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For many years I have wanted to write a book relating my experiences and conversations with the thousands of patients who have been treated under my direction at Marlin, Texas, since I came here on the 5th day of July, 1897- nearly fifty years ago.
Many of these men and women have come back, year after year, for a "check-up." These old friends and patients have often expressed their appreciation not only for the physical healing but for the advice and philosophy they received and which, they claim, has added health and enjoyment to their years. As an expression of the value which I place upon their friendship, this book is dedicated to them.
In away, this book is also my autobiography.
I have always enjoyed reading the history of the lives of men and women. "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," and later "The Americanization of Edward Bok" were two books which exercised a profound influence on my life. Stories of the life of Luther Burbank, of Henry Ford, and Elbert Hubbard's "One Hundred and Seventy-three Journeys to the Homes of the Great" were read by me with I wonder and lively sympathy.
A biography written by another seems more modest, but after all, the autobiography represents the writer's own ideas, his inspirations and aspirations.
It rings true with the good coin of the price he paid for whatever success he has achieved, and gives assurance to others striving with like problems.
A few years ago I met Dr. Arthur E. Hertzler, of Halstead, Kansas, who wrote the popular book, "The Horse and Buggy Doctor." I told him when his book got out of the way, I was coming out with mine, "The Doctor's Scrapbook," which would contain not only my autobiography and brief sketches from the lives of friends of early days, but scraps of information I had given my patients, scraps of information they gave me, and "scraps" I had with them through fifty years of intensive practice as a "One Horse Doctor"-without the buggy. By a strange coincidence, Dr. Hertzler died September 12, 1946, the day that I finished my book.
This book is not being written to advertise me or Marlin; it is designed to be both instructive and entertaining. It will offer a varied and comprehensive study of human nature, and show how seemingly unimportant events often mark epochs in our lives. Parents and birthplaces, school days and college years, friendships formed, sweethearts met-and the one I married-all these form the pattern for a career. The choice of a profession, the location of a home-such matters are easily influenced in their decisions sometimes, but they are subjects for careful consideration and prayer.
Within the covers of this book will be found many talks with my patients, little jokes and verses which have been a part of their treatment. These they often remember for years and repeat to me when they return. My propensity for rhyming has caused to be pinned on me the label, "The Motto Man of Texas."
Since the terrible World War struggle has closed, it behooves us all to use every means to build a better race- mentally, morally and physically. Only by such improvement of ourselves can we hope to reduce crime, prevent further wars, and bring lasting peace. We should take pride in our bodies-the temples of our souls-and treat them with at least as much consideration as we do our automobiles.
We take our cars to the repair shops for frequent check- ups, so that they will keep going; when they wear out we get new ones. But when our bodies wear out we cannot replace them. Maybe our wives can-or our husbands- but we don't want to cooperate. Frequent physical check-ups and hospital insurance are two of the best safeguards in lengthening the life of the human machine.
It is the hope of the author that my own experiences, asset down in this book, will awaken memories and instill truths that will enrich the future lives of you, my readers, I making you better and happier as the years go by.
My own personal motto is the motto of my college: "Omnia probate; bonum tenete." "Prove all things and hold: fast to the good." The motto of our institution is: "Mens sana en corpore sano." My professional motto is: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This rule, if practiced by the world today, would solve all our social, economic and political problems, and bring permanent peace and happiness.