Dallas E. Boggs, PhD

POST GRADUATE

 I got a job at the University of Delaware and we decided not to wait till too close to Barbara’s due date to move her. We found an apartment in Newark and moved Barbara and Susan in while I returned to Ithaca to finish the lab work for my PhD thesis. Jean was born in Wilmington, Delaware in September, 1958. I was in the process of finishing up my lab work for PhD thesis, and I already had a position at the U. of Delaware. Barbara’s due date was in October; but, because she had a family history of early deliveries, we decided to move her and Susan two weeks ahead of me. We rented the bottom floor (furnished) of a two story house on Main St. in Newark, DE.

Two weeks later, I received a call that Jean Patricia had arrived one month early (on September 14, 1958). I stayed up all night to finish the last run on my lab work before leaving for Delaware. I finished my thesis and got my degree the following February (1959). The second year in Delaware, we bought a home in a housing development in the outskirts of Newark, where we lived for two years. Our number three daughter, Gail Elizabeth was born on June 8, 1961.

I gave up my combination teaching-research job at the University to take a full-time research position with Dr. Harry Waismanin the Dept. of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. We stayed for two years before moving to a new job at the Sonoma State Hospital in California. Leta Malissa was born in Sonoma on April 24, 1964. Our next move was to Pacific State Hospital in Pomona, California. I was approved for a new grant that would have kept me in Pomona, but the newly elected Gov. of California (Ronald Reagan) cut our budget, and we had to move again. Barbara was expecting again, and it was very close to her due time.

I got a job at The Clinical Research Center in Children’s Hospital at Ohio State University in Columbus. Mary was born early, while I was in Ohio making arrangement for our move back east. We moved to Reynoldsburg, near Columbus, and I worked at Children’s Hospital until 1972.

I had a three-year grant from NIH from 1970 1973. I was studying histidase. I collaborated with Jackson Lyn, who worked at the Battelle Memorial Laboratories. He stabilized enzymes by binding them to cellulose. I took my enzyme preparation to him and he stabilized it for me. When I visited his laboratory, I reported to the front desk, and they called him to come and escort me to his lab.  On one or two occasions, Jackson suggested “but don't you to come to the back door and sneak in.” “I played cat and mouse with the security all the time.” One time, I called over there and ask for Jackson. The telephone operator answered, “I'm sorry. Jackson died in his sleep last week. His wife was awakened when Jackson rustled enough to awaken her. She got up to see about their baby. When she returned, Jackson was motionless, and she couldn't arouse him.” The autopsy showed no marks on him; and the cause of death was determined to be sudden death syndrome, which is extremely rare in adults. (That happened during the height of the Cold War, and I have always wondered whether there was a linkage between Jackson's "Cat and Mouse Games" and his ultimate fate. Battelle contracted a lot of secretive government contracts.)

My research grant ran out that year, and I decided that I couldn’t take the stress of grantsmanship any longer. It was during the time of economic troubles from the Vietnam War (a “guns or butter issue”). I was told that my last NIH grant was one of five proposals that were approved, and that only one out of twenty of those was funded. I decided to go into the commercial lab business; and Scientific Advances , a subsidiary of Battelle Memorial Laboratories, formed a new company “Metagen, Inc.” to specialize in testing for genetic disorders in children and unborn fetuses. Unfortunately, the project was short-lived because we didn’t get a rapid response from the doctors, and SA decided it wouldn’t give them a quick return on their investments.

Somehow, Jim Gott, who was a regional director for a medical insurance organization heard about me; and he helped me relocate to West Chicago, Illinois, to help Miller Pharmacal Company, founded by Dr.John Miller, set up a new Laboratory (Biomedical Data, Inc.), specializing in measuring minerals and trace elements in human hair. After about four years, we got out of Bob Moravac’s back yard and moved into a newly remodeled building on Roosevelt Road in West Chicago. That move was anticlimactic. I felt at a dead-end.

Leon Kast proposed that we start a new venture. Leon Kast, Howard Cohn, Drake Leoris and I formed a general partnership (each investing $10,000), and Howard sold 25 limited partnerships ($250,000). The new business (Rapid Medical Services) was almost ready to open for business, when Howard’s untimely death occurred. The business was slow to get off the ground, and Leoris decided that they couldn’t afford to pay my salary of $35 k per year, when he could get a biochemist at $10 k per year. They let me go, and hired an Indian Ph. D. in my place. They soon put the company into bankruptcy. The other partners got a huge tax deduction, but I didn’t have any taxes to write-off.

I had to sign up for unemployment, and that hurt my pride. When I saw a notice on the board at the unemployment office—“Manpower Wanted”, I applied at the directed location and found that it was for a CETA program that would pay me a minimum wage and cover my expenses, including tuition and fees, to attend a training program at the College of DuPage in food service administration. After taking courses in Food Preparation, Management, etc., I found that I was now qualified for Registration with the American Dietetic Association as a Dietician (under a grandfather clause). I barely met the deadline before discontinuation of that program by the ADA.

I left Illinois with an old Eldorado Cadillac Hardtop that I bought for $250. I had to install a new fuel pump before I left. On the way to West Virginia, I had trouble keeping the engine running. The motor wasn't getting enough power when I turned on the headlights. The motor would almost CONK out. After I got to West Virginia, I pulled aside and called Earl to take me the rest of the way to my parents’ home. We came back the next day got car to take it the rest of the way to my parents' home. Edward found a loose wire to the alternator.

