My Three Blind Men by Marjorie Lyon

They are quite varied – not at all like the three blind mice of the rhyme who always did everything in unison. One is independent and likes to go as much alone as possible. He almost rushes into the car when we get to his door-step and makes nothing of slippery ice or parked cars in his way. One of the others is gentle and quiet and likes to go cautiously with a friendly arm to hold. The third is a “personage” and not worried about his blindness. Life has been interesting and full for him. He has lived and enjoyed it. Having been a sailor, he knows all the ports where an American ship has called; as a guide and camp worker he knows the Canadian and Maine woods; he has played every game of chance and even was one of the grooms of a certain Hartford man when his horse won the English Derby. Now he’s 67, blind and lame – but he doesn’t mind for he has his memories and has had his fun.

The quiet one (a Portuguese) was in the 1st World War on the Allied side. He would like to get over his blindness so he can go out gardening again. He and the independent one come regularly to the Clinic. The ex-navy and Merchant Marine, guide, cook, and horseman comes when he feels like it or has nothing better to do! He likes the ride but thinks the treatment is no use.

I often think our conversations when alone in the car would seem strange to an outsider – for we do discuss poker vs poker dice as a game; how to cook various camp dishes; just when Police Precincts are the strict ones; how often their particular dives have been raided; whether mixed race marriages ever turn out well; how old men seem to like very young girls.  I let them ramble on and don’t feel any necessity for moral lectures!

Then adventures often happen with my three Blind Men. Once, the young doctor at their hospital asked if I would help him out by taking a pneumonia patient to the City Hospital. I agreed, of course, but did ask whether my three Blind Men would be in danger of infection. “Oh no,” said the doctor. “Just take my patient on the front seat with you and they will be all right.” Luckily for me we were all all right; and even the patient with double lobar pneumonia eventually recovered.

One day I had four blind men in the car at once. The old Italian on the front seat was taking with me and suddenly asked my age! There was an abrupt lull in the back seat conversation. All four were listening! I started to answer true, but something overcame me and I laughed the question off. It was mean of me, but after all even a grey-haired motor corps driver has some vanity!