Throwback Thursday: In August 1987, a river race, Miami Vice Seafood Spectacular & Angie the leech

By Kristy Bleizeffer Aug 16, 2018

On July July 26, 1987, James Anderson, M.D., and company won second place in the 7th Annual Great River Raft Race, a Natrona County tradition in the '80s and '90s. Dr. Anderson's team-made raft beat out 91 others – including five from Wyoming Medical Center.

And that's just one of the features from the August 1987 issue of "Hospital Hi-Lites," the WMC employee newsletter of the time. In what was a pretty epic summer, country singer Johnny U serenaded rehab patients with "Ghost Riders in the Sky," the cafeteria planned two celebrity look-alike contests, and leeches named Angie and Henrietta were used in an attempt to save a woman's thumb. Seriously.

Some of the issue's more entertaining articles include: 

  • 'Music is a Universal Language:' Everett "Bugs" Davidson was an orderly on our surgical floor, but he was known more around Casper for his 5,000-piece alphabetized album collection, his Casper Journal music review column "Bugs' Boogie Review," and his two KGRQ radio shows. On the weekend of Aug. 15-16, 1987, he spun tunes for no less than six wedding receptions. 
  • 'Contestants Tie in Don Johnson Look-Alike Contest:' Back when pastel blazers were considered fashion forward and Ray Ban sunglasses were everywhere, we named BOTH our contestants as winners in the cafeteria's Aug. 4 Miami Vice Seafood Spectacular. What did Rick Schall and Tony