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Don't Pull up for Doc
Gerald Holland
November 13, 1961
Dr. Raworth Williams is a 66-year-old surgeon who three years ago captained the Dallas Athletic Club to a national polo championship. Doc still plays a fast, hard game, and says he'll quit the day younger players start easing up on him
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November 13, 1961

Don't Pull Up For Doc

Dr. Raworth Williams is a 66-year-old surgeon who three years ago captained the Dallas Athletic Club to a national polo championship. Doc still plays a fast, hard game, and says he'll quit the day younger players start easing up on him

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The blonde nurse looked up from her desk in the reception room of Dr. Raworth Williams' offices in Dallas. She smiled brightly. "Do you wish to become a patient?" she asked.

"No," I said. "I wish to become better informed on Dr. Williams' remarkable career as a polo player. I just arrived in town from Tulsa. I had hoped to see Dr. Williams there. He was supposed to bring up a team to play a 12-goal exhibition game against Minneapolis. However, the players he was counting on had other commitments and so the exhibition was called off. So I called Dr. Williams and he said he'd be glad to talk to me here in Dallas and take me out to see his breeding and training farm, where I understand he also has a fine polo field." I handed her a card.

"Oh, yes," said the nurse, looking at the card, "Dr. Williams is expecting you. He's seeing his last patient for the day right now. It shouldn't be too long. Won't you sit down?"

"Thank you," I said.

The nurse looked at the card again. "Are you going to give Dr. Williams a write-up?"

"That is my intention," I said. "But it was also my intention to witness a National Inter-Circuit polo tournament in Tulsa. There were supposed to be teams there from California, Illinois, New York and Texas. But, for one reason or another, all the out-of-town teams withdrew with the exception of San Antonio. The national tournament boiled down to a single game. Of course, it's easy to understand how these things fall through. Most of the players are business and professional men and a certain number of them are bound to have conflicts. Fielding a team in a tournament is no casual business when you consider the number of ponies that have to be brought along by each player. But, I suppose, working with a well-known polo player like Dr. Williams, you know a great deal more about these things than I do."

The nurse shook her head. "I don't know a thing," she said, "because I'm not Dr. Williams' regular nurse. I'm just filling in during his regular nurse's vacation."

"Well, then," I said, "I can tell you one thing. Dr. Williams is an amazing man to be playing a rough, fast, hard-riding, bruising game like polo at the age of 66. Have you any idea of the punishment that man has taken on the polo field?"

"I don't believe so," said the nurse.

"Just 21 fractures, that's all," I said. "Seven hand fractures, 11 ribs broken, a fractured ankle, two fractures of the transverse process of the vertebra. All this plus a shoulder injury. And never, at any time, did he stay in bed more than two or three days."

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