Murdo Girl…Heal thyself

I accidentally landed on this story last night when I was looking for something else. I read it again, and please don’t think I’m narcissistic, but I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. You just can’t mess with the truth. It will lose it’s luster.

I could have been a little emotional because I was very tired. I have been working on Connie’s story… the book …until the wee hours of the night. I have had a very sweet friend,who knows her stuff, edit it for me. I have learned so much from her. I tend to rush through things. I’m a good idea person or starter, but a poor finisher. You are going to love the book. I’m very proud of it. I’ll give you more information on Friday.

What you are about to read..again..Is the truth as I remember it. It reaffirms that I could never pull one over on Mom.


I would like to assure all of you little Murdo Girl readers, that although her stories sometimes seem outrageous, they are indeed a true accounting of her life in Murdo. She really is a good Murdo Girl!

I dislike school after New Years, because there aren’t any more holidays where we get significant time off, and  it’s still a long way til May. I think the whole town gets kind of crazy because there is usually a bunch of bad weather too. Yesterday a lady Mom is friends with came over and she was carrying a high heeled shoe and said she was Cinderella. She didn’t appear to be looking for a Prince and she was drinking her beverage out of the shoe. She had the other shoe on, which made walking difficult. I asked Mom what was wrong with her and she said she got a hold of some bad water.

I’m bored at school too. I have to tell myself that every day I sit there in the front row, is a day closer to not sitting there in the front row. Sometimes it feels really awkward. For instance, Mr. Pickner gave us an assignment to write a story about ourselves. Everybody had to stand next to Mr. Pickner’s desk and right in front of me. I tried not to stare at them, or indicate in any way how I thought their report was going, but a couple of times it was too much for me.

My friend Karen, who is a straight A student, got up to read her story. She forgot a punctuation mark and said, “I was born at the age of three. My family moved to….” She stopped for a minute to try and figure out why some were snickering a little, but I’m not sure she ever got it, because I started choking. I knew laughing would be bad, but it was too late to get myself under control. I think Mr. Pickner wanted to make an example of me, primarily because I was so close to the situation. He sent me to the library with instructions to stay there until recess. That was the first time I realized that being a Pickner pick does not guarantee you can’t still get in trouble, which means there are no pluses to it at all. I think he’s biding his time just like I am. He probably knew early on that he had made a wrong decision. He just didn’t want to admit defeat. It wasn’t in the cards for me to get straight A’s.

Mom said I haven’t been very good natured lately and she’s right. What she doesn’t know is I’ve been having bad stomach aches. It feels like something is pulling  the outside of my stomach to the inside. I don’t want to tell Mom because she’ll take me to that woman Dr. In Kennebec. Her name is Dr. Horthy. I think she’s from Hungary. We can barely understand each other.  Mom claims she understands her just fine, but I don’t see how.

1-3a9941352be52fdc52edb91bdbce2f371-Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 008

I guess I should tell you what I went through last year about this time. I had been home from school for a few days with a bad sore throat accompanied by a spasmodic cough. Mom said it appeared that I wasn’t going to get better, so she took me to Dr. Horthy, who examined me. She said a bunch of things I didn’t understand, and gave me a shot which almost made me pass out. Then she took Mom aside and talked to her in a low voice. When they finished talking, Dr. Horthy told me I was having “epleptic sizsures” and I would have to have a “shut” every week until the symptoms went away, or got worse. She paused.. to catch her breath I guess. Mom said not to worry, because Dr. Horthy was going to teach her how to give me shutz so I wouldn’t miss anymore school and flunk. Then she said there was nothing more she could do and sent me home. I remember having a fleeting thought that for some reason, I could understand every word Dr. Horthy said.

Well, I bawled all the way home, and Mom didn’t appear to be very sympathetic to the fact that her only daughter was an epileptic having fits. When we got home, she made me drink Peptobismol and put me to bed. I didn’t even have diarrhea.

I’m very thankful that a miracle happened and the first shot did the trick. I haven’t had a seizure or missed a day of school since.

I guess you have figured out by now why I’m not too anxious to go back to the good Dr. Horthy. If I describe my stomach pains, she’ll probably do some sort of emergency exploratory surgery right in her office. Why did we have to lose Dr. Murphy? He was such a sensible Doctor.


