Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Valley Fever

One of the biggest things in Dan's life as a child was when he contracted Valley Fever. He had gone to Shark's Tooth Mountain with his Boy Scout troupe and dug in the dirt for shark's teeth. We didn't know then that the area was rife with the Valley Fever spore.

I remember that he had to remain in bed. Period. So Mom had a hospital bed brought into the family room and Dan stayed there for six months. The doctors told her that he either did that or he went to the sanitarium in Springville. Mom, the nurse, was not going to have one of her children in a hospital someplace where she couldn't take care of them. So in the family room he stayed. He was in 7th  grade and my 3rd grade teacher came in to tutor him. Mrs. Edwards. It was embarrassing for both of us.

He never recovered from that educational setback. He hated school after that and, despite the fact that he was the smartest member of our family, almost flunked out of high school. But he read everything. He always had his facts straight and could argue anyone into a corner just because he always knew his subject. Thank you, Mrs. Edwards.

He even hated college finding it confining and staid. An academic he was not. A true intellectual he was. I think I have mentioned that he would recommend books for me to read or music for me to listen to. If you get a chance, find a group called Celestial Navigation. You will see what I mean about Dan's mind.

Valley Fever kept him from donating his lungs but the lessons that he taught me because of it will live on in me and mine.

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