Northwestern District Report - May/June 2008

Northwestern District Report - May/June 2008

John E. Lueth, DDS:

Ghostley Vibes

Where were you in 1981? I was laboring in dental school with the mid-point not yet reached. Movie hits were Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond. The L.A. Dodgers won the World Series and the Oakland Raiders were Super Bowl champs. Hotties were Suzanne Somers, Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs. President Reagan said, “You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.”

Dr. James Ghostley of Bemidji was undoubtedly hoping to once again lose his annual bet with the local fire warden about the date the ice on Lake Bemidji would go out. The strategy of losing the bet allowed said loser to determine unique ways for delivering the $1.00 owed to the “winner”!  Many unique methods were employed in the pursuit of settling the debt.

Although a search of historical weather records shows that the winter of 1980-1981 was milder than average, the folks in Bemidji are accustomed to the smell of wood smoke in the cooler months…basically August through May! And with that smell comes the preparation necessary to produce it.

In this reprint from the March-April 1981 issue of the journal, you definitely see Associate Editor Jim’s north woods sense of humor. But maybe with the price of gas at all-time highs, and a “what-goes-around-comes-around” feel to the current energy discussion, we can appreciate once again Jim’s humorous writing as we reminisce and laugh a little at ourselves, too!

Footnote: Dr. Ghostley retired from practice in 1991. He continues to reside with wife Connie on the north end of Lake Bemidji and is busy following the accomplishments of grandchildren. Of particular interest to Jim is his passion for wood carving. Rather like a “where are they now” item regarding past district members, we hope to share in the future an article about Jim’s wood carving skill. Having framed the artistry of wood carving with a reprint relating to firewood burning, it must be stated that some facts in Jim’s 1981 article may possibly have been embellished – purely for stylistic reasons, of course! – and “any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental”…such as the reference to an ex-wife settled in Florida! Connie and Jim are well past 50 years of marriage, and had he actually lived the entire account described in his story, Connie would have killed him!

A Day in the Life, Revisited*

Rural dentistry attracts a hardy breed, and our local group is no different. Lately when we gather there seems to be a favorite topic that we generally get around to – word burning. I listened to all the new wood stove wisdom as long as I could before I finally broke down and bought one too.

Selection of the proper stove seemed to be the first order of the initiation. That was really an experience not even rivaled by the purchase of a new car. The stoves not only come in colors other than black, but they can also be purchased with hand painted porcelain tiles arranged over the exterior or embossed designs on the sides. Each dealer has the most efficient, and each claims his stove produces the most BTUs. Some of the dealers’ stoves have dome shapes or have panels inside to divert the smoke back and forth, thereby getting the most heat returned before it enters the smoke stack. The final choice probably will be from whomever you wind up being the most impressed by because the prices are all in the same range.

Next a visit to the hardware store would be wise because a good woodsman needs a chain saw and a maul as well as a wedge and an axe. The hardware dealer has a friend who sells trucks, and he convinces me that going right out into the woods to get your own wood is the least expensive. So of course it becomes necessary to buy a four-wheel-drive truck because, after all, this wood hauling is going to go on for years and years and be the main activity that will replace idle games like golf that waste so much time and are so expensive.

All these investments are just great, and they will give a quick return too because energy costs are increasing rapidly every year. Besides, I just don’t want to spend a thousand dollars for oil again this year when I can heat so cheaply with wood, and then my money won’t go to those difficult Iranians.

After starting the wood gathering process, I figured I should start convincing myself that this should be my recreation as it began to take up a lot of my time. It went something like this. Cut the tree down, cut it into stove lengths, put it into the truck, haul it home, stack it up, split it, make a wood pile, haul it over next to the house, pile it by the house, haul it into the porch, pile it in the porch, haul it into the house, pile it near the stove, burn it. Then back into the tree cutting, and it starts again because wood stoves have voracious appetites.

Enough for the routines and on to what you’re really interested in, costs incurred during the first year.