The pain continued, and Mom became concerned without me even having to say anything. I was worried too, and went willingly to see Dr. Horthy. All the way to Kennebec, I was positive the tests that Dr. Horthy would surely give me, would reveal a fatal illness. It didn’t help that Mom was pretty quiet too. I’m sure she was eaten up with worry.

When the examination was over. Dr. Horthy went into her back office for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, she came back with a small packet which she handed to Mom. “Geeve dis child peils as 2x each dei! She hov wiermz.”

On the way home it started sinking in that I wasn’t going to die from the worms, but severe mortification might kill me. Mom must have sensed my distress, because she said, “Do you want to stay home from school tomorrow?” I nodded yes and said, “Thank you Mom.”

“You’re welcome,” she said. “When we get home, I’ll give you some peptobismal. It will soothe your stomach.” (I was hoping for cinnamon toast.)


P.S. Billy called here last night and said that although my stories are factual, they are becoming a little overblown, and bordered on sensationalism. Sometimes he’s hard to understand… like he’s Hungarian or something.

I think after he reads my story today, he’ll feel sorry for me, because of what I’ve been through, and stop threatening to get me back when he comes home in July.





10 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Heal thyself

  1. Kath August 19, 2019 / 10:20 am

    I know Dr. Horthy when I was a little girl. My aunt lived on a farm near Reliance. I went to school in Lyman County


    • Mary Francis McNinch August 20, 2019 / 6:55 pm

      She was a good doctor, but she did like to give Shultz. I passed out in her office once while getting a shot.


  2. Mary Francis McNinch July 21, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    Thanks Judy…fascinating! What year did Doctor Murphy leave Murdo?


  3. lifelessons July 21, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    I remember Dr. Horthy well. I think she had most of the people in town on meds for a thyroid disorder. Her husband was a doctor as well but for some reason no one like to go to him so only she practiced. He was very handsome, I remember. She had a short husky body–almost square–and black hair cut in a Dutch bob. She was very nice and motherly with a voice as husky as her frame and a very thick accent. Everyone was just glad to only have to go as far as Kennebec to the doctor after Dr. Murphy left. Otherwise, it was a 60 mile drive to Pierre.
    I wonder how long she remained in Kennebec?


    • lifelessons July 21, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      Just found this information about the daughter of Dr. Horthy and it gives some infomation about her parents as well. Thought you might be interested: Katalin E. Horthy Doty of Skokie, IL formerly of Kennebec, SD died August 18, 2004. Haben Funeral Home of Skokie, IL will arrange private services. Memorials may be made to the Skokie Meadows Nursing Center, 9615 Knox Ave. Skokie, IL 60076.

      Katalin Eszter Horthy was born November 16, 1932 at Budapest, Hungary to Dr. Aladar and Dr. Klara (Fekete) Horthy. The family fled Hungary towards the end of WWII and settled temporarily in Germany. Katalin received her elementary and secondary education in Hungary and Germany. The family arrived in the United States in 1951. Katalin took the General Educational Development Test (G.E.D.) at the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH in 1952. Katalin�s parents, both doctors of medicine, came to South Dakota in 1952 to practice medicine, living in Sioux Falls first, then settling in Kennebec in August of 1953. Katalin enrolled in classes at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, and received a degree in 1956. She later graduated from the University of South Dakota with a M.A. in 1974.

      An accomplished artist, Katalin taught German, French, Latin, and Spanish at Kennebec High School from 1969-1970 and while serving as Lyman County Superintendent of from 1969-1971.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sanjuan831 July 19, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Lav said she used to call Dr. Murphy, Dr. Dithee. (Don’t tell her, but she still doesn’t talk quite right.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sanjuan831 July 19, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    I licked dis storee a lawt. Espshally the doctor.


    • Mary Francis McNinch July 19, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Can you believe that all these years later, unbeknonst to us, we find out that Sherri and I could have met each other in Dr. Horthy’s office? BTW you can talk just like her. How do you do it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • sanjuan831 July 19, 2017 / 10:19 pm

        That is an amazing coincidence! Your paths will cross again, I hope.

        Liked by 1 person

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