By Ralphine Major
Most people knew him as “the doctor.” But outside of work, Dr. A.D. Simmons was a husband and father. Sylvia Simmons Babelay is the oldest of the four Simmons children and shares fascinating memories about A. D. Simmons, the father.
“I always remember Dad working hard to be a good father, so I have more home-type stories than doctor stories,” she said. ”I do remember that he would come home from the office and take us one at a time on calls with him to give us bonding time, I guess. He would never let us come in though. I remember sitting in one of those big Plymouth cars playing with the steering wheel while waiting.”
Already, this writer has learned much about the long-time doctor of the Corryton Community. The stories shared by the Simmons children give readers a chance to reflect on the man who was called “Doctor.” Sylvia shares more personal memories of her father.
“Dad had very distinctive hands. They were large, but able to sew the finest stitches,” she said. “He listened carefully to patients, and people often told me about his bedside manner. Someone once said to me that he would put one hand under and one hand on top of theirs and listen to them, and they would feel they had been healed.” Sylvia gives insight to the doctor’s life outside of medicine. The gentle hands that healed were used for other work, as well. She continues. “He also did not mind getting his hands dirty planting the biggest garden around. Mom finally asked him to cut back. He did. But what she did not know was that he just did not go as far out into the field, but slipped around the corner of the well house where she could not see! And when I was very little, I was very surprised to find when Santa visited our church and handed out treats that Santa’s hands looked exactly like Dad’s hands!”