Originations in Baltimore

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A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” ~ Steve Maraboli – Life, Truth and Being Free.

dialing for dollarsWas Dialing for Dollars broadcast in your home town when you were growing up? This show originated as a radio show in Baltimore, Maryland and then became a syndicated TV show in cities around the country. The show had a run of 38 years and gave away $800,000 to suburban housewives who sat by the telephone waiting for the host of the show to call their number.  It finally terminated when more sophisticated game shows began to be aired and fewer households had stay-at-home moms who were in residence to answer the telephone. Here is how it worked, if you don’t remember it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialing_for_Dollars.

I know my mother wished upon a star many times that Dialing for Dollars would call 4-6750. It was our home number and those were the only digits you needed to reach our family back in the 1950s. Then as the population grew,  dialing VA4-6750 (Valley4- 6750) became mandatory. She and my father had medical bills they needed to pay from having given birth to twins – a not so common occurrence in the 1950s and they could have used the money.

The other day I was going through my baby book, and I found the obstetricians bill from when my twin sister and I were born.  There was a personal note on it from the doctor that said “I realize you have incurred very large medical bills with these births, I have tried to keep my charges as low as possible. Please know you can pay whenever or however it is convenient.” The bill was for $140. Seven years later when the doctors figured out how to give me a long and fulfilling life, much greater medical bills were added.  The bills became very staggering for a young couple who by then had three young children and were going through a very difficult time in life.  However, unexpected and more difficult circumstances occurred but that finally allowed them to financially rebuild their life a little bit.

Compared to medical bills in today’s world, my parent’s medical bills were a pittance. But with the wages of that era, everything is relative. Medical bills are a strain on all people who live within very tight budgets. The very technology that helps people to live long lives today is expensive to develop, maintain and use. I do get it, but our medical insurance system does need overhauling and I don’t think we are even close with a viable solution.

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I will share with you a letter I found in my baby book that I had written to the tooth fairy. It made me chuckle when I read it.


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