Pinch of Time

June 18, 2014

Longtime physician just what the doctor ordered

A couple of months ago, I was casually opening the mail and one letter sure did surprise me.

My reaction made Toby wonder if somebody had died or an equal calamity was befalling us. I quickly replied, “Our doctor is retiring.”

“Which doctor?” he asked.

“Dr. Bremer,” I said.

Suddenly, I felt like I was losing my best friend.

Dr. Richard Bremer, whose office has been at 20 North Main St. in AuSable Forks for the past 39 years, decided to hang up his stethoscope for a quieter life. A few days later, I had an appointment at his office.

It occurred to me that I didn’t know that much about this man with whom I trusted my health care — other than repeatedly reading the multiple degrees and certificates on the wall — so I asked.

He said he was born in Pennsylvania, served in the Army and lived in Panama. He received a list of places to set up a practice, including Alaska, Alabama, northern New York and many more. After considering all the options, he and his wife, Connie, drove to the Adirondacks. They fell in love with the beauty of the mountains and the lakes.

“It was a beautiful day in May,” he said. “The sky was blue and there were a few puffy clouds. I couldn’t believe it.”

They chose the Adirondacks, and the community embraced him and his family. So did black flies, subzero cold and huge snowstorms.

One of his patients said the Adirondack weather is like Little Miss Muffett — when it’s good, it’s very, very good, and when it’s bad, it’s horrid. Looking back, he said he wishes he had asked about how many days the sun shines here and the tax base.

The rest is history, as they say. He set up his practice in the Town of Black Brook office building. Nothing complicated or fancy, but that’s the way of this doctor.

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