Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Doctor Albin’s Five Dollar Specials

Now doctor Albin’s “five dollar” specials weren’t really that
long ago. In fact they may have even stretched into the
late 80’s here in Kensington. While other doctors may have
been charging 50 or 75 bucks for a “check-up”, doctor
Albin on Albemarle Road was still charging five bucks.

And I’m not really sure which of these houses on the right
he had his office in, I know it was one of them though.
Because I was one of his patients, and I always went to see
him when I wanted to hear only “good news”.

Oh, and don’t forget the “red pills” that doctor Albin gave
you when you left. I mean those pills were good for just
about everything you know.

Even terminal “lung cancer”.

Yeah, good old doctor Albin, he told my dad he was as
healthy as a horse and would live until he was a hundred
years old.

Except my dad died at 39, only three months later.

But at least doctor Albin never made you feel bad,
or like you had something wrong with you.
No, it was only a "positive" experience when you
saw doctor Albin. No matter what your condition.

I remember one time I was playing roller hockey on my
block and the puck really smashed my finger. With ice
wrapped around it I walked over to doctor Albin’s office.
I sat there on the sun porch with a dozen or so of his regular
elderly patients. The ice I had wrapped around my finger
just dipped on the wood floor, making a small puddle.

When it was my turn to see him, he didn’t even take me
inside. He just gave me more ice and a hand full of those
red pills. And he let me slide for the five bucks too.

Good old doctor Albin.

And don't you dare call him a "quack" if you knew what
was good for you. No, the only quacking we heard came
came form Prospect Park lake.

No, we never heard
doctor Albin "quack" once,
no, never once.

Yeah, good old doctor Albin, did we love him or what.

But I'm afraid the story about doctor Albin doesn’t have a
very happy ending you know. From what I heard, some
junkie broke into his house looking for drugs and
apparently killed him. That was sometime in the late
80’s or early 90’s, although I was never sure.

Doctor Albin and five dollar office visits.
And I don’t think anyone ever asked
him if he took insurance.

Ron Lopez
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Anonymous said...

you wre probably being thrown off by the white fence it wasnt there back when Dr. Albin was. I'm pretty sure his house is the one with the fence.
The Pills he gave us were always orange and white. (in the little white pill box) I'm pretty sure it was the early to mid 90's that he died. I hadnt heard that about him being killed though.
Dont forget, if you were quiet and didnt wake the baby you got a lollipop.

Randy Reis said...

Right Ronnie, everything was always good with Doc, I walked around for a week with a broken wrist after he told me it was fine.. And I loved him, best Doc OI ever had!!

Randy Reis

Ron Lopez said...

Hey Randy!

Thanks for reading!
You had one of the best "heavy" slapshots around when we used to play!

No wonder the palm of my left hand
still stings after 30 years!

Ronnie Lopez

Anonymous said...

I believe he was killed in the summer of 1995 - pushed down the stairs by a junkie and left to die.

Anonymous said...

YES!!! good old DR Albin..coming from a family of 5 brothers my mom would always send us there for a cold / flu....or forms like school/boyscouts/working papers had to be signed $5.00 and your on your way...guess he could charge that cause he never updated his office

Mikey D E8th

Profenglish said...

Doc Albin, My mother use to go there on a weekly visit for her B12 injections... I remember the pills also, he gave them for every ailment you could imagine. They were probably placebos.

Anonymous said...

he was the best for writing notes when we cut class. 5 bucks for a day of freedom.

Anonymous said...

I also went to Dr. Albin,lol,the pill pusher.The house is the one to the right(west) of the house with the white(picket type)fence.

Funda said...

Yes the $5.00 doctor we called him I never even knew his name. We went to him for the easy stuff whenever my parents didnt want to go all the way to Sheepshead Bay to our regular pediatrician. I remember sitting on his porch waiting for him, and I always got the lollipop afterwards... wow thanks for the flashback!

Anonymous said...

I remember Dr. Albin well. He was the poor man's doctor. Never charged more than $5.00 (and only$3.00 when he pierced my ears)and always a full house of patients and their families waiting to see him. No appts for him, it was always first come, first served. How many times did I hear him exclaim when he called in the next patient (no assistants for him) "what the chicken soup didn't work?". We'd all chuckle, but he took care of every problem you had. At some point before he died I met Dr. Albin walking home from the train station on Albemarle Rd and he mentioned his wife had suffered a stroke and he was on his way home from visiting her. Shortly thereafter he was killed. How sad that was to hear. I still think fondly of the "good old family doctor." They don't exist anymore.