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Recalling the Salk vaccine and 1956
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I remember when the Salk vaccine came out in 1956; we all got it, the whole family; my mother and father, baby sister and younger brother; all five of us.  Dad drove to the clinic on Monday the weekday his barbershop was closed.  

We were insured by the Permanente Health Plan (a division of Kaiser Steel Corporation) the shots were free with no co-pay and there were no problems with shortages; I distinctly recall our mother holding our baby sister, they were ahead of me in line, the man in the lab-coat injected the baby’s arm first, she was about a year old, opened her mouth incredulously but didn’t cry; then as she watched mother get injected, her little lip started to quiver and she broke out bawling; my mother, brother and me smothered her with kisses and she soon stopped; we thought it was so cute that she cried for our mother after enduring her own shot without crying.  Eisenhower was President (General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander of the European Theatre in WW II) and he ordered this vaccine into full production and distribution.  The fact that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (our 32nd Chief Executive 1933-45) had polio and was a severely disabled wheelchair user may have had something to do with the expedience of the Salk vaccine delivery.  The hot war had been over for 11 years and the Cold War with the USSR had been on for about nine; the United States was highly respected and admired by most of the free world.

Our family felt happy and secure; we had no concern what so ever with the Cold War.  I just wanted to play baseball and build models, go to the movies and later play them out with our friends; we all had cap pistols.  We had acquired the latest 1952 model, 11” Motorola TV (with AM-FM radio and Hi-Fi phonograph) in 1951; our favorite show was, “Gunsmoke”.  Dad drove a ‘53 Desoto.  We attended Saint Pious Catholic Church in Redwood City.
 Steven J. Catalano
Oct. 30, 2009