Thursday, July 27, 2006

Doraville: On Getting Polio By Lying


Dora Class of '68: When I was in the ninth grade, I loved to go to the high school whenever I could. My sister and brother were there and I just liked the older kids! That year they were giving sugar cubes to people who didn't have their polio shots and you got to leave school and walk over to the high school. Now I had my polio shots, but I wanted to get out of school and go to the high school! So I LIED! I said I had not had them.

I walked over to the school and walked around the halls and eventually went to where I was suppose to go and ate one sugar cube. I felt awful. I thought God is going to get me for lying! I mean I felt so bad about it. You were suppose to go back and take two more I think and I didn't go.

That summer I pledged DBS. Lee Long was my big sister. We had to sit for hours on a hard floor with our legs crossed at the first meeting. My legs went to sleep! I mean I had no feeling in them at all! I started crying. I mean really crying and Lee and Carolyn walker came and helped me up and I left with them and we went riding. I can remember the crawdad-Lee said, "Dora, smoke a cigarette- it will make you feel better."

I finally said, "I know what is wrong. I have polio!" Lee said, What? I said, "I lied, I lied-- I took a polio sugar cube last year at school and I already had a polio shot and God has made me have polio for lying!!!" I mean I was serious! They started laughing and said NO, you dont have polio! Eventually the feeling came back in my legs.

BUT it did something to me about lying(except skipping school and church) BUT when I was point blank asked about whatever I had done-- I would tell the truth or sometimes tell on myself. It was the fear I had of my legs going numb again!

**In the United States, polio was the most notorious disease of the 20th century until AIDS appeared. On April 12, 1955, it was announced that Jonas Salk, using March of Dimes donations from millions of people, had developed a vaccine to prevent polio. See: What Ever Happened to Polio? by the Smithsonian.

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