I made two or three trips to Montgomery Alabama, where I stayed with Edna for a week or two while looking for a job; but I had no luck finding worked there.

Next, I went to Wilda’s in home Tampa, Florida. Joe got me a job in construction working for Mr. Ryan, at minimum wage. On the first day of that job, they had me tear out a pipe up under a building. The next day, my muscles were so sore that I could hardly get out of bed. Ryan's dad was working on the job. He had gone bankrupt, running a nursery and the Bahamas. He told me that he had to get help getting out of bed during his first week or two on the job. We had another project where we poured hot tar on roofs. When the temperature was over 90° and the wind humidity was more than 90%, sweat poured off our foreheads, but we got accustomed to it. Joe was the Gopher (Gopher for this and Gopher that). I worked on that job for about three months.

With the help of an employment agency in Chicago, in October in October, 1980, I got interview with Mississippi Valley food service in Jackson Mississippi, and they hired me as a food service management trainee at King’s Daughters Hospital  in Brookhaven, Mississippi. After six months at Brookhaven, MVFS transferred me to
Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospitalin Winona, MS. While there, I passed the American Dietetic Association test that qualified me to be a Registered Dietician.

Barbara stayed behind with our daughters until Leta graduated from high school; and I, being very lonely without her, spent a lot of time in local taverns. Wesley Crawford had an old shack way out in the country off the main roads. I went there often, and one of my drinking buddies was Ruth. Ruth lived on one of the back roads away out in the country. Her boyfriend often left her stranded, and she would ask me for a ride home. We became good friends.  After about a year, Barbara joined me in Wynona; but Ruth continued calling me, asking me for a ride home from the bar. I would tell Barbara that my friend George had a flat tire and I was going to go help him. On one occasion, when Ruth called me, I ask Barbara to go with me. I don't know what Barbara said to her, but Ruth quit calling me; and, after that incident, when Barbara brought up the subject, I would say, “Well, you made me Ruthless!”

To My Sweet Wife

Whatever we know,

We still have room to grow;

And there are times in life,

That a man does not always

Share with his wife.

In the meantime, be assured that

If we can’t get along without a spat,

We must tolerate each other --

Because there’s no way

I would give you up for another.

-- Dallas E. Boggs

Uncle Bill died shortly after we left Mississippi, and they buried him in the Smith Cemetery, located at the top of the steep hill behind Aunt Rena's and Uncle Albert Smith's home place--near Corton, WV. WV is well known for locating its burial grounds on the apex of its steep slopes; but the road to this one goes straight up; and you wouldn't expect a passenger vehicle to make the climb. I, having been away from the hills for many years was almost scared out of my pants when I was a passenger in one of the several vehicles making that climb. It provoked me to express my feelings in the following verses.

Smith Hill

Next time, I'll write my will
Before I go up that hill,
Where they buried Uncle Bill.

I thought we wouldn't get there alive,
But Debbie took her Blazer,
And that hill didn't even phase her—
With that Blazer in four wheel drive.
She headed straight up that hill--
Where they buried Uncle Bill.

We made our own track.
Nothing could hold that Blazer back!
It rolled right over a great big rock,
And climbed all the way to the top.
Of that hill,
Where they buried Uncle Bill.

I said, "Thank you, I'd rather walk back down."
But Paul didn't even frown.
He just said, "If you follow your old track.
The wind'll hold you back."
Debbie said, "Paul! Shut your mouth."--
As she headed that Blazer South—
Back down that hill,
Where the buried Uncle Bill.

I continued working at Tyler Holmes Hospital as Dietary Director until 1984, when the hospital was downsized from 70 beds to 30 beds; and I felt that they couldn’t afford me anymore. I voluntarily resigned, and we moved to Dunbar, WV to manage my brother Earl’s store on Roxalana Rd. When we had to close that business, I got a job as Dietary Director at South Charleston Community Hospital. That job lasted a little more than one year; and (in December, 1985) I found a job in Nashville, TN with the WIC program administered by the Tennessee Opportunities Program for the State of Tennessee. We moved into a small utility apartment on W. Douglas Ave. in East Nashville, where we lived for 18 years (It was not a good Neighborhood, but the rent was so low we couldn't afford to leave there.) My job lasted about six months. (A new Governor took office, and his Attorney General ruled that the arrangement between the State and TOPS was illegal.)

There was a suitable job opening in the State of Washington, but we would have to move again and start all over. By this time I wanted to get out of the rat race. (I could say that I was "burned out".) I found Temporary employment until I turned 55--an age qualifying me to get help from a CAPS program, which referred me to Opryland Theme Park. They hired me as a food service worker. I worked there until the Park closed in October, when I transferred to the Hotel. From that job, I went to Sky Chefs, Inc. on Hanger Lane in Nashville.

I worked in the food prep division for about a year -- until the Cooks position became available, and I took that job (I would now get experience that I had wanted for a long time to full-fill my interests in the food business, and I enjoyed the job of bulk cooking for 50 employees at a time and preparing first class meals for American Airlines.

NEXT