Monday, February 02, 2009

January 27, 2009

Dear Sis~
This will be short as I'm sick with some type of flu; I seldom get sick-the flu hits me about once every 15 years or so. This started 2 days ago and now it's full blown - I have that metallic taste in my mouth and I've lost my sense of taste - all food is tasteless. I never take that annual flu shot. The last time I fell for that trick was 1976, at Desoto Correctional Institute, during the big "swine flu" epidemic (I call it pig fever) which swept the nation. You may recall that millions and millions of flu vaccines were prepared to give to all the elderly people, and it turned out that the flu shot itself killed a lot of old folks. I lined up in the rec yard, like everyone else, and dutifully got my shot. That was a mistake! For the next 4 or 5 days I was sicker than I'd ever been in my life. I could barely walk and spent my days wrapped up in blankets (even a raincoat), trying to sweat it out. Since then, I've declined all flu shots. Which reminds me of the Old Grand Lady who spent 75 years in the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee (at one time the largest mental hospital complex in America with about 5,000 patients). Her husband was in love with another woman, so he signed an affidavit and had her committed, and she just stayed there, lost and forgotten. That was in 1918, during the big flu epidemic which killed a half-million people in this country. One of the side effects of that flu strain was temporary mental problems and lots of survivors ended up in nut houses. This woman became the Forgotten Woman of Chattahoochee until she was discovered by some young girls who brought her plight to the media's attention and eventually got her out. She went on to become the oldest woman in the USA; after she got out, she went to a nursing home in Palatka, Florida, on the St John's River, where she remained in good health until she passed on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my dear william .my last letter was refused!!!!i do not put your name and number over all letters!!
im sorry i hope the next letter can reach you sooner .bye fo now clara