Jan 212012

It rained hard most of Thursday night and I expected yesterday to be a washout, literally. As it turns out, even though there was a heavy overcast most of the day, it was warm. Warm and humid, to be exact. But since we are leaving tomorrow, we wanted to do a little bit of sightseeing while we could.

We’ve visited this area several times over the years and have noticed the signs for the Holmes Medical Museum in Foley before, but never took the time to stop. I’m glad we finally did.


Housed in what was Baldwin County’s first hospital, which occupied the second floor of a building over Crosby’s Drugs, the museum has an interesting collection of early day medical equipment, including everything from gruesome looking scalpels and forceps, to an operating table that made me hurt just to look at it.



One room had a collection of medical quackery devices, including this gizmo, which was supposed to reduce the size of waists, hips, abdomens,and thighs at home.


This was used to reduce varicose veins.


And this was used for electroshock therapy. That gives new meaning to frying your brain!


And what’s a hospital without bedpans? They had quite a collection on display.


We had a personal  interest in visiting the museum, my good friend Greg White’s mother was a nurse at the hospital in about 1950, and Greg had his tonsils out here when he was a youngster. I wonder if they used that electroshock machine on Greg while he was here? That would explain a lot. 🙂

After we toured the free museum, we drove down to Gulf Shores to check out the beach. There were only a few people out enjoying the day, and the weird light made it difficult to take pictures, but Terry got a few, including a surfer trying to catch a wave.

Beach chairs

Gulf Shores beach 2


Terry and I both have an affinity for the beach, any beach, but between the stiff wind and the misty overcast yesterday, we didn’t stay long. Besides, there wasn’t a bikini in sight. 🙁

We stopped at LuLu’s, a restaurant owned by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett’s sister, and checked out this bell, which was recovered from the wreck of the Amstel, a 250 foot sailing ship which wrecked on a sandbar at the entrance to Mobile Bay in 1861, while serving as a Civil War blockade runner. The old bell was cleaned up and is on display at the entrance to the restaurant.

Bark Amstel bell

We made a couple of stops on the way home, including Books A Million, because we have never owned a vehicle that could pass a book store without automatically pulling into the parking lot, and WalMart, to stock up on some things we needed.

Today we’ll probably hang around home most of the day working on my new book, getting some chores done before we hit the road tomorrow, and just being lazy. A few people said they wanted to stop by and pick up some of our CDs and camping guides, so it will be a good time for them to do that. My friend Jack Mayer is parked a couple of sites down, and we may get together and try to solve most of the problems of the world if we have the time.

After reading about how much we like our Sea Eagle kayaks, many of you have said you’d like to own one, too. Well, have I got a deal for you. Actually, my friends Tim and Crystal Ryerson at Inflatable Boats 4 Less have a deal for you; until the end of this month they are giving away a free Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak with the sale of selected Fast Track 385 or 465, Explorer 380 or 420 and PaddleSki 435 packages. Two boats for the price of one, how can you beat a deal like that?

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Nick Russell

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  10 Responses to “Bed Pans, Beaches, & Boats”

  1. Nick, your comment about your blow up kayaks made me want to say what excellent watercraft they are. We don’t have the same brand as yours and it’s a two-seater, but our blow up kayak is very stable, as I’m guessing yours is also. We recently toured the harbor by Doheny State Beach in California. Katie didn’t have her seat set up right and actually turned around (on her butt, not standing up) while we were on the water. The boat never had any inclination of turning over or swamping, or any other nautical terms for sinking. We’ve very happy with ours, just wish we were in situations and places where we could use it more. Happy boating!

  2. I can’t believe you will pass up a chance to have dinner at Lamberts, home of throwed rolls. It’s our favorite place when we stay at the Plantation.

  3. I always get a little creeped out looking at old medical stuff but can’t help but be fascinated by it. Even though I complain about the delivery of medical services, I’m still glad I live now instead of 100 years ago.

  4. To each their own, John. We’ve been to Lamberts a couple of times in the past and were not all that impressed with it. We’d much rather go to one of the many excellent seafood restaurants in the area.

  5. I am so glad you said that Nick! We thought there must be something wrong with us because we did not like Lamberts at all and everybody raves about it. We gave it three tries, with different people who insisted we go with them, and each time we came away saying “Ok, what’s the big deal? They throw rolls at you. We taught our kids not to do that.”

  6. I agree about Lamberts, it was OK the first time, but we went again and did not really like it. If we had a choice of a place like Lamberts or a good seafood place, the seafood would win. I enjoyed the pictures of the medical equipment and remember using some of the bedpans when I first started nursing. Terry takes awesome pictures. see you soon, be safe getting here

  7. We heard about how great Lamberts was for years and couldn’t wait to try it. The food was okay, and they had a lot to go around, but it wasn’t any better than a Ryan’s buffet quality wise as far as we were concerned. But a lot more expensive.

  8. I am so glad I read this today! We had planned to give Lamberts a try within the next few days. Don’t think we’ll bother.

    Good seeing you and Miss Terry again. Safe travels as you pull out tomorrow.

  9. Nice to see an entry about the Holmes Medical Museum! I am the great granddaughter of Dr. W.C. Holmes and the great-great granddaughter of Dr. Sibley Holmes. It’s lovely to see visitors enjoying the museum.

  10. I am W C Holmes granddaughter and Dr Origin Sibley Holmes’ great granddaughter. I remember when the hospital was over Wright Drug Store and my grandmother Philomene was the charge nurse. I remember when Mema was going through my grandfather’s things, trying to pick out the things for the museum. I am thrilled people are interested in the medical history of Baldwin County, and the contributions that my family has made

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