As I was sitting in a comfortable dentist chair, being uncomfortable , he said, " You should have felt that chunk of lead fall out".
Great, Lead in my mouth.
Worse yet Mercury.
There was an article in the local Santa Rosa Paper the other day about the government spending tons of tax money.....what other kind of money is there, but it's free...... Seems they are going to clean up all the old quicksilver mines in California.
Mercury is Toxic, don't you know?
Led me to think of all the times as a kid we played with mercury globs, coating dimes to get them real shiny, sticking them in your mouth, and worse yet the dentist making filling with mercury.
As a kid growing up in The City, our dentist was from the old country. When other kids told me that they got injections for the pain my mother and dentist would say, that it really doesn't hurt if you don't think about it.
I think it was the cost of the injection perhaps or that they figured a kids didn't have any pain threshold.
That was easy for them to say that, as the sloooow drill that hung with cables and pulleys ground to a halt hitting some nerve.
I am almost certain that I gained my hand strength from having to grab the arms of the dentist chair. It was not anything more than a barbers chair really. I don't think it was until the 80's or so that I finally saw reclining chairs at a dentist's office.
I especially remember the old dentist making my fillings with the mercury, it was sort of like what sushi chef's do now a days when they do that thing they do to form the rice mound.
He got some powder, a gob a mercury, some other stuff all in his palm of his hand and squeezed it and maneuvered it around of a minute or so, before taking a tiny bit sticking it on the tip of a tool that he would then jam into the newly opened filling hole.
Funny I can remember the sound, the feeling and the terror of sitting there as if it was yesterday.
It wasn't until long after that they figured out that the mercury amalgam was actually toxic or whatever...... so that may explain my weird behavior all these years?
Back to the mercury.
The picture above is that taken about 15 years ago of a mine from the Mt Jackson Mercury Mine that closed up in the mid 60's.
Mercury was minded in and around Sonoma County for over a hundred years and now it seems that all the sites are toxic time bombs.
California had been mining mercury way back to the Mexican days and the largest mine was the New Almaden Mine which was south of San Juan Bautista in Central California. Mercury was important for lots of reasons, medical, wood processing, early photography ( Daguerreotype ) and hat making.
Hat Making? Yes I don't know exactly what but the toxic fumes for the mercury caused a form of insanity , this is where the saying " Mad as a Hatter" came from........
I am very familiar with the Mt Jackson mine, mainly because one of my past radio communications sites was on the top of the mountain, and I had spent at least 35 years driving by it, to get to our radio communications site. Only once did I venture into the mine, at a much earlier age just to poke around and find nothing but lots of black widow spiders.
Everything is a toxic time bomb.
What about my mouth?
The toxic after-effects of mercury are what concerns environmentalists now. The Bureau of Land Management's Ukiah office has been holding hearings and inviting public input on proposed clean-up methods. I am sure that the more they ask them more diverse ways someone will suggest in cleaning them up.
I wonder what we are doing today that they will find in a hundred years ago that is damaging the environment.
How times change.