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At the dentist: World War II Heroes of Essex

July 1, 2015

Wrote in uncle Bud's year book.

Wrote in uncle Bud’s year book.


Today I got a temporary tooth repair. Reminds me my brother Tom’s immediately after he died, the night after his body was discovered on his kitchen floor in an advanced state of rot and maggots. Our oldest son Todd had spent the afternoon helping the mortuary folks remove the body, then scrubbing, then he put scented candles all around in a failed attempt to mask the putrid cloying smell of death. Todd gave all of us, including Tom, an enduring gift. Todd said it was a sacred privilege. One of the most intimate ways to aid another.

Tom's image showed as a light-colored area on his floor where his body decayed.

Tom’s image showed as a light-colored area on his floor where his body decayed.


Long story short: Tom left a collection of teeth on his book shelf. These are teeth that he pulled himself, or teeth that had decayed to the extent that they fell out. Tom employed over the counter remedies like aspirin and acetaminophen for pain relief. He also encouraged his cat to sit on his back (how???) to soothe him.
Anyway, after delivering our friend Emily home this morning I got several local anesthetic injections by Dr. Todd Torbert in preparation for repairing a molar with a cracked cusp, lingual side, I learned from overhearing his banter with his dental assistant, whom I thanked, but did not learn her name. I was bent on leaving when I last saw her.
Dr. T. had not achieved the numbness necessary. He asked Holly to provide me one more shot, a “carpule” of long-lasting “pillow,” in her jargon. She proved to be most expert in employing the pillow. Yes, I could still breathe.
Of course, once my mouth was opened just wide enough, she and I began speaking of Glacier Park where P. and I had hiked last weekend. Turned out she grew up in Essex, near the Izaak Walton Inn. Holly had hiked the Huckleberry Mountain trail. I showed her my list of WW II dead that I had copied into my notebook.

Uncle Carl Bonde's year book in 1940.  Only Romolo Pettinato is not just any kid.  He was from Essex.  He was destined to die in WW II.  Same as Carl.

Uncle Carl Bonde’s year book in 1940. Only Romolo Pettinato is not just any kid. He was from Essex. He was destined to die in WW II. Same as Carl.


She specifically was most familiar with the two names who had written in my uncle Bud’s high school 1940 Flathead County annual: Romolo Pettinato and Leslie Cornelius. Holly was probably younger than I am, but you can never tell with women, especially physically fit professionals. She did know the families, parents, of both WW II heroes who lost their lives fighting the racist Nazis.
I began babbling about my lifelong quest to know about my lost uncle Carl Ralph Bonde, Jr., but Dr. Torbert intervened.
“Is your lip numb?” he asked.

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