Doctors are often key professionals in a community: blamed, discussed, honored. Phoenixville has been fortunate with an adequate supply most of the years.
Dr. Vincent Ciacci began his residency in the Phoenixville Hospital shortly after Aug. 1, 1948, when his commitment to Lankenau Hospital expired. He made an arrangement with Phoenixville Hospital to serve as a resident on a 40-hour week basis for one year. This granted him evenings and weekends to spend with his family, and a chance to taste the medical environment in the hospital and borough before establishing his practice.
Dr. Valerie Green was already working in the hospital as a resident on a very limited basis, but was spending most of her time in a country practice of obstetrics.
Daniel Gay, the Phoenixville Hospital administrator, was a well-qualified gentleman who had already accepted a similar position at Lankenau.
In 1993, Dr. Ciacci wrote a monologue for the Phoenixville Hospital Centennial Committee. This effort was titled "Memories of Yesterday" and was distributed at the retired physicians brunch-reception held Sept. 26, 1993. Here's your copy, reader!
Dr. V. Ciacci
In the immediate years following W.W.II, Phoenixville was a happy and prosperous community. The USO was still operating on Bridge and Main streets for the Valley Forge Army Hospital's personnel who considered Phoenixville their home town.
A friendly working professional relationship existed between the Valley Forge Army Hospital and our own. New techniques and equipment developed by the Army were made available to us, and when the Phoenixville Hospital offered emergency services to the community, the Army Hospital allowed it's off-duty physician to staff our emergency room at night and weekends.
King of Prussia was little more than a crossroad, and downtown Phoenixville was always buzzing with activity. Their owners operated the four pharmacies and businesses, and there was no vacant store space available. Two local movie houses often played to standing room, and together with the bowling lanes kept the many ice cream and candy parlors open until after midnight. The Phoenix Hotel still stood on the corner at Bridge and Main streets.
The countryside was alive with working farms and dairies, and the town itself thrived with many businesses and industries including: iron and steel, rugs, brick, lumber, textile, pharmaceuticals, glass, manufacturing and others. Unemployment was the result of infirmity, incapacity or choice.
The town was proud of its hospital and school system, and was planning expansion and improvement in both. Athletic fields, a country club and ample open spaces existed.
We were blessed with adjacent Valley Forge Park, and were located on a river with rail communication connecting us to neighboring communities including the cultural metropolitan city of Philadelphia.
Phoenixville had not yet become a bedroom community, and the people lived, worked and shopped in the greater Phoenixville area.
Next week, reader, we'll look at a personal view of the prominent doctors known by Ciacci.
Until then, I'll say my Hoosier Holiday, from March 28 to April 7, found me in Elkhart, Ind. where I stayed with some prominent former Phoenixville residents, George and Joan Zensen. I'll be writing about them eventually because local history, as Time Capsule sees it, covers many subjects and stimulating people.
Since April is National Poetry Month here's my poem as published on Page 37 in "Pepperoni," now sold at Gateway Pharmacy:
By Connie Bretz (1993)
Mix an inspiration
with the magic of a dream;
sprinkle it with rhythm,
adding a rhyming scheme.
Fling the pots and pan away,
your culinary wishes -
and when you shake a poem awake
you need not do the dishes!
With Valentine love, Keystone Connie at 610-933-0669, call!