Dick Hunt's Blog

October 17, 2011

Franz McTavish and a Chiropractor

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 11:44 am

Franz McTavish and a Chiropractor.
by Dick Hunt, Monday,October 17th, 2011.
It was in Calgary that I met Franz and it happened like this.  I was in the city to receive treatments from a popular Chiropractor called Dr. Messenger,  for a very painful hip with advanced Sciatica. I had my first treatment on a Thursday morning, with insignificant results.  To fill in the day with interesting activity, I went to the Calgary Airport and called at Chinook Air Services to visit. Franz invited me to the canteen for coffee and a chat.  When he learned that I was in town for treatments on my hip, he said, “I will phone my wife and we will have you for supper.  And I will phone Dr. Rollo Hess who will really fix your hip problem after supper in his office.

We went up a long flight of stairs, which I negotiated with great difficulty and to his second floor office. Dr.Hess had been a farmer during his early years and still bore the marks of being close to nature.  He studied Chiropractic at a number of colleges, practiced for a few years and then took further studies in Naturopathic care.  He asked me where I hurt and he lay me down on my back on his table.  With my back straight, my right leg was an inch shorter than my left.  Without causing me any pain at all, he raised my right leg so that my thigh was vertical, put one hand on my knee and his other hand on my ankle and gently manipuated my hip joint  with a rocking motion.  Then he mreasured one leg against the other and they were the same length. But the pain was magnificently reduced.  Over the next few months I went back to him for more treatments. And although I still have some residual pain, I have never been really crippled up since then. I had suffered a fall down a well at the age of twelve.
The next morning I was back at Chinook Air, and Franz said, “you might as well take some flying lessons while you are here”. So I signed up. Franz nursed me along through the pre flight check. So we took off in a fore and aft, two passenger plane called an “Aeronca Champion” with me in the front seat. He set the controls, spun the prop and we took off for an hour instruction, flying in and out of farmers fields and then back to the Airport.  We had lunch, took off again for an hour and a half for more condensed instruction, take offs and landings, manoevers, slips and stalls, spins and recoveries.  I was getting the hang of it.  I was feeling great, better than I had felt for years. Franz invited me back for more instruction on Saturday morning.  We took off and flew for three quarters of an hour. Then he asked me to taxi around to the Chinook Hangar which was close to the then main landing strip. He got out of the back seat, with the motor idling and said, swing the plane aroun, point the nose to the control tower and when you get the green light, take off for a circuit or two and come back.  I said, “Franz, I can’t fly this plane by myself”.  He said, “of course you can, I have hardly touched the controls since the first hour we have been flying”.

So I took a deep breath, received clearance from the tower and took off.  I did a few circuits and then landed and taxied back to the hangar. Franz was there to meet me with a big grin and a hug and his congratulations. He said, “that was a perfect three point landing”.  During the next few days, I did some more solo flying and then it was time to go home and become a cattle rancher again.  My brother Bill flew me back home and I got back to much more comfortable labours in looking after livestock, seeding crops, caring for my small family and with both feet on the ground. Thank you, Dr.Hess.

1 Comment »

  1. Franz McTavish was my grandpa!! Thank-you for sharing this story!

    Comment by callie — January 30, 2013 @ 4:38 pm


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