Home Articles Golden Oldies Speaking Schedule About Christ or Chaos Links Donations Contact Us
February 27, 2011

One Man's Life Changed By Doctor Droleskey

by Thomas A. Droleskey

A traditionally-minded presbyter who has suffered much for his refusal to stage the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service preached a sermon on September 9, 2001, that will remain etched in my memory for as long as I live. It was an excellent sermon even though I understand now that the man who delivered it is not a true priest, having been installed in the conciliar structures. Permit to provide you with the essence of that sermon's theme in this Sexagesima Sunday "change of pace" article on this little read, much castigated and almost entirely unsupported by non-tax-deductible financial gift website (yes, we got our mail yesterday, Saturday, February 26, 2011; it cost us about as much to get the mail sent to us as was included in terms of those gifts).

The sermon given on September 9, 2001, in an "indult" venue somewhere east of the Mississippi River focused on the fact that God loves each of us individually, providing us with consolations now and again that would mean absolutely nothing--and might be considered "silly"--to other people. So immense is the depth of God's very personal love for each of us that He delights in giving us consolations or "treats," if you will, that are meant to remind us that He loves us down to the littlest detail, seeking to provide us with a few temporal pleasures now and again as a foretaste of the unsurpassed joys to be found in Heaven. These temporal pleasures He sends us are meant to heighten our sense of gratitude to God, recognizing that we have nothing good except that which He sends us, and to deepen our longing for the things of Heaven, indeed, for Heaven itself.

That sermon resonated with me as I am very much aware of those little "consolations" sent to give us encouragement as we carry the cross here in this passing, mortal vale of tears. I will provide just one example to illustrate this point, an example that would mean nothing to most of the readers of this site and might even be scorned as nothing other than a "coincidence."

The incident that comes to mind occurred on Thursday, January 12, 1995, as I was driving in a beaten-up 1985 Honda Civic hatchback from College Station, Texas, where I had just gotten through visiting my brother (who holds a doctorate in veterinary microbiology) and his wife (who holds a doctorate in education), to the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Metroplex area. Encountering heavy, heavy, wind-driven Texas rain as I approached Fairfield, Texas, about fifty miles south of the Metroplex, I stopped at something called The Royal Inn, a motel that I had never before encountered up to that point my twenty-two years of marathon long distance driving that began on Friday, December 29, 1972, as I drove our three beagles down from Oyster Bay Cove, New York, to Bryan-College Station, Texas. I just could not see where I was going on Interstate 45. It was time to pull over to get a bit of sleep before arising early to get to a 6:30 a.m. simulation of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition at a "dual use" parish in Dallas that was served by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter..

I heard a familiar voice coming from the speaker in the television in back of me as I was registering at the front desk. Recognizing the voice as belonging to Don Galloway, who died at the age of seventy-one on January 8, 2009, I said to the front desk clerk, "That's Don Galloway!" before turning around to see that the desk clerk had the television on to something called "The Nostalgia Channel," which was showing Ironside, my all-time favorite television show (do you want me to recite the show's 193 episode titles in chronological sequence for your without looking at notes?).

"That's Ironside!" I exclaimed to the utter bemusement of the desk clerk.

"Yes, it's the twelfth episode of the fourth season, the 1970-1971 season, 'The Laying on of Hands' that was broadcast by NBC-TV originally on Thursday, December 10, 1970."

Count me as crazy, which so many people do for other reasons, but I saw this immediately as nice consolation sent to me by God as I stopped in an unfamiliar place to be greeted by familiar voices.

Sure, I wasted my time from March 28, 1967, to January 16, 1975, watching Ironside I know that now. There could have been, though, a lot worse things that I, formed in a thoroughly naturalistic environment in the 1950s and 1960s, could have been doing with my time back then. And it was a very good television program, far superior, in my thoroughly biased view, than the late Raymond Burr's other long-running television series, Perry Mason, which has been in constant syndication since its original version went off the air on CBS-TV on May 22, 1966, with "The Case of the Final Fadeout." Ironside, on the other hand, had a very short shelf-life in syndication and was not generally shown on cable networks after the early-1980s. It was, therefore, quite consoling to see my old friends once again in, of all places, a motel in Fairfield, Texas. I did not even know there was such a thing as The Nostalgia Channel until that stormy night in January of 1995.

Yes, I have received far, far more important bits of temporal consolation from God over the course of the nearly six decades of my life, including the wonderful notes that readers send now and again, recognizing, obviously, that the true consolations we receive each day are to be found in the great gift of the Holy Faith Itself and having access to the true Sacraments in this time of apostasy and betrayal. That particular vignette from January 12, 1995, however, is an example of a temporal consolation that would mean nothing to almost anyone else. It was a personal favor sent by the good God who loves me, despite all of my many terrible sins and failings.

