Chula Vista Star-News from Chula Vista, California on May 15, 1980 · Page 34
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Chula Vista Star-News from Chula Vista, California · Page 34

Chula Vista, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 15, 1980
Page 34
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THE STAR-NEWS - Thursday, May 15, 1980 0., , , rt DSudnva Id j Light Side IE was mmissiBdl ait ffmumerall There has been a lot of criticism about President Carter's failure to go to Marshal. Tito's funeral. The White House has reacted strongly to the criticism, and various spokesmen in the Administration have been ordered, to go out arid defend the president's decision. "It all boils down to a question of sig.nalssaidtheAdministration spokesman in charge of leaking to columnists. "President Carter was terribly saddened by the marshal's death, but if he went to Tito's funeral, he would be sending the wrong signal to Moscow." "How's that?"T said. ' . "If Carter had appeared in Belgrade, He was deported By LAURA KAUFMAN Star-Newi Staff Writer Dr. Ben Pessah," an Egyptian Jew, speaks without bitterness of his three-year internment in a concentration . camp following the . Six Day War between Egypt and Israel. "I don't blame them," he said of his arrest hv 1967. "We were political prisoners. "Many Egyptian Jews were held . and later deported by their own government, because official? feared they would support their fellow Jews from Israel." . Egyptian doctor puts best r J , jJfj J"'": PESSAH SHOWS PLASTER CASTS HE HAS MADE OF FEET He uses them to make corrective devices for shoes. Jackie "People like you shouldn't be out in public." That's what the man said. He . was big and brawny, looked like a former football tackle gone a bit to paunch.' We were on an elevator. He was smoking a cigarette. .As we slowly descended from the 10th floor, I took shallow breaths. After a lifetime spent in smoke-blue rooms, the old lungs have gotten balky. Refuse to process air with smoke in it any kind of smoke, won't deal with it. Just close up shop and quit working. Trouble is, all attempts at kicking the oxygen habit have failed. So at about the fourth floor, I quietly asked the gent to please put out his cigarette. , , Which is when he informed' me I should become a hermit. At' the time, it 1 did seem an appealing idea. ,. In agreement were members of the San Diego Better Breather's Club, to "whom I spoke recently. (Am looking forward - to meeting the South Bay Better Breathers Monday.) This is a group of people wjth he would have had to say hello" to Leonid Brezhnev, and if he had said hello to him, Brezhnev would have gotten the message that the United States was not as upset about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as we really are." "Why didn't Carter go to Belgrade and not speak to Brezhnev? This would -have been a stronger-signal as to how we felt about the aggression." ' "Yes, but our allies would have been very upset if Carter didn't speak to Brezhnev at the funeral, because it would have been a signal that Carter . wanted to rekindle the cold war." I said, "Carter wouldn't have had to discuss Afghanistan with Brezhnev. He after Six Day War PESSAH RECALLS, "Two people knocked on our door and said to my father, 'can you come with us to the (police) station for fiveminutes.' I was in the back room and heard my mother crying. 'They took your daddy,' she said." Twenty days later, the police came for Pes$ah, then a fourth-year medical student, and his brothers. "It was worse than being in a prison," said Pessah, a small chipper man who now practices podiatry (foot medicine) in Imperial Beach. "For the first six months, there were k -r- n-:: A Jj DDewey breathing problems who meet for self-help discussions, educational programs, social events. What a spunky bunch they are! In they came, some with the help -of a walker, some carrying or pulling portable oxygen tanks with tubes to noses. What almost every one of them wore that amazed me a smile! How do you keep a sense of humor , when every movement rruist be carefully calculated, when even brushing your own hair leaves you gasping? They keep finding ways. r We talked about the petitions now in circulation to put an initiative on the ballot providing for smoking and nonsmoking sections in most enclosed public places, and which would give employees a right to work in smoke-, free areas if they so choose. The initiative is well written and overcomes the objections to the former f Proposition 5 that is, as.; much as. anything can overcome the money and might of the tobacco industry. . " 1 1 ,'fip& " j i r could have kept the conversation light by talking about Cuba." "Believe me," the spokesman said, "this decision was given a great deal of thought. At first we believed the president should go, if for no other reason that this would be a signal that - the United States would not tolerate jnySovietinterference in Yugoslavian affairs. But we felt we could send the same signal "by shipping over Vice President Mondale and Miz Lillian." "Apparently, the Yugoslavs didn't get the signal," I said. "They thought Carter stayed home for political reasons and didn't care if Tito had died or not." 80 people in a room about 44 x 22 feet. Each person slept with their feet in the face of someone else." BUT WHEN Pessah, who said he had not consideredpodiatry at the time, and his-family were deported to France in 1970, he was ecstatic. "Imagine," he said with his eyes lighting up, "after three years of being completely isolated, like living in a cave, to find yourself on an airplane to Paris!" ' Pessah, his brothers and father lived in Paris for eight months before joining his mother, who had been establishing residency in San Francisco. WHEN PESSAH inquired about the possibility of continuing his medical education in the United States, he was not discouraged when told of the poor chances of being accepted into a program. "I said, 'I will make it,' " Pessah recalled. Introduced to a foot doctor by a family friend, he was given a tour of a hospital's podiatric facilities and decided to apply to school. He figured he had a pretty good chance because "there are 400 ap-plicants'for every class of 100..". His positive attitude paid off, and four years later, he became a podiatrist. PESSAH SAID he first visited San Diego when he was stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot during his internship. He eventually found his way down4o Palm Ave. in Imperial Beach, where he practiced for a time with the podiatrist he had met in San Francisco. Podiatry" has three components, he explained. Field dermatology, he said, deals with skin problems of the feet, such as calluses. Surgery alters the bone or muscle structure. Biomechanics, involves keeping the feet walking properly. "If feet, like a car's wheels, are in good alignment," Tiesaid, "you'iruse less energy when you walk." PESSAH LED a visitor into a small room in his office, where plaster casts of feet were piled on acart. He explained that to correct foot problem's caused by an incorrect gait, casts of the feet must first be made, v Then a corrective device, which fits inside the shoe, is made to shift the weight to a different part of the foot when walking. "See?" said Pessah,. taking off his loafer and removing a piece of leather inside. "I made one for myself. I am on my feet for 15 hours a day, and this has a good effect on them." -. All who were there agreed they don't want to force others to stop smoking. (But many admitted they wished they had quif before they arrived at the condition they are irfnow . ) What they hope for is the privilege of going out in public without being smothered by smoke, and without guilt eelings when they are forced to ask meone to stop smoking. They don't want to be forced to choose between staying home and risking a confrontation with a militant and unsympathetic smoker. One lady has a small sign on a tiny-pedestal, which she places on whatever table she is assigned in a restaurant "No smoking, please." I Another says she is going to paste an ad on her portable oxygen tank: "This " is Marlboro Country." Another Wants a sign for his oxygen. tanki "Nu SmokingExplosive Me. and0the Tank, Both." Another suggested ' handing-out card: "Your smoking 7 V "If they got that out of it, then there was a mixup of signals. The president was very heartbroken by Tito's ieath, and if it hadn't been for Brezhnev deciding to go to Belgrade, Mr. Carter would have been one of the chief mourners. Thether consideration was that the president, can't be jhotographedjooking sad at thistime. as this would be a signal to everyone that things are worse than most people think they are." ''I guess your problem in the White House now is to send another signal to the Yugoslavs asking them to disregard the previous signal concerning the President's absence, so foot forward in IB He explained that "because he pay his bills," he puts in long days seeing patients, consulting with .general practitioners and making corrective devices for his and other doctors' patients. He is also on staff at Bay General and Hillside Hospitals. AS WITH other unpleasant cir-' cumstances in his life, 'Pessah has adopted an optimistic attitude about his long working hours. Having become what some would term a "workaholic" in America does he ever yearn to return to Egypt? "No way," he says without hesitation, noting that it would be hard to,put up with the inconvenience of shopping in small shops instead of a supermarket, or driving on narrow roads without traffic signals and .,, Jifvt J. V:v" ( 3 - f J. I A 1 wt A V " DR. BEN PESSAH WORKS ON A PATIENT'S FEET He's optimisticabout 0 pleasure today could be my adrenalin shot tonight Debbie Kelley, Lung Assn. program associate, said, "If you find yourself standing in line and someone lights up and refuses to extinguish, and a polite explanation and a request won't work, speak with the manager. .. "SanDiegO, San Diego County, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, El Cajon, Del Mar, and Lemon Grove have ordinances prohibiting smoking in waiting lines. If this doesn't help, you can register a complaint by phone.; "In San Diego city or county, call Citizen's Assistance at 236-6047 (city) or 236-2642 (county). For other areas, call the city manager's office. Give the place, tiriie and date, they will know 'what to do." , She advised the Better Breathers to try a few relaxation exercises before speaking to. keep the' breathing tubes open, and also to keep the anger down to a manageable level. . .j " If you would like to sign or pass out they won't send a&signal to Moscow saying they want to be friends." "We're working on that now," the spokesman admitted. "The president is going to Italy-next month,- and probably will visit Belgrade to make up for his failure to say goodbye to Tito last week. He'll lay a wreath on Tito's -graverwhich isprettjrstrong-signal-to the Soviets to keep their cotton-pickin' hands off Yugoslavia." "Do you think the Yugoslavs will get over their hurt that Carter never came tothe "Yes," he said, "as long as we explain to them that Tito would have Wanted it that way." putting up with horse-drawn carts. But curiouslyenough, one thing that Pessah does miss are the movie theaters in Egypt. "You can tgo to any movie theater, and it will be much cleaner than it is here," he said. " PESSAH doesn't have much time for movies here, but appears content with simple pleasures. Recently, on his 34th birthday he received a unique gift. "I canceled three appointments so I could make a housecall to a patient who couldn't leave her house. "She was on the phone when I got there, and she said to her friend, 'I've gut to go now, my doctor's here net 'the 'doctor's here.' That made me feel very good. It made my whole day." his long working hours. Guess What petitions for the smoking-no-smoking initiative, you can find out more by calling the Lung Assn., 297-3901 . the folks hoped they wouldn't alienate smoking friends. They don't want to stifle your pleasure. They just hate being stifled. They sincerely hope you can go ahead and smoke to your heart's content and never have to know what it is' like to wonder, where that next breath is coming from. You still have a choice. For people with sensitized and damaged lungs, it is already too late. They v know they can't smoke. They only ask to breathe as well as they are able. i j i The smoking-no-smoking initiative might save some tax dollars in the long run. You are paying for disability checks to people with pulmonary problems. The number, ranks right at the top" of the list, along with heart trouble and back problems. . . neraTr- : 4 . t t.ii m. - - - r it- - AX

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