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The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker & the Dentist

by Amateur Blogger on November 8, 2011

My father was a medical doctor, so you might imagine that I grew up wanting to be a doctor when I grew up, too. But you’d be wrong about that. For some strange reason, as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a dentist when I grew up. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you.

Back in the early 1960′s (I’m old as a dinosaur, get over it!) our family lived close enough to walk to our dentist’s office. In fact, living in a real, live neighborhood like most people those days, we could walk to just about anywhere we needed. We could walk to the bank, the grocery store, church or to the dentist office. Believe it or not, I still remember the name of our family dentist: Dr. Walter Hladun.

Although I don’t have a very good memory, I’m pretty sure I remember his name because of the positive experience I always had when I was in his dental chair. Contrary to horror stories I’d heard about the “dentist office”, Dr. Hladun never caused me any pain or discomfort in all of my visits. This was no small feat, either, because back in the days before fluoride treatments existed I can assure you that I grew up with a mouthful of cavities that Dr. Hladun skillfully fixed and repaired. To be honest, one of the other reasons I remember his name is because of the unique spelling and combination of the letters “h” and “l”, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen used one-after-another in a name since then.

So…I always wanted to be a dentist when I grew up. But there’s more to this story.

Fast Forward to High School Graduation

I was a good student with great grades. Schoolwork came easily to me. The next natural step out of high school, in order to pursue my goal of being a dentist, was to attend the University of Detroit as the university was both local and had a well known and respected dental school. I applied and was accepted! The plan was in full swing and my adventure to become a dentist began.

All Good Things Come to An End – Some Quicker than Others

Freshman year was tough. The requisite biology & chemistry course work that were part of my first year classes were taking their toll. This was tough stuff! Just as Dorothy learned in The Wizard of Oz I learned at the University of Detroit: I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

I survived year one and moved quickly into my sophomore year. Long story short. Organic chemistry took me down. The class was tough, the lab was tougher, and I decided that the journey to be a dentist was going to end in Professor Yvonne Szutka’s organic chemistry class. I’m old enough now to be honest about my college chemistry days. I was lazy. I didn’t want it bad enough. I didn’t work hard enough. I was well prepared and bright enough to be successful in that class, but I had other things on my mind and just didn’t want it bad enough. There. I said it for all the world to read. So I dropped out of the University of Detroit. My lifelong dream to become a dentist was over.

Now What?

Once I decided that dentistry was not in my future, I switched schools and attended Wayne State University in downtown Detroit and entered their pre-law program. After a year or so I decided that being a lawyer wasn’t for me. Are you seeing a pattern here? I know I am.

Although I’m not sure why, at this point in my “career quest” I decided I wanted to be a police officer. The chase began, and on November 27, 1978 I landed a police officer job in suburban Detroit. Twenty eight years later – on Halloween of 2006 – I retired. It was a great job for a young man and I couldn’t believe they actually paid me to have fun! But police work is tough, and the older I got the more I hated it. An early retirement was a great choice, and I’ve never looked back once during the past five years. That chapter of my book of life closed and I moved on to the next.

The Story Continues

For the past seven years I’ve been designing and developing websites with a special interest in using WordPress as a content management system. I own, operate and sweep the floors at both Stoney Creek Web Design & 1955 Design. Guess what? I really love designing websites, so I think it’s fair to say that being a website developer is what I am going to be when I grow up!

Let’s Blog Off Information

This post is one in a series that I have written (and will continue to write) for Let’s Blog Off. Every two weeks participants from different points of view explore a selected topic from their personal perspective. It’s interesting to see how different people approach the same topic!

5 Responses to “The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker & the Dentist”


  1. {1}

    It’s interesting how some of that stuff influences you as a young person. I remember growing up in Helena, Montana during the 1950s. We used to take our shoes to be repaired. This was WAY before I started wearing running shoes to help support an ever-aching back and throwing them away when they wore out. I remember watching the shoe repair guy do his thing, and just thinking what a neat job that would be. I especially liked it when he flipped a switch and all those wheels started going. As it turned out, a wistful wish was as far as I ever got with shoe repairs.


  2. {2}

    Thanks for the comment Joe. I never knew anyone who had aspirations to be a shoe cobbler!


  3. {3}

    You know, I wanted to be a doctor back in the day and it was organic that took me out too. Organic chem was the second term of my freshman year and it was my waterloo. I didn’t want to be a doctor so badly to actually apply myself and study so I took another path. Honestly, I think I’m happier. Thanks for your post.


  4. {4}

    We could have started a small medical complex together Paul. Thanks for the comments!


  5. {5}

    Wow! What an interesting life you’ve had and are continuing to have.

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