Giving thanks

Nov. 1, 2007
I have just returned from a great ADA meeting in San Francisco! The weather was perfect and the meeting was terrific...

by Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor

I have just returned from a great ADA meeting in San Francisco! The weather was perfect and the meeting was terrific, with many interesting speakers and the latest in materials and equipment. I spoke to a sold-out room of 450 very enthusiastic dental assistants. My messagewas to be the very best that you can possibly be. I could feel the passion that these assistants had for supporting their dentists and how much they love what they do.

I would like to report the passing of a dental giant. Dr. Kenneth C. Marshall died on Oct. 2 after suffering a fall while tending his garden in preparation for his 90th birthday party. More than 100 people were planning to attend the celebration at Cedar Valley Farms in Grubville, Miss.

At the age of 30, Dr. Marshall was named the first chair of the Saint Louis University School of Orthodontics. In 1969, when the university closed its dental school, Dr. Marshall raised enough money to keep the Orthodontic School operational. It has been privately funded ever since. Dr. Marshall retired as Saint Louis University Orthodontic Department chairman in 1976, but continued to teach in the clinic until the mid-1980s. He maintained his St. Louis County private practice for 40 years, completing more than 10,000 cases. He was a good friend to all.

November is the month we traditionally give thanks. I am writing these notes in Vancouver, Wash., as I watch a glorious sunrise over the mountains with majestic Mount Hood in the background. As I travel across this wonderful country of ours, I often think about how blessed we are to live here. My father came to New York from Belgium when he was eight years old and became a naturalized citizen. My mother grew up in Greenville, S.C., and could trace her English ancestors back to before the Revolutionary War. They both instilled in me a pride in my heritage and a patriotic pride in the United States of America. May God truly bless America.

I am thankful for my wonderful wife, Sue, who puts up with my constant traveling and being left home alone so many nights. These trips are very lonely for her, and yet she is waiting up for me when I come dragging in late at night from a long trip. She is the glue that keeps our family together, and I love her so very much! God bless and keep her always.

I am thankful for my mentor, who taught me to give back to dentistry. I am thankful for my team here in St. Louis, and especially Genna, who manages the business side of everything I do. She does it all - from helping with DE®, to negotiating speaking engagements, to selling my videos, to pouring models for my hands-on courses. I am also thankful for Dr. Ken Kornblum, who is the producer and director of my video business and a lifelong friend; for Karen Reiner for being my hygienist, part-time dental assistant, and another lifelong friend; and for Joan Reineke, another part-time dental assistant and lifelong friend. God bless them all for taking such good care of me.

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