The View From The Dentist’s Office

An early morning trip downtown to see the dentist went as well as can be expected, I guess. The hygienist explained patiently – as she always does – the value of flossing regularly. The dentist saw no major problems.

Well, I guess that’s not quite true. I’m having a crown put on a broken tooth next month – that’s been planned for a while – and the dentist told me this morning that the adjacent tooth, which is still whole, will eventually need a crown, too. I am, the dentist said, a hard chewer, and after forty-some years, I am wearing that molar down.

Otherwise it was an uneventful – if slightly painful – visit.

Interestingly, the dentist’s office is in the same building where I used to go for dental work when I was a kid. It’s a six-story building on West St. Germain that during my younger years was the tallest building in the city, then called the Granite Exchange Building. (It’s since been renamed the Medical Arts Building, but the receptionist at my dentist’s office said there is some talk of restoring the old name, which would be kind of cool.) The building was supplanted as the city’s tallest in 1965 when a nine-story dormitory, the first of several high-rise dorms, went up at St. Cloud State. After that the Granite Exchange/Medical Arts Building remained the tallest private building in St. Could until sometime in the late 1970s, I think. (There are now maybe four or five private buildings in the city that are taller, along with the three college dorms.)

Anyway, the one thing that made visits to the dentist tolerable in the early 1960s was that our dentist’s office was on the fifth or sixth floor, and the chairs in his examining rooms were pointed toward the windows. Thus, while Dr. Hanson was poking around in my mouth, I could look at a portion of downtown St. Cloud from above, a delightful view unique for the time.

Sadly, my current dentist’s office is on the main floor of the same building, and the examining room I customarily visit has no windows. That’s all probably just as well. I’m not at all certain that the view from the fifth or sixth floor would be as captivating today as it was in 1964. I spent a year during the late 1990s working on something like the forty-fifth floor of a building in downtown Minneapolis, and I’ve been in a few buildings taller than that along the way, too. And, you know, I’m no longer eleven, and seeing the world from above is no longer the novelty it once was.

Here’s “Goin’ Upstairs” by Sam Samudio from Sam, Hard and Heavy [1971]

The title is the only thing about this piece of churning boogie – written by John Lee Hooker – that has any connection to this post, but that’s okay. Sam Samudio is better know – as you likely know – as Sam the Sham, who with his Pharaohs gave us two No. 2 hits – “Wooly Bully” and “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” – as well as four other Top 40 hits, all between 1965 and 1967. When Samudio recorded Sam, Hard and Heavy in Miami, Duane Allman was among the folks who helped out; Allman plays Dobro on this track.

– whiteray

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One Response to “The View From The Dentist’s Office”

  1. AMD says:

    Oh lucky you. As a teenager in Germany I had a dentist who probably was the inspiration for the dentist in Marathon Man. The bastard believed that with his light touch in dentistry, no injections were required.

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