With all respect to our present day doctors, the old country doctor knew what tough times, long hours and no days off were like and often received goods in lieu of money for services rendered.
My late father-in-law, W. A. Lindop, who owned a garage and service station business in Minden, Ont. drove for doctors Wilf Crowe, and later on Agnes Jamieson.
Crowe was an outspoken man and many were the occasions when he was so tired he would ask "Bill" Lindop to drive him, by car, to the home of a patient since he had put his horse and wagon (or sleigh) in the livery stable and needed a ride.
I recall "Bill" telling me how he had to transport the doctors through heavy snow or rain storms and on many occasions would get stuck on the back roads through the country so, while the doctor continued on foot, he would have to work shoveling the car out of a deep rut or some other occlusion that prevented him from driving on.
I recall Doc Crowe getting a call to a home where a lady was about to deliver a baby and we got stuck in a nasty rut in the road he said. "Well the doctor took off on foot and told me to meet him at the farmhouse where his patient lived and wait for him.
It was a long wait and when the doctor finally came out he was in a nasty mood and when I asked him if everything went over okay, he told me it was "one of those religious @*&@^% who wouldn't let me relieve some of his wife's suffering. I asked him if he did any cussing and Crowe looked at me and said Bill, I used every cuss word I know and when I ran out of those I made up some more of my own".
When the war broke out Dr. Crowe left the Minden area and went on to serve his country and became a POW and was transported to Germany. After the war he returned to Canada and set up his practice in Dr. "Mike" Gorman's office on Kent St. where he worked until his retirement.
Dr. Agnes Jamieson took over his practice in Minden and, while she was a short little lady, was as strong as they come. In addition to her medical practice she continued to operate a drug store Dr. Crowe had started, making pills and medicines and had a couple of nurses, Sylvia Howard and Olga Myles, who lived with her, tend the store in her absence.
She too, had Lindop drive her through the back roads to sick patient's homes and many times fell asleep in the back of his car from total exhaustion. Beside her on the car seat you could sometimes find potatoes, vegetables of all descriptions, perhaps a chicken or meat neatly packaged and even preserves. These items were given to the doctor in payment for medical care the patient had received