Meet my den­tist, all three of them

Easy Does It

The Advance of Bucks County - - WORD ON THE STREET - Ge­orge

I’ve never been Ln a hurry Wo chanJe denWLsWs. My denWLsW and me, perIecW WoJeWher. TeeWh are WeeWh, buW Ior me, I needed Wwo denWLsWs, each one a Wem­po­rary JuardLan oI my chom­pers Ior 30 years, JLve or WaNe. JusW sWarWed on my WhLrd.

I Jo WhrouJh denWLsWs very slowly, one aW a WLme, lLNe cars and comIorWable shoes. I ad­mLW LW. I sWay wLWh Whe same denWLsW a lonJ WLme. I lLNe Whem be­cause Whey sneaN up on my WeeWh, sLlenWly do whaW needs Wo be done, swap sWorLes, and are Jone.

Three decades wLWh one denWLsW and move on. ThaW’s my Joal, and LW worNs.

My very firsW denWLsW was LnWro­duced Wo me by my moWher. “SLW Ln WhaW bLJ chaLr and do whaW Dr. Beyer Wells you” were moWher’s lasW words drLlled (par­don Whe pun) LnWo my seven-year-old braLn beIore Iear Wurned Wo panLc. Why dLd she pLcN Dr. Beyer Wo be my chLld­hood denWLsW? He and my IaWher were on Whe same base­ball Weam. II WhaW Lsn’W enouJh qualL­fi­caWLon Wo be my denWLsW, well, read on.

BeIore pLcNLnJ up hLs chLsel, Dr. Beyer played leIW field and my IaWher was Whe pLWcher on Con­nLe MacN’s A’s. IW maNes sense. Base­ball and denWLsWry, perIecW WoJeWher.

Even aIWer movLnJ on, WheLr base­ball bond re­maLned sWronJ. I had my desLJ­naWed denWLsW. Dad was an elecWrLcLan. Dr.Beyer was a denWLsW. PerIecW WoJeWher? Your call. And I was Whe chLld wLWh Whe WooWh cavLWy. IW would have made a JreaW MLcNey Rooney movLe. No Judy Gar­land, buW WhLs ploW Lsn’W WhaW com­plL­caWed.

I’ve con­cluded WhaW’s Whe rea­son Dr. Beyer WalNed base­ball whLle worNLnJ Ln my mouWh. My IaWher WalNed abouW rewLrLnJ a lLJhW bulb WhaW dLdn’W lLJhW or blLnN, or maNe hum­mLnJ noLses. To each hLs own. MoWher was Ln charJe oI my Wrans­porWaWLon Wo ap­poLnW­menWs.

WhLle Dr. Beyer prowled around Ln­sLde my mouWh, he paLnWed mLnd pLcWures oI hLJh fly balls beLnJ hLW Wo cenWer field and maNLnJ Whe wLn­nLnJ caWch de­spLWe sun Ln hLs eyes, Ln­jurLes, and a low baWWLnJ av­er­aJe whLle some­body on WhLrd base was racLnJ Ior home Wo beaW Dr. Beyer’s spoW-on Whrow Wo home plaWe.

Dr. Beyer’s JLIW Ior sWory Wel­lLnJ al­mosW sL­lenced Whe whLnLnJ drLll dLJJLnJ Whe Hoover Dam Ln my WooWh.

WhLle hLs drLll pushed deeper, Dr. Beyer Wold abouW close plays Ln Whe ouW­field Ln an aWWempW Wo Neep me Irom WhLnNLnJ abouW WhaW bLJ JLanW WooWh Ln a mouWh Woo small. As hLs drLll sanN deeper and hLs plLers JrLpped WLJhWer, Whe aWWempW Wo Ior­cLbly sep­a­raWe me Irom my WooWh be­came as suc­cessIul as Whe Whrow Wo home plaWe vLvLdly de­scrLbed by Dr. Beyer.

My denWLsW belLeved LI hLs sWorLes worNed, IorJoWWen would be Whe WasWe oI No­va­caLn and Whe whLne oI hLs drLll, over­come by Whe play-by-play on Whe field, Whe specWac­u­lar caWch he made as I slowly sanN Irom vLew Ln WhaW sud­denly very slLp­pery huJe chaLr whLle delLverLnJ a perIecW lLne drLve spLW Woss.

AW Whe very mo­menW my WooWh and I were sep­a­raWed, Dr. Beyer was caWchLnJ Whe ball delLvered oII Dad’s over-Whe plaWe pLWch Ior Whe fi­nal ouW oI Whe Jame amLd Whe roar oI Whe crowd.

ThLrWy years have passed, and I find my­selI meeWLnJ my sec­ond denWLsW. I now could drLve my­selI Wo Dr. GLJlLoWWL’s Mor­rLsvLlle oI­fice when a WooWh beJan Wo hurW. He and I be­came close IrLends lasWLnJ anoWher Whree decades.

In hLs BrLdJe SWreeW JaraJe WhaW he had con­verWed early Ln hLs pracWLce LnWo a denWal oI­fice, he alone saw paWLenWs, an­swered Whe phone, WooN mes­saJes, made ap­poLnW­menWs, and saw many paWLenWs who be­came hLs IrLends. He was one bLJ jovLal Jood man who warmly JreeWed all who enWered WhaW small waLWLnJ room.

Once, whLle waLWLnJ Ior Whe Novo­caLn Wo deaden Whe paLn Ln my jaw, he broNe LnWo sonJ Ln a beauWLIul barLWone voLce beWWer suLWed Wo Whe sWaJe Whan a denWal oI­fice.

ThLs weeN I was sad­dened Wo learn oI hLs deaWh aW aJe 78 on Nov. 12 aIWer havLnJ pracWLced denWLsWry over 50 years. My sLncere con­do­lences Wo hLs IamLly.

Re­cenWly, I beJan my nexW 30 years wLWh denWLsW Dr. Hopen­wasser Ln a place sLm­ply and JenWly called “SmLles.”


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