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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois • 229

Publication:
Chicago Tribunei
Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Page:
229
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

60 years a Doc, and 'so much to do' 1 7 gar iv jktaaacse fp lb? I Mustell's mother died of cancer when he was still in college. "It was then that I finally decided I'd be a doctor. I thought it would be terrific to help people and maybe find a cure for cancer." After three years of premed-ical studies in Washington, be came to Chicago, where he received his M.D. degree from the University of Illinois Medical School, which was then located on Honore Street near the old Cubs Park. As a doctor, Mustell has served as a life-insurance examiner, taught at Loyola University, and worked in a clinic at Mercy Hospital in addition to his private practice.

He has delivered about 1,000 babies and performed some 2,000 surgical operations. In 1952 he became the chairman of the Chicago Medical Society's Emergency Program, whereby a group of 200 doctors answer emergency calls night and day. He continues to serve on the referral committee of the emergency program. Mustell thinks it is experience that has made him a better doctor. "There are two ways for you as a patient to be treated.

You can go to a doctor who orders all kinds of expensive tests for you, even though he often already knows basically what's wrong. Or you can go to a doctor who relies more on his experience to diagnose and treat your ailment." Mustell still makes house calls, sometimes with a police "This is to certify that Robert Mustell is a duly licensed physician and surgeon," reads the certificate on his wall. Nothing unusual about that, except that the diploma is dated April 22, 191ft and the man is still working. Dr. Robert Mustell has been a general practitioner for almost 60 years.

Mustell grew up on a farm in Washington state. "It was a tough life, but we had fresh air and wonderful home-grown food," he says. Mustell gave no thought to medicine as a career until he was in high school. One day a doctor came to town and bought a small apple orchard. "He was a family doctor.

In the morning he raised apples, and in the afternoon he treated people. I thought that seemed like a great life." But when he went to Washington State University, Mustell decided instead to study to be a druggist. During those college years, he played baseball (he later became a second baseman on a semipro team in Montana), worked in a drugstore, and did other odd jobs. One such job was making boxes for fruits, and one summer he became the champion box-maker of Washington when he made 300 fruit crates in one day. Mustell now seems prouder of his box-making championship than all the other awards and certificates that decorate the walls of his Michigan Avenue office.

escort if he's going to a high-crime neighborhood. "Listen, it's the greatest thing in the world to go into somebody's home and be able to help him. When a patient opens his arms to you and says, 'Doctor, you've helped what more could you want in life? I don't have any malpractice insurance. I have faith in people. As long as I'm helping people, I feel I won't have any problems." At 85, Mustell hasn't even considered retiring.

He has a problem with one inee, which he treats by exercising it, but the man who played second base 70 years ago still looks like be could make the pivot for a double play. "I have so much to do," he. says, "so much yet to accomplish." As a physician and a senior citizen, Mustell has some thoughts on how to keep young and active. "My advice is, don't eat too much, and eat more vegetables and less meat. Be in bed early.

When I was growing up, I went to bed at 8. Now people stay up late watching television, and they don't have the benefits of adequate "I've been active all my life and I've kept every part of my body working. The oody isn any different from an automobile. You wouldn't let your car stand around doing nothing for 10 or 15 years, would you? The same thing is true with humans. You've got to be active mentally and i i'i uui.wwmi' 8.

urn i. uniit jpi From 'Kid Morrie' to 'carpet dean' "A good salesman is something like a prizefighter," says the dignified, soft-spoken Morris Lkhtenstein. "You have lnr; size up your client, know what his tendencies are, be ready to change your plan if you have to, and use psychology." Sixty years ago, Lichtenstein was both a prizefighter (who fought as "Kid and a salesman. He gave up boxing after he was knocked out in his third professional fight as a welterweight But he kept his other career and now works at the Merchandise Mart as a wholesale salesman for several lines of furniture and carpeting. He is known in the Mart as the "dean of the carpet industry." "But selling in many ways is also unlike boxing," Lichtenstein continues, walking slowly over to the window of his Lake Shore Drive apartment to look at Lake Michigan.

"You can't be too aggressive because, after all, you are there to sell the Sroduct, not put the customer down: If the customer believes i the salesman, that's half the battle. That's one advantage I have over salesmen who are newcomers. They have to spar around, feel their way with the customers. My customers know me and believe in me because in many cases I've sold to their fathers and grandfathers." Lichtenstein's sales records are impressive. His total sales for the companies he represents average about $lVt million to $2 million a year.

About a year and a half ago, when he was nearing 80, one of the companies honored him with a plaque for being its second-best salesman out of a sales staff of 60. "My Dad was a traveling salesman, and all my life I always wanted to sell. I'm doing the thing that satisfies me. There's nothing I'd rather do. Except for last year, I haven't had a vacation for eight years.

My vacations consist of going out to the West Coast, down South, or to New York to look over new lines. My wife and I went to a resort for a couple of days once. I flip-flopped all day; I was so bored. People are always asking: 'What do you need to work for? You have the money; why don't you But what would I retire to? Lichtenstein knows that there are many people who dislike their jobs and dream of the day they can retire. "As far I'm concerned, it's their own fault and something of a postui e.

Why don't they or didn't they, when they could look for something else? I believe many people would be happier if they realized that it's always possible to earn a living by doing something you enjoy." Several years ago, Lichtenstein was fired by a carpet company that had been one of his major accounts. He was still one of their leading salesmen, but the company thought that he was getting too old and would soon be slipping on the iob. "There was a new manager," Lichtenstein recalls, "and he wanted to have three or four men doing my job." Lichtenstein then got another job. Shortly thereafter, he was contacted by coMktued on page 42 41 XI rv October 22, 1978.

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Years Available:
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