Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lt Lesse, USNR

When I was growing up, there was a small, well-maintained house on the corner of my block.  I only knew a few things about that house
  1. While we could cut across other neighbors yards in a pinch, we were not to go through that yard.
  2. The drainage culvert and storm sewer in front of the house made an awesome bike jump, and that was permitted.
  3. The gave out pretty decent candy at Halloween.
  4. The people in the house were to be addressed Dr and Mrs Lesse.
I never learned much about the couple through the years, outside that he had been a retired doctor since before I was born.  Ultimately, Mrs Lesse quietly passed away, and her husband followed her a year later. 

The family had an auction of the the remaining personal effects and it was well attended.  I was about to move out my first place, and while the majority of the items were well put of my league, I resigned the fact that the best I would do is snag about half of his casual library that would make me a solid but slow profit on eBay.

With the auction winding down, the auctioneers took quick flat bids on items that didn't attract attention.  For three dollars I got a large oversized salesman briefcase, a two of these: 

These two footlockers, from his time in the navy (reserve?) served as my end tables for my first place, and a storage area for my party games. 

When I got married, the got relegated to the garage, when we moved before my first daughter was born, it got shoved into a wet, flooded basement.  Interestingly enough, as we pulled ruined item after ruined item out of that basement before the move, one footlocker was slightly damaged and warped, while the second was inmolested, despite sitting in three inches of water for weeks.

I've let it air out for awhile, and lightly wiped it down with with some ant-mold stuff, but it only looks a little worse for the wear.  It will sit next to my painting station in the  basement, although this one's going in a full sized pallet.  

And despite a similarly named fellow in the same field and twelve years his junior,  I found Dr Lesse's obituary, which tells a little about the man who lived at the corner.

Dr. S. Michael Lesse, 92, of Easton, died Aug. 5 in Easton

A psychiatrist, neurologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in the Lehigh Valley for 51 years, he was also chief of neuropsychiatry for Easton Hospital; attending neuropsychiatrist at Warren Hospital, Phillipsburg, and attending psychiatrist at Fairmount Farm Hospital, Philadelphia. He was a consultant to Lafayette College, Family Service and the Children's Aid Society, all of Northampton County. He also authored articles on neurology and psychiatry.

Born in Philadelphia, he was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Medical College, both of Philadelphia. He completed his professional training in Philadelphia and New York City.

He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving as a lieutenant commander in the South Pacific.

He was a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Life Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association and a past president of the Lehigh Valley Neuropsychiatric Society.

He was a member of the American Medical Association, American Academy of Neurology, Council of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society, Pennsylvania and Northampton County medical societies, American Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, American Association of the Study of the Headache, Philadelphia Association of Psychoanalysis, American and International psychoanalytic associations and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.

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