In May of 1971 I left Palmer College and Davenport, IA never expecting to come back. Loved chiropractic, but didn’t care for the way I was treated at Palmer or living in Davenport. That was 39 years ago. Last week I returned and was I surprised.
I was invited by a nice young student named, Pat Lin, to speak at the NUCCA club. We exchanged a few emails and I was convinced the NUCCA group was a worthy cause and accepted the invitation. It’s not corny or sentimental to say that each young student represented not only their own hopes and dreams, but those of their parents as well. Since I have two grown sons I felt honored to come and serve.
As I drove into town over the Bettendorf Bridge onto Kimberly road, then E. Locust an unexpected flood of old thoughts and emotions hit me. I remembered the streets and even though most of the businesses had changed it felt so familiar, but what were these feelings? I drove to a few of the places I had lived only to find most of the buildings gone. What did I expect? 39 years is a long time.
When I arrived on campus I focused on the door to the old clinic – now student clinic. It was just like it was 39 years ago. I passed through the school to the dorm and remembered the wonderful young men I met there. There we so few women at Palmer then – less than 10%. I toured the new outpatient clinic. What a palace! Palmer students – you have it so good today.
As a special favor a young woman named Mary, NUCCA club vice-president and student guide, gave me a tour of the Palmer mansion. 39 years ago I had left Palmer before my graduation ceremony and missed the traditional graduation reception where BJ and Mable had lived. Since I was willing to make a donation to the renovation fund a nice young woman named Julie took us on a private tour of the second and third floor. Every moment was a treat. I’d regretted missing this for nearly 40 years. I thanked Julie and Mary and strolled around campus for another half an hour, then made my way back to hotel to pack for home. I enjoyed every minute of my visit. Davenport looked a little beat up, but Palmer looked beautiful.
Here’s what I enjoyed so much; I was reunited with my youth. The thoughts, actions and feelings the 18 through 22 year old were remembered vividly again and again. I’ll come back again – sooner next time.