Another such favor was received on Wednesday evening, February 16, 2011, as I was driving east of Memphis, Tennessee, on Interstate 40, yes, in the fabled motor home whose latest adventures are in the process of being chronicled. I noticed that a message was waiting for me on my BlackBerry Curve cellular telephone. I glanced at it, being intrigued by the subject line: "Dr. Albert H. Droleskey:"

I am a veterinarian. . . . and I have been asked to discuss my path in veterinary medicine in an interview for [a project that]  interviews veterinarians from different generations.


While recalling the moment that I decided to become a veterinarian I was describing my first visit with a doctor in Queens Village.  The doctor was Albert H. Droleskey  and in trying to find a history of the animal hospital I came across your name. 


If you are Dr. Droleskey's son, I would like to tell you some incredible information on how your father affected my life.



"Wow!" I thought to myself as I approached Interstate 240 east of Memphis to connect with Interstate 55 to take us south to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where we were scheduled to visit friends the next morning, "This is amazing." The veterinarian had to do an internet search to find information about my father, who died on Saturday, September 5, 1992, at Flower Memorial Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, and came up with my name. A wealth of warm memories flooded me as I continued to drive, memories of the many years that I helped my father at his veterinary hospital on Friday nights and Saturdays during school years and almost every day of the week during the summers of 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1969. Although I only began to assist my father in his practice in 1963 as I was approaching twelve years of age, we lived above the Queens Village Dog and Cat Hospital at 222-40 Jamaica Avenue in Queens Village, Borough of Queens, City of New York, New York, from 1951 to 1955. I have vivid memories of watching my father's kind, gentle manner with the animals and their owners from early-1954 and all during 1955.

My father and his only brother, who was born on October 4, 1917, two years, six days before my father's birth, started the Queens Village Dog and Cat Hospital in October of 1946 after taking a postwar refresher course at the then named New York State School of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University following their discharge from the armed services (the United States Navy in the case of my father; the United States Army in the case of my uncle). My father and his brother had gone to veterinary school before the outbreak of World War II at the then named Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (known now as Texas A and M University) in College Station, Texas. My uncle graduated in 1941. My father graduated in 1943, working for a time as a veterinarian for the American Society of Prevention for Cruelty to Animals at its animal hospital near the East River Drive (now called the FDR Drive) for the grand sum of five dollars a week before being drafted into the military service (my father refused a commission in the United States Army that was his due upon graduation from Texas A and M, then a military school, as he had no intention of participating on the front lines in what he viewed as an unnecessary war unless he was forced to do so). It was only natural for the two brothers to work together after their refresher course at Cornell University.

The brothers purchased a house in Queens Village that most local historians believed dated back to before the War between the States (called the "Civil War" in the north, you understand) to serve as their dog and cat hospital. My uncle and his wife and only son at the time (my eldest first cousin, who turns sixty-seven years of age on March 4) lived above the hospital, joined by twin boys, who were born in 1948. My uncle and aunt and their three sons, a fourth was born ten years to the day after the twins had been born, moved back to Texas in 1949 as my father bought out his brother's share of the practice over the course of time. It was quite an experience to visit my uncle at his practice in Texas in September of 1973 and to see that he had the exact--and I do mean exact--mannerism with the animals and their owners as my father exhibited.

Indeed, my uncle was influenced to become a veterinarian in the middle-1930s when one of his beagles broke his leg while the family was vacationing at their summer home near Lake George (named the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament by the French before the region fell into English hands) in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. My uncle was impressed by the veterinarian who treated his beagle's broken leg, deciding then and there to become a veterinarian, a decision that influenced his younger brother, my father, to do the same. It was not surprising, therefore, that both brothers would have the same mannerisms and that both of them would be beloved by their many loyal clients.

My father practiced small animal veterinary medicine at the Queens Village Dog and Cat Hospital from October of 1946 to December of 1972. He had over eight thousand clients, working very long, hard hours without ever once complaining when he suffered from slipped discs or other ailments. The only occasion when he was forced to take an extended leave from his practice was a three month period that began on Thursday, March 4, 1971, when he suffered the first of two massive heart attacks while shoveling snow in the driveway of the veterinary hospital. The second heart attack, which occurred on Sunday, March 14, 1971, nearly killed my father and began a steady period of mental decline that lasted until his death twenty-one and one-half years later.

