
He heard the angels singing,
They made him .join their choir.
And new he stays there singing
To welcome flyers home
Who fly so near to Heaven
They pierce its azure dome.
Now all -those friends in Baylor
Who knew and loved him well
Are proud to do him honor
For deeds like these we tell.


            The above poem, with slight changes, was sent to the families of the following boys, who made the supreme sacrifice: Bill Mitchell, Dallas; Roy Goodwyn, Waco; Macon Gunter, Jr., Kosse. They said it was a great comfort to them.


            *Kay was Joe Byrd's sweetheart.