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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Monkey on the Menu

Dr. Vic Brian by Lawrence County Physician Dr Tom Kirkwood

After Dr Victor McMurray Brian’s internship, he became a surgeon for the Cerro-de-Pasco Corporation in Peru, South America remaining there for about two years. While doing surgery for the company he had to make a trip over the Andes mountains once or twice a month to examine and prescribe for tribes of indigenous people in that region.  At first it was difficult to gain their confidence, particularly when he had to vaccinate them against certain communicable diseases.  They were not particularly fond of the needle at the end of a hypodermic syringe.  After a while they became well acquainted with him and copperated.

To show their appreciation for Dr Vic’s care of them, the natives prepared a banquet for him on his last trip to see them before leaving for the States.  It was quite elaborate with all kinds of native dishes.  The main course, occupying a large wooden platter in the center of the table was almost too much for Dr Vic though.  It consisted of a large red roasted monkey surrounded by various vegetables.  This from the standpoint of the natives was an expression of their greatest admiration and appreciation. 

For any genealogists who are interested in the descendants of the Martin Brian Family (this includes the Brian, Landis, Schrader, and Corrie Families) the Research Library has a collection of material prepared by Imogene Brian Thrapp and William Powell Walker that might be of interest.

Among the recollections in this book is a story about Dr John Brian, Dr Vic’s brother.  He was home from college for the summer.  He needed a skeleton to work with, so he sent to Chicago and had a cadaver shipped to him.  He then boiled the flesh off the bones in a big kettle behind the barn.  His mother walked the floor during the entire process, and no one relished their food for some time. 

Ed. Note: I suppose if you had nine sons and four of them became doctors you might be inured to certain things, but this seems to be over and above what any mother should expect. 

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