Return to A Short Biography

Dilbert Thelen

by Ed Thelen
This is the real me -

- Protective mommy,
- I'm youngest kid in class,
- With glasses,
- With braces,
- No More Glasses :-)),
- The world ain't fair,
- Mommy has trouble as mother-in-law

My mother was a very protective "mamma bear".
She was sure that my father was a threat to my well being
   - he wanted me to go to military school (get me away from my mother?)
   and that medical intrusion into natural things was a good thing.

I'm youngest kid in class

Anyway - back to me as a little kid -
   My mother wanted me to get out of high school as soon as practical, and into college -
      so got permission for me to enter kindergarten a year early.
   I was the youngest kid in the class -
       unfortunately I was also the smallest boy and not very socially competent either -
       - a Dilbert, a nerd, I was so low in the pecking order that
         if you had any social status at all you wouldn't stoop to pick on me.

Not only was I the youngest, smallest, least socially competent in my class -
   but I had coke bottle bottom glasses -
and how did I get those glasses? and just how did I get out of those glasses?

With glasses

At about age 2 my mother took me to the local eye doctor for an exam.

The good Dr. put drops in my eyes and when the pupils were wide open and the muscles relaxed,
announced that I thought a bush was a tree and needed glasses.

Each year I went back to the eye Dr. and got the following ritual:

  1. eye drops are soaked into a small wad of cotton
  2. soaked wad of cotton inserted under my upper eye lid
  3. I complain a lot!! - Refuse to grin and bear it for the few minutes
  4. Dr. examines my eyes and says I need stronger glasses
  5. glasses arrive - they are so strong that I can hardly see,
         and my eyes get real sore - I want my old glasses
  6. Dr. says that I will get used to them -
  7. in a week or so I do
and in a year do the same damned thing over again!!
I just *KNEW* that this was not the way to do it!
I was getting screwed by the medical profession! and by my mother!

I even went to our family Dr. Van Mier for eye exercises weekly for a year
   - follow that red jewel in its circular route for an hour.

With braces

Oh - I forgot - I also wore braces on my teeth - and had my tonsils out - and circumcised at age 7 and ...

Everything about me that could be medically tweaked or cut had been -


No More Glasses :-))

Finally - in high school - World War 2 was on. My father noticed that some guys who had worn glasses were not wearing them any more, and were in the Air Force. He was told that they went to see Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones usually could help a lot.

No - they were not contacts - the Air Force did not permit contacts - (the all day kind was not yet been invented)

My father and I went to Dr. Jones and he:

- did not give drops (It turns out he was not a Dr.)
- every few months he gave me weaker glasses
- and suggested that when ever possible
I remove my glasses and try to do things without them.
and in about 2 years I was not using my last glasses at all -

I was *FREEEEE* !!!!!!!!!!!!!
A prisoner released from the jail of those @#$%^&* things!!

I still get excited about it.
I even tear up a bit.

The good "Dr." did say that at about age 50 I would need reading glasses


The world ain't fair

After I got out of college, the Army, college, and now married/working - still glasses free - I went to look up Dr. Jones.
He had fallen on hard times, not the sprightly young man of 20 years ago -

- everyone in Stillwater who had believed in his method had been curred - or had found they had other troubles.
- he had moved to some little town, in some dingy little office about 60 miles away
- he did not get many customers
- Bausch & Lomb wouldn't send him any more lenses as medical authorities had complained
- he had to get lenses by bootleg means
- he was glad to see me - didn't have many visitors.

So much for do-gooders!


Mommy has trouble as mother-in-law

My mother came about once a year to visit wife Irene and me.
    - Mother wants to be very helpful - make suggestions -
    pull her weight, do dishes, do do do,  not be a burdensome guest - OK?   
Drove Irene absolutely nutz - with me a very short way behind.
(Her visits never lasted more than about 10 days.
    About day 8 we made sure she had a ticket home Real Soon Now.)

Wife Irene and I had been  concerned about baby Randy's toe-in walking 
- checked with medical authorities.
  1/3 said he would grow out of it
  1/3 said to wedge his shoe soles this way, the other 1/3 said that way
Since there was so much uncertainty, we took the middle way -
   and were doing nothing.

On my mother's next visit, she got Randy and a pair of his normal shoes,
    and got to someone who put wedges on the soles of Randy's shoes.
I went nutz - This is Our house and Our kids!?!?!
    My mother went home (2,000 miles away) even earlier than usual.
    I couldn't get those wedges off effectively,
           so the screwed up shoes went also.

I think she didn't visit so much after that.