|Welcome to GraniteCityGossip.com, established in 2006,
to serve Granite City, Pontoon Beach, Mitchell, Madison,
Lincoln Place and all surrounding areas
|Happy August Granite City!
Wow! Summer is going by so fast! Labor Day marks the unofficial end of the season and the first day of
school is almost upon us. The Melting Pot Market will be holding the second of their four monthly events on
Saturday, August 14 and the long awaited opening of our Granite City Cinema is slated for this month too.
It's August in Granite City!
|Downtown Granite City's First Melting Pot Market
at 2019 Edison
Remembering Dr. Obert Lay
If you lived in Granite City in the 60's & 70's and required the services
of a surgeon to either suture a cut or take out your appendix,
Dr. Obert Lay was the "go to man".
Here is an article from August of 1997 regarding his career.
In the early '60s Marilyn Monroe was the rage; John F. Kennedy was the young, dynamic and
Catholic president. Our space mission was in its infancy - thoughts of Mars landings were closer to
science fiction than fact. The Beatles had yet to climb out of the Cavern Club to change the face of
popular music forever.
This was the decade that shaped today's world. It is also the time when Dr. Obert Lay began his
practice as a surgeon at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Granite City. He hasn't missed a day since.
Working seven days-a-week, since 1961, the 74 year-old Lay is an inspiration to those who admire
the values of old.
Sitting in an office with rose-colored walls devoid of artwork (he doesn't want to put holes in the wall),
he shares a bit of his life's story.
"I was a radio operator during World War II. I was on B-17s, with the 8th Air Force. Didn't miss a day
there either," he said. "On one mission, we had our engines shot out by anti-aircraft
fire over Cologne, Germany. We were able to land at a German airfield that was occupied by our
boys." "What saved our lives was the fact that two P-51 Mustang fighters circled us till we landed,"
Lay continued. "We got back to base and at three the next morning we went on another mission to
Munich. It made you grow up."
After the war, the Aurora, IL. native started college on the GI Bill. "I was very fortunate when I started
out," he said."I was going to be a minister in Walla Walla, Wash. but found I wasn't cut out for that. So,
I went to Wash U and was gonna be a lawyer. After three years there, I said, 'I wanna be a doctor.' I
fell in love with medicine and then with surgery. I love it all. To this day, I still enjoy every case I do."
While in school, Lay worked 30 hours per week to help pay the bills. "I had to eat," he said. "I think
that's where I learned that if you really want something, you can do it, and I really wanted it. I learned
not to waste any minute of the day. And, that paid off for the rest of my life."
During the first six years of his medical practice, he cared for patients at eight area hospitals. "I went
to two hospitals in East St. Louis, one in Centerville, Red Bud, Sparta, Highland, all over," Lay said.
"For the first four years, I drove. You'd race there at 90 miles an hour. It was pretty dangerous, so I
finally went to East Alton and learned to fly fixed-wing aircrafts. Then I went to St. Louis and learned
how to fly a helicopter.
"After I passed my FAA, I went down to Oklahoma to the factory and bought a little two-place Brantly
helicopter," he continued. I flew it in practice nearly every day. I was based here, at St. Elizabeth
Medical Center and at East St. Louis and I kept it at the fire house two blocks from here. It saved a lot
of lives. They called you with a bad patient, you're there right now.
Being ahead of his time got him in trouble with the local medical society of the day. His flying was
noticed and reported on by the local media to such an extent that he was threatened with dismissal
from the St. Clair Medical Society. He compared it to when the first doctor bought an automobile and
all the other doctors were still riding horses.
"They (the medical society) told me that if any more stories appeared in local papers,
they'd kick me out," he said. "They got a little upset. These were grown, professional men,
but that's how the politics of the time worked.
|Thank you for visiting GraniteCityGossip.com, proudly celebrating four years of service to our community, August 2006 - August 2010
Please come back soon!
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