By: Verna (Cook) Weatherly


Our mother took us as children to see a "Chinese" Doctor.  He was located in John Day, and I am sorry to say, I do not remember the exact whereabouts of his establishment, but the visit I will never forget.


Prior to this day, our mother had started stepping Chinese herbs in a small pan on the back of our cook stove.  The tea was a very dark and terribly bitter concoction, which I did not like.  Later our mother revisited this doctor, and I was allowed to see his office.  It was located in a narrow, rather crudely constructed building in an alley.  The small quiet gentleman appeared rather short, with fine graying, wispy hair and goatee. He had a remarkably kind face with smiling narrow eyes.  He bowed humbly as we approached the entrance of his small room.  There was a hushed feeling, coupled by a great sense of mystery, as you passed him, having discovered his storeroom of exotic remedies.  You felt the power of his mysterious way all about you.


The walls were flanked with partially hidden small drawers and woven containers made of grass, and glass jars which seemed to hold dried bark or herbs.  Objects were tied with silk thread or slender grass, and every few feet, hanging on the wall were black ink drawings.  Bamboo colored wooden boxes with exotic carvings and more jars of colored glass, which told of mysterious rhythms and marvels.  It seemed all to have dropped from the sky.  This was such a wondrous event for me, to have a small lovely person laden with such enchantment.  I have never to this day visited China, but in this one learn hours, China visited me. 


We left with more herbs of tea.