Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Country Doctor

The Country Doctor
This jacket deals with the life and work of Dr. Ernest G. Ceriani who practiced in the isolated, small town of Kremmling, Colorado. Long before the advent of the HMO, Ceriani was the subject of an W. Eugene Smith photo essay for Life magazine in 1948 called 'Country Doctor'. Smith was supposed to follow Ceriani for 2 weeks illustrating what a country doctor means to his or her community. Sleeping on the good doctor's couch, Smith turned 2 weeks into 6. And for good cause. If you get a chance Google this photo essay it is not only heart wrenchingly beautiful but thought provoking. I for one am endlessly fascinated by Doc Ceriani. He might have looked like a movie star, but what he was was a saint. A saint with a lot of stamina, because his work was endless. He was general physician, surgeon, dentist, obstetrician, pediatrician and laboratory technician to a town of people in desperate need of all of the above. A married man with 2 small children when he arrived in Kremmling, he was seldom able to be home. His son Gary told me that he and his brother would hang out with with him at the hospital, helping to set broken bones and whatnot, if they wanted to hang out with their dad. Or maybe at the office developing X-Rays with him to save money. Which brings me to a thought that kept circling through my mind when I was working on this project. Who would want to be married to a saint? Not much in it for the wife and kids if you ask me. But if anyones wife and kids have to suffer on in isolation, I hope they belong to my doctor.
The Country Doctor jacket was stolen out of my old studio before I had a chance to finish, properly photograph, show, or sell it.

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