Wood stove  $500.00

Chimney (go with metal here to save money)   350.00

Carpenter for new ceiling, attic rafters, and roof    2,745.00

Insurance (increase to cover wood burning unit)   985.00

Chimney block and tile with brick facing  4,285.00

Chain saw, maul, wedge, and axe    360.00

Doctor bill for treating cut foot     45.00

Steel toe safety boots        150.00

Four-wheel-drive pick-up    8,255.00

Ticket – fine and court costs for cutting on private land    375.00

Cutting permit from county         … 5.00

Tow truck – to pull pick-up out of mud    125.00

Transmission repair and a new transfer case   1,875.00

Seven cords of wood delivered     280.00

Doctor bill – remove splinter from eye      85.00

Safety glasses      40.00

Pail and shovel to haul ashes       … 15.00

Carpet replaced in entry and smoke damage to wall    435.00

Ash bucket with lid  32.00

Smoke detector       18.00

Marriage counseling fee       200.00

Doctor bill – audiology tests         95.00

Ear plugs       8.00

Carpenter – garage wall repair from gasoline fire 450.00

Metal gas can        18.00

Doctor bill – remove metal fragment from scalp      35.00

Wood cutter’s helmet         40.00

Marriage counseling fee       200.00

Attorney’s fee          750.00

Cost of settlement with wife – half of house           85,000

There you have it, except for the pick-up, which I sold for $3,500 because it needed a rear spring, two new windows, the box was badly dented, and the tailgate was bent. There was a small crease in the roof where a tree fell, and the front bumper was slightly curved from hitting a stump.

My ex-wife is now settled in Florida, and I have gone total electric.


The Work at Hand

Northwestern Dental District allied dental education programs receiving grant money from the MDA Dental Education and Minnesota Dental Foundation this year were Northwest Technical College Bemidji dental assisting and Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moorhead dental hygiene and dental assisting programs. MDA Dental Education Committee member Dr. John Lueth presented checks to these programs along with a check to the Central Lakes College dental assisting (Brainerd) program for which he is the liaison.

The Dental Education Committee works to improve dental education and dental care in Minnesota by gathering, monitoring, and disseminating information related to dental health care education and practice trends. The Minnesota Dental Foundation’s vision is the elimination of unmet oral health needs in Minnesota. Serving as the MDA’s liaison to allied dental education programs, the Dental Ed Committee works collaboratively with the Minnesota Dental Foundation to maintain dialogue with and support all programs in the state. The objective when considering grant money dispersal is to assure that our allied programs are providing the dentists of Minnesota with an adequate supply of well trained and clinically competent dental assistants and hygienists. Criteria the committee feels are important for awarding these grant dollars include how funds will directly impact and improve the level of instruction for allied dental professionals. Also taken into consideration are matching fund sources and other contributors as well as emphasis on the long-term benefits of grant award monies.

Central Lakes College dental assisting program in Brainerd, while not technically in the Northwestern District, is geographically “close” to liaison Lueth, and was awarded $990 to purchase chair mounts for mannequins. Director LeAnn Schoenle has a full program this year with 30 students packed into their facility. Julie Bennett assists Ms. Schoenle, and because the dental assisting instructional and clinic areas co-exist with the Central Lakes College Community Dental Clinic in the same space, it is a very busy program. Students gain practical clinical experience in the adjacent community clinic and are afforded internship opportunities there as well. The college has authorized expansion of the dental assisting facility to begin
in 2009.

Northwest Technical College in Bemidji will have 26 graduating dental assisting students this May with total program enrollment numbering 37. Not bad for a capacity of 24. But just as CLC in Brainerd seems to work magic with their space, so does Bemidji program director Julie Dokken with the help of Terry Anderson. Seven of the students this year are from North Dakota … which makes for long travel for internship observation! The Bemidji program was awarded $3,300 to purchase two skulls for radiology instruction (to replace the badly deteriorated ones from the program’s inception in the 1970s) and two vacuum-forming machines.

Also in the Northwestern District, the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moorhead dental programs received money through the MDA grant process this year. Dr. Thomas Boe is the Dental Program Director overseeing the dental assisting and dental hygiene programs there. Moorhead received $2,740 to go toward the installation of an ADEC cart in the dental assisting program, while the hygiene program received $448 to help with skull purchasing.

Healthy allied dental education programs are important to the delivery of dental care in our state, and the Dental Education Committee under the leadership of Dr. Mike Zakula, Hibbing, works hard to support the educational efforts of the institutions and maintain dialogue which is so mutually beneficial. Thank you from the Northwestern District to the allied dental programs for providing us with such well trained, competent auxiliaries.

Summer Meeting Features Baker and Fricton

On June 27, the NWDDS’ Summer Meeting will feature oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. William Baker speaking on “Miracle on Ice” and TMJ chronic pain specialist Dr. James Fricton speaking on “Teledentistry”. The presentations will come with four fundamental and two elective C.E. credits. The meeting will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Bemidji. There will be a golf tournament in the afternoon starting at 4:00. For meeting inquiries and pre-registration, please contact Dr. Roger Sjulson at (218) 435-1599 (office) or (218) 435-6738 (home); (218) 435-6568 (fax); or