Remembering Dr. David Wagner

Published 12:17 pm Friday, May 13, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Our dentist died unexpectedly recently. I had followed Fran over to his Columbus office, and found my favorite dental hygienist Rita there. She left when the McCalls closed their office and I lost track of her. This time I hope she will contact me, so that I can go wherever she goes, or stays put if they recruit a new dentist for the good Dr. Wagner’s office and crew.   

Rita cleaned my teeth as painlessly as possible, then Dr. Wagner did his thorough inspection. Fortunately, he did not find anything that required his attention.


I had told my dentist in Hampton that he had a young woman trying to dig my teeth out by their roots, and that now he was in there looking for work! Dr. Burbank did not laugh, so I have not used that line since . . .


Dr. Burbank artfully brushed on new additions to my front teeth with a then-new process of building up a durable plastic to repair damaged teeth. I had torn up my front teeth when the pliers slipped when I was removing a gutter bracket. Dr. Bill McCall later touched these up when I wore them out. 


Dr. Wagner was a friendly sort, a good humored person who seemed to enjoy visiting with his patients. He was very understanding when I had to make an abrupt visit to a nearby bathroom. I am sure a LOT of people are going to miss him very much. 


Of course, I am grateful for all of the wonderful people who over the years were dedicated to my enjoying healthy teeth and gums. All of my grandparents had dentures, my parents did not. When the dentists came to school to check our teeth, they always called everybody over to see my “perfect” teeth. There was a page in our health textbook showing us how to brush our teeth, so I did that pretty faithfully. 


Having almost no money for college, I enlisted in the Air Force May 3, 1948. They had the Korean War during my stint, and Congress renewed the GI Bill, so I told them I would get out at the end of my term to go to college. 


A conscientious dentist opened an office in our building, and he scheduled all of us for visits. Captain Dewberry did not find my teeth anywhere near “perfect,” so I was in his office weekly until my discharge.  He commented that as a student I would not have money to take care of my teeth, and that I had come into the AF with “class 1” teeth, so he would see that I got out in the same condition!


He filled many cavities and extracted one molar plus three of my errant “wisdom teeth,” before time ran out. I was able to get out of school and go to work before that other back molar had to come out. Fortunately, I then had the money to pay the dentist for a very difficult extraction.    


I became acquainted with the late Mary Meyers at Foothills Music recital programs I attended. She was a member and voice teacher for Kate Riedy, a scholarship winner one year. I don’t remember much else about Mary, except that I liked her. I think my memory banks are full, perhaps spilling over into oblivion.


This column is being finished on the eve of Mother’s Day. I hope you have/had a great Mother. I sure did; the late Coline Rippy Goodwin. And my ever-lovin’ wife Fran is a fine and thoughtful mother to our children. And I daresay she is also considered a wonderful Granny and Great Granny.


So here’s to all the Mothers of many generations out there. All of your progeny send you their love and best wishes on your Special Day!     


Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or email