Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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


Anonymous said...

The Dr passed away in 1995

Anonymous said...

Dr. Albin once put stitches in my arm without anesthesia! I guess my parents didn't want to wait in the ER or just wanted to watch me scream in pain as the good doctor sewd me up!

Scott Fiata said...

Dr. Alben was the 3rd house on the right (the one with the enclosed porch). The brick house in the distance on the right was the first one across E 2nd St. My original Dr. was Dr. Kanner who lived across the street from Dr. Alben, but probably retired in the early 1970s. Dr. Alben was good for a $5 dose of antibiotics and his old "eat some chicken soup, Junior." He called me Junior well into my 30s. When i got married and moved into my wife's house we were on E 2nd street but my backyard bordered on Dr. Alben's. Well we were looking to cut down one of those weeds that had grown into a tree and Dr. Alben came out and lent me a chainsaw. "Use this junior!" he told me. I was never that comfortable going to see him after that.

Anonymous said...

I remember Dr. Alben. He treated my father, too who was afflicted with a heart condition which took his life at the age of 51. Does anyone recall Dr. Alben's eye problem? I was only 12 when I went to his office and his eye freaked me out! I think he was injured in WWII or the Korean War. I told him I had hay fever and he didn't believe me, but gave me an allergy test anyway on my left arm. My arm swelled so much while I waited in the waiting room he was amazed. The swelling continued until it reached across the elbow joint, making it impossible for me to bend my arm. It was because of this that I had to sit in the back seat of our family car instead of the front between my parents on the day my father died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm while driving our car. If I had been in the front seat, I might not be writing this comment.

nick64 said...

Our family doctor was on Albemarle Rd. too, on the north side around East 3rd. His name was Dr. Rabinowitz, and he was our family doctor until he died. Anyone remember him?