Abilene medical society smaller“Courtship” author Martha Fitzgerald gave three separate talks to four audiences last week in Abilene, Texas.”Hen Medics and House Calls: An Insider’s Look at 1930s Medical Training” sparked knowing laughter at the regional medical society’s annual banquet, especially among the women physicians in attendance.

Alice Baker’s letters, beginning in 1937, shed light on the perils of health care before antibiotics and the social obstacles facing women in medicine and two-career marriages, Fitzgerald said. “In July 1937, when Alice and Joe met at Mayo Clinic, women medical students were considered a curiosity at best, if not a downright annoyance.”

“That attitude lingered well into the 1980s!” said one of the women M.D.s who came by the table after dinner for an autographed copy.

Fitzgerald’s other topics last week were “Pocketful of Dreams: A Daughter’s Journey into her Parents’ Past” (at Grace Museum  and the Woman’s Department Club of Abilene) and “The Faith Journey of Drs. Joe and Alice Holoubek” (at Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest). “I almost feel Abilene is my second home, as I met so many wonderful people,” Fitzgerald said. All the arrangements were made by Judy Godfrey, her longtime friend, who left Shreveport’s Meadows Museum at Centenary College to run the Grace Museum. Judy and her husband Larry used to live up the street from Dr. Alice and Dr. Joe.