Without a Quarter in my Pocket: The Memoirs of Dr. Secundino E. Rubio


Book: Without a Quarter in my Pocket: The Memoirs of Dr. Secundino E. Rubio

Author: Barbara Elliott Carpenter

Publisher: AuthorHouse, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1438911304 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 1438911300 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-1438911311 Paperback

ISBN-10: 1438911319 Paperback

Website(s): http://www.authorhouse.com (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Biography

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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     Carpenter,Barbara Elliott.  Without a Quarter in my Pocket: The Memoirs of Dr. Secundino E. Rubio (Published in 2008 by AuthorHouse, 1663 Liberty Dr., Suite 200, Bloomington, IN  47403).  Secundino Rubio was born on January 23, 1922 in Cuba, where he lived during the first thirty-nine years of his life.   From the age of eleven, Rubio knew that he wanted to become a physician.  He did, and was a working physician for well over fifty years, first in Cuba.  In 1959, when Fidel Castro and his band of guerilla soldiers took control, Dr. Rubio, though imprisoned for a time, managed to follow his wife and four small children, one only a baby, from Cuba to Florida. His memoirs chronicle his life in Cuba, and then continue eventually to Salem in South Central Illinois, his home for most of the years since he fled Communist Cuba.

     When we moved to Salem in 2008, the year this book was published, we chose for our primary care physician a doctor at Salem Medical Center, where Dr. Rubio had his practice.  I remember reading about the book’s publication in the local newspaper.  We were never patients of Dr. Rubio, but I can also recall being in the waiting room at the Center for an appointment and seeing Dr. Rubio tooling around in his wheelchair.  Many people whom we have come to know in the area have told us his story.  The hospital staff considered him to be the “patriarch,” and he was loved and respected by all who knew him.

     This is a fascinating and inspirational book that is filled with a testimony to one man’s spirit, faith, and belief, and illustrated with photographs of real people, some dating back to the nineteenth century.  With his reputation as being one of the best diagnosticians in the field, Dr. Rubio received numerous state and local awards and accolades for his devotion and service to the community.  But just as important are his legacy of courage and his perception.  Based on his own experiences, he said, “Castro annihilated freedom in Cuba.  I pray it never happens in America.”   He died on November 26, 2012.   He might well be quite appalled at the direction that this country has taken since then.

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