My father returned to his practice during the first week of June in 1971, only to become the victim--along with my mother, who was assisting him at the practice--of an armed robbery on Friday, June 6, 1971. That event convinced my father that he had to leave the crime and taxation and cold weather of New York once and for all, waiting until I was in my final semester at Saint John's University in the Fall of 1972 to sell his practice to a veterinarian, Dr. Richard Lange, who continued my father's devotion to the animals and their owners until he retired 2001, selling the property to the City of New York, which destroyed the house and an adjacent automobile dealership to build an intermediate prison, I mean, "school." My parents wanted to move to Texas, where my father had gone to school and my mother spent her formative youth, thereby providing my brother, who graduated from Oyster Bay High School in 1971, with an opportunity of establishing formal Texas state residency to facilitate his own admission to the veterinary program at Texas A and M (he wound up pursuing a doctorate in a related field, veterinary microbiology). Additionally, though, my father, who was an exemplary clinical diagnostician and a skilled surgeon, realized that the technology of veterinary medicine was passing him by at a rapid rate. He wanted to retire at the top of his skills.

My father never understood how beloved he was by his clients. He was very humble and unassuming in this regard, telling a board of examiners for the licensing board of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Examiners in January of 1972 when seeking to be licensed for his impending move to the Lone Star State that "nobody cares whether I live or die," thereby seriously underestimating the affection that so many of his clients had for him. Several of my own students at Nassau Community College and Saint John's University were the children of parents who took their pets to my father. He was an institution in the community where he grew up from the time that he was three years old and where he lived, including his time in veterinary school and in the Navy, until 1955. He was a much beloved institution in Queens Village, New York. He would later become a public health veterinarian for the State of Texas, serving as the regional administrator who was in charge of the meat inspection program in much of the Lower Rio Grande Valley from September of 1973 until he retired from this second career  in the middle of 1986.

It was quite touching, therefore, to receive the following information from the veterinarian who had written to me out of the blue on Wednesday evening, February 16, 2011:

I always had an affinity for animals.  Growing up I loved to visit zoos, and I was very comfortable when I was around all types of animals.  I can remember my father bringing home wild turtles and orphan rabbits that he found when he was working.  In kindergarten I brought a steady stream of animals to show and tell, and my teacher called me the class zoologist.  I helped raise and nurse any animal that came into my home, and always enjoyed the experience. 

When I was five my parents thought that I had an interest in science, probably because I really enjoyed learning about dinosaurs.  They bought me basic microscope kit and I had a blast trying to examine whatever structure that would fit on the stage. One story that my mother loves to tell is how I took the eyeball out of a dead fish that I found at a nearby pond and examined it under my microscope.  The problem was that the eyeball fell onto the carpet in my living room, never to be found again.  That was the end of my dissections in my house.

After kindergarten I had a series of pocket pets and birds that I took care of.  I grew up in a small garden apartment in Queens, New York.  Unfortunately the apartment complex didn’t allow tenants to own dogs and cats, but that didn’t stop my father from bringing home a puppy when I was about 6 years old.  I really loved this puppy but two weeks after he came into my home, our neighbor knocked on our door and said “I hear that you have a dog.”  The following Sunday my parents took me to an amusement park, and when I came home the dog was gone.  They were forced to find a home for him.  So I had to make do with visiting with my grandmother’s Chihuahuas and adopting a hamster.

There were several hamsters over the years, but a seminal event happened when I was 13 years old.  One scorching summer day in August I brought my hamster Ladybug into my parent’s bedroom to enjoy our new air conditioner.  I felt bad for her and thought that she would be happier in the cool air.  The next when I woke up I found a very sick little pet in her cage.  She didn’t eat overnight and was all puffed up.  I had no idea what to do.  I never went to a veterinarian’s office because my family never owned a cat or a dog, and I never thought that anyone would consider taking a hamster to a veterinarian. 

My parents cared enough to call a local veterinarian. He told my parents that an office visit would cost $6 and they could buy me another hamster for 89 cents.  The problem is I wanted that hamster, not a new one.  They called another veterinarian, Dr. Albert H. Droleskey, in Queens Village, NY and he told them to come over that evening.  I remember that visit like it was yesterday.  Dr. Droleskey told me my hamster had pneumonia, explained that if he gave her an injection of penicillin she would die because of the unique bacteria that she had in her intestines. He then showed me how to give her an oral antibiotic.  He asked me to call him the next day.  I walked out of his office and down the steps to my parent’s car, and I remember thinking to myself that I want to be a veterinarian. Dr. Droleskey’s kindness was unforgettable.  

I was told that I was good in science in elementary and middle school by teachers.   Several people told me that I should become a doctor.  For some reason I never was interested in medicine and I was clueless as to what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” However, that August day shaped every part of my life from that day forward.


This story brought tears to my eyes when I read it. It is bringing more than a few tears to my eyes now as I write this for you, my few readers. Yes, I am old softy when it comes to such things. I had a few tears in my eyes last summer when watching the son of a veterinarian in Monroe, Connecticut, assist his father as I had done five decades before. Even though my mother has been dead for nearly twenty-nine years and my father has been dead for nearly eighteen and one-half years, I miss them very much. I pray for their immortal souls every day without fail.

Although my father lapsed in the practice of the Faith for around four decades prior to returning to, of all things, traditional Catholicism, in the middle-1980s, preceding me in this regard by a decade, he had nevertheless a great deal of residual Catholicism that shaped how he conducted his veterinary practice. He knew, for example, that that little boy's hamster was eminently replaceable. What mattered to him was that the hamster was important to that little boy. My father did see the hand of God in the dumb creatures He made to serve us and to serve as our companions. More importantly, however, my father wanted to treat his clients with gentleness and concern as they were God's rational creatures made in His very image and likeness.

This is not the end of the story, though. No, Dr. Albert Henry Martin Droleskey's eldest son is now praying for the conversion of the veterinarian who has written up his life story for his veterinary college alma mater, a story that includes having worked for Dr. Lange, the man who purchased my father's practice, while in veterinary college. The veterinarian will be sent a Green Scapular by my loving wife, who is, along with our daughter, the greatest temporal consolation with which I have ever been blessed. One act of temporal kindness on the part of Dr. Albert Henry Martin Droleskey forty-three years ago for a young boy has made possible the performance of a Supernatural Work of Charity for him as a grown man now. That's what matters about this story, not the sentimental mush that had me on the verge of sobbing a short while ago.

Every event of our lives must be viewed in supernatural terms. God means to work through each of the events of our lives. He means to work through each of the people he sends into our lives. We must pray to Our Lady and to our Guardian Angels to help us to give good example to those who are placed in our paths by God's Holy Providence during the course of our lives, which is why the coming season of Lent is so important to us as many of us, especially Dr. Droleskey's eldest son, have failed to give good example more often than we would like to admit to ourselves. Our fallen human natures get the better of us frequently as we demonstrate various faults and failings that arise from the disordered self-love that is pride, out of which springs impatience and anger and irritability and many other unpleasant characteristics that bode ill for helping people to convert to the true Faith. We need, therefore, to make good use of the coming season of Lent to make reparation for our own sins, especially for those against Charity, the queen of all of the other virtues.

Saint Paul the Apostle really meant it when he wrote the following words:

[1] If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. [2] And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. [3] And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. [4] Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; [5] Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;

[6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; [7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [8] Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. [10] But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

[11] When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. [12] We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. [13] And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Cor.: 1-13)


Perhaps it is time to pray a Rosary now for the people to whom we have been a stumbling block rather than a help on the path to Heaven.

This is Sexagesima Sunday and the Commemoration of the Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother. May our daily offerings to Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary help us to make reparation for our sins as we seek the help of Our Heavenly Queen to make the very best Lent of our lives. We can undo the harm of our past sins by planting the seeds for the conversions of those we may not meet until eternity if we take seriously our consecrations to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through that same Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

What are we waiting for?


Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints

My father, Albert Henry Martin Droleskey, DVM, left; his uncle, my great-uncle, Thomas "Tom" Droleskey, center; my father's father, my paternal grandfather, Edward Martin Droleskey, right, 1943, College Station, Texas. Please pray for the repose of their immortal souls.

Dr. Albert H. Droleskey, August 31, 1976.


With apologies for the blurriness, this is a family photo, taken at the home of my Uncle Ed and Aunt Atha Lee in Texas, on February 1, 1982, just six weeks before my mother's death, the day before she entered M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Yes, that's me with a red beard standing behind my mother. My brother, Dr. Robert E. Droleskey, is to my left, standing behind my father. The photograph of the photograph was taken in the home of my Uncle Billy and Aunt Bertha Red Fox on Friday, March 20, 2009. Aunt Bertha died in February of 2010 just shy of her ninetieth birthday. Please pray for the repose of her immortal soul.


Here is a photograph of my late parents, taken around 1980 on their property in Harlingen, Texas, about two years before my mother, Norma Florence Red Fox Droleskey, died on March 18, 1982:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all of the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.



© Copyright 2011, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.