Memories of a Lifetime

Memoirs of Robert Henry Fowler 1884-1980

Excerpts from 1974 writings while married to Ella Lucile Rockwell Fisher Fowler
Printed Dingby Press, Fairfield, Maine 1976


Someone wrote a book twenty years ago entitled, I Married an Angel. And I think if anybody could write a book entitled I Married Two Angels, it would be me.

Robert Henry Fowler 1974 My first wife, Caroline, and I had 56 years of happy married life and a half dozen children before she died of cancer. There was an interim of two or three years in which I was steeped in gloom, a deep melancholia, where all was lost. All joy was past. Then fairly rapidly the sun shone again and by the grace of God, a little widow who ran a private kindergarten at Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York, came to my rescue as though heaven-sent. Little did my sons realize that this same widow was the mother of Lola Fisher, an actress and a singer who was the understudy for Julie Andrews in "My Fair Lady", who had invited them to lunch, while under my medical care. Somehow dining with an actress was a novelty in our family. Of course, the novelty of the situation expanded when Lucile and I contemplated marriage.

Lucile and I have been married now for six years and are living "happily ever after". We spent one winter in Crete and I had a chance to make a drawing of the Parthenon on the Acropolis at Athens, and a water-color painting of the "Knights Templer's Hospice" in Rhodes. We have been coming to Florida for several years, visiting: Coconut Grove, Winter Park, and finally here in Stuart where we purchased a condominium, and where we find ourselves in a group of friendly people.

***

The reason I feel impelled to write my memoirs is that I have a couple of principles in my philosophy. One is that each generation should hand on to its children, grandchildren, etc., as much inspiration as possible.

The other is that inspiration comes from above; that the original inspiration comes from God, but that each generation is inspired to make efforts in directions suitable to the times and places which change so the torch is handed on as in the Olympic races from one generation to the next.

***

EPILOGUE - Philosophy and Beliefs of Dr. Robin Fowler

I believe in Edmund Jarvrin's doctrine about the cause of the reason why and I believe in the Malthusian theory. I believe in the Darwinian theory of evolution and I believe in my father's doctrine, "God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform".

Whenever you have creeds, written down and subscribed to as ultimate truth you have contradictions, doubts, prejudices, hates and strife. Examples: North and South Ireland today. They have two theories about the meaning of the Bible, each for hundreds of years hardened into dogma, Catholic or Protestant which has led to the extremes in the 14th and 15th centuries.

I believe that if you have these contrary opinions about the Bible and its meaning, and if you insist that your interpretation is infallible as the Popes do, I don't believe that the extreme views of Protestantism, the Calvinistic doctrines need be subsribed to as absolute truth. I believe that up to the present many of the truths that we would like to know about life after death are still hidden in obsurity. No man or woman has yet come forth to predict with any assurance what happens to the invisible part of us when our physical body dies. I believe that man is for seventy years an animal and that unlike many of the more ancient forms of animals, birds, beast and fish, he has been given more of certain inherited traits. I believe that man inherits from ancestors - stretching back millions of years, not only instincts common to all, such as sex (the mating instinct) proprietary instincts and the instinct to flight, but also he inherits the ability to think imaginatively and to organize and use his powers collectively or individually to plan for the far distant future.

What I don't believe in is that man has been given an ability to see clearly the distant future, to foretell with any certitude nor to use necromancy, magic or witchraft to supplant the known facts of science nor to supplant the painstaking effort of honest scientific research. I may be mistaken for my experience has been limited to the study of scientific hypotheses and theories.

Some things could be explained better if we had a little more imagination. My own imagination is sufficint to explain dichotomy quite simply. Split a skull in two and look at the brain. It is not a brain - it is two brains, right and left. They are alike but not unanimous. For man to have a mistress is horrible to one side, but seems quite natural and harmless to the other side. To take that which belongs to someonw else is a crime to the left side of the cranium, but seems innocent to the person doing it. It all depends upon the time and place. So the Bible says all the ways of a man are right in his own eye, and all we have to do to explain why the human race continues to make wars is to realize that it requires no more than a slight inherited prejudice to set this dichotomy in action.

This is my theory of paradoxical psychology, this is the simple explanation of the constant recurrence of paradox in human experience.

***

CHRONOLOGY

Robert Henry Fowler - Born March 25, 1884, at 60 E. 68th Street, Manhattan
Graduated from Wilson Lyon School -1902
Graduated from Columbia University -1906
Received M.D. Degree in 1909 from College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
Rode Presbyterian Hospital Ambulance - Spring of 1909
Staff of Manhattan Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital (EENT), 64th Street, Lexington Avenue -1910
Married Caroline Auchincloss in 1911
Lived at Cold Spring Harbor, L.I., N.Y. - Sold after World War I
Lived in N.Y.C -1919-1948
Summered at Bar Harbor -1926-1931
Honorary member of University Club at 5th Avenue, since 1913
Member of Art Students' League -1912 to 1935
Instructor in water color painting at Columbia University Art School
World War I -1917 to 1919
Promoted from Lieutenant to Major
Served in France Medical Corps Base Hospital #61, Beaune, France
Honorable discharge in 1919
Organized Tonsil Hospital - President from 1919 to 1935
Climbed the Matterhorn with son Lindsy -1929
Author of textbook "Modern Tonsil Surgery", published by David & Company, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia - 1930
Consultant of Laryngology at Presbyterian Hospital, New York - 1938 to 1940
World War II - Major
Ended as Commanding Officer of Base Hospital at Camp Gruber in Muscogee, Oklahoma
Honorable discharge -1942
Worked on Manhattan Project, Columbia University -1943 to 1945, performing medical inspections of personnel
After World War II lived 1/2 year with sister Millie
Retired to Yarmouth, Maine
8 1/2 Pleasant Street - 6 years
29 Portland Street -20 years
Trip around Mediterranean -1961
Caroline died after 56 years of married life -1967
Children
Lindsay, David, Sandy, Howland, and Bon (discharged from service after World War II)
Elizabeth - died in infancy during World War I
Winthrop - died in 1936 in climbing accident at top of Mt. Washington

I started my practice in the house where I was born and I had my office there for two to three years. Later I had my office in the Tonsil Hospital, 153 E. 62nd Street, New York, and on Park Avenue in the Mayfair Hotel.

Lived with Caroline in an apartment at 73rd Street, and Park Avenue. We built a house at Cold Spring Harbor, L.I. and I had an interview at that time with Theodore Roosevelt

1969 - Married Lucile Fisher, a widow from Long Island, New York, bought a condo in Stuart, Fl and lived happily ever.

email> smalltownsATusaDOTcom