Blood Donor Services
1959 - 1997 retirement
DEDICATED AND DESTINED TO RETURN
Macon Williams joined the staff of MedStar Washington Hospital Center's lab as a young man of 28. Today, at 76, he is still a familiar face in the halls, working now in the Blood Donor Center, ordering supplies and driving the truck to blood drives. Retirement? Williams actually did retire in 1997, but returned five years later because, he says, he missed helping the patients who come through the doors of the hospital he loves.
Here he recalls his early years.
My memories of 1959 are of a campus with just two red-brick buildings: the main hospital and the School of Nursing. On parking lot 7 at the corner of Michigan Ave. and 1st St., NW, we used to all get together to play softball after work.
Those were also the days before automation and computers, and so staff personally performed nearly all lab tests. I trained quite a few residents and interns on conducting tests, including routine urinalysis. We had to know how to read the microscopic cells before a diagnosis could be made. Larger specimens were collected in those days, and physicians performed many tests using long glass rods to obtain samples. We did a lot of hands-on work, and it was quite interesting.
The people I have worked with have made my long tenure a pleasure. I have a lot of good memories of a lot of good people. I've enjoyed the work all these years.