Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gale Perkins

That's a wrap!
Today was the last interview and it was a good one. Josh and I, along with our newest intern Andy, drove to Groveland, Massachusetts, to the lovely home of C. Gale Perkins, a former patient at the Lakeville Sanatorium. Her self-published book, The Baby's Cross, is an interesting account of her childhood spent at the "San," as she called it.

The highlights of the interview:
She told us a great story about her first kiss, with a fellow patient named Bernie, at age 12, whom she would later meet again, years and years later, after publishing her memoir.

She had numerous spinal "fusions," to rid her of the tuberculosis that had infected her bones, operations that would leave her young body in a full body cast for three years.

And she told us about how doctors told her she wouldn't live past 16 years old, yet here she was in front of us, living and breathing, laughing and tearing up, some six decades after leaving that sanatorium.

A great woman. Maybe we saved the best for last.



Anonymous said...

gale- i am so excited for you, words cannot express how i feel. i am also so proud of you, you are a remarkable woman, strong, loving caring and most of all so understanding. i am so fortunate to know you. you deserve the best, can't wait to chat. luv D.M.

rajn said...

Gale, I have read your book numerous times and your life never ceases to amaze me. You are truly a remarkable woman and I am so proud to call you my friend. Love you much rajn

Anonymous said...

Gale, I feel so fortunate to know you and have you in my life, even if only on an e-mail basis right now. Your life has blessed mine so richly. You are one of the rare, unique, inspiring, special people in the world who make it a better place. Thank you always. ~ Rachel Elaine

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Cape Cod!
How quickly thirty years can pass, but the memories are lasting. I was amazed when I first met you and learned of your many and varied accomplishments. After reading your story, I came to know even more about the woman who overcame so much, but never once complained. You will always be a constant in my mind and a true friend. My wishes for you are continued health, happiness and love...

Susan said...

Gale, my mother grew up at the Lakeville TB hospital too. Her father was a doctor there. She was born in 1932, and lived there until he died, around 1944. Please contact me if you think you might have known her. ssteinmd@aol.com

hugsfromme2u said...

I am so overwhelmed and excited about the people who have left comments on the Blog. I did get in touch with Susan. I picked flowers with her mother, we had to keep our distance though, as I was considered infected and she was the daughter of one of the doctors, who took care of me and is mentioned not by name, but in my story. I am so grateful for Wayne and David who are putting this ecucational documentary together. So many people in this centery have no idea of the vast epidemic of Tuberculosis. Also that it settled in more places than the lungs. I look forward to meeting Wayne at the premier in February. Gale

Jeannine said...

Dear. Mrs. Perkins
My mother was also a patient at the Lake in 1948 to 1957. I would love to talk with you. They said my mother had TB of the knee, and also had many "Fusion" Later she learned she never had TB. Her left leg is fused, an has been my whole life.