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AUTOBIOGRAPHY James Gilbert Lyerly - page 7 / 8





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per year until it reached 40%. He would pay all the expenses for operating the business. This was the verbal agreement we made.

As the years went by I did an increasing amount of the work. Dr. Coleman was away a lot for various reasons. I had to do much of the teaching and lecturing to the third and fourth year medical students and fourth year dental students. I should also mention I did teaching in the school of nursing. All of these services were done without pay.

At this time I would like to mention an incident that happened to Emily which would affect me. Across the street from our house on Albemarle Ave. lived a Mr. and Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Brown wanted Emily to go with her to South Richmond to visit a famous woman fortune teller. The woman told Mrs. Brown’s fortune and then both insisted on telling Emily’s fortune, which she agreed to do, lightheartedly. The fortune teller told her that she and her family would move from Richmond a great distance away sometime soon or within a year. When Emily came home and told me, I laughed and told her that would be impossible. I had permanent arrangements with Dr. Coleman and our partnership was working out satisfactorily. It was some months later I heard of the depression which I will now mention. I think the devil was nearby.

In early 1933, we had an economic depression and our income came down somewhat. Dr. Coleman complained that his income was too small, that he wanted me to leave Richmond and find a location to practice on my own. This was a great shock to me, knowing what I went through before. I reminded him that our arrangement was on a permanent basis. He said he did not expect it to be permanent. Since Dr. Willis had died, there was no witness to our agreement. It was purely a gentleman’s agreement. He denied stating that he would pay my expenses to later take the Florida Medical Board examination.

This was in the Spring of 1933. Again I prepared to take the Florida Exam. It had been thirteen years since I graduated from Medical School, making it very difficult. I took the examination and understood I made an average grade of 96. I received my certificate and had it registered in Jacksonville within 30 days, which the law required.

I decided to locate in Jacksonville. It was the largest city of Florida at that time and it was the gateway

to Florida. neurosurgery

The railways and had to pass through

highways to Jacksonville,



some of


through Jacksonville. might stop over.

Patients needing

Looking for a place to live, Emily and I made a trip to Jacksonville. We were told at Telefare Stockton Realtors to contact the Atlantic Life Insurance Company, whose home office was in Richmond, that they had a number of houses taken in on foreclosure and that I might make a trade of my house in Richmond for one in Jacksonville. After going back to Richmond I contacted the Insurance Company and told them the appraisal value of my house. They said they had a house on Hollywood Ave. in Jacksonville of equal value and that they would make an even trade. We made another trip to Jacksonville to inspect the house and decided to accept the offer.

We moved to Jacksonville in June of 1933, driving down in two cars. I drove in front in a Nash and Emily behind in a Plymouth, the first car made with floating power and automatic transmission. Jim Jr., 8 years old, rode with me and Ann, 7 and Peggy 5 rode with Emily. The trip took two days. The distance from Richmond to Jacksonville is 675 miles. We spent the night at a motel near Savannah, Ga. We got a moving van from Richmond to move the furniture which would arrive on the day after our arrival. Everything went on in a normal manner.

I opened up an office in the St. James Building, over May Cohens. I sent our announcement cards, etc. and applied to the hospitals for medical and surgical privileges. The depression was probably at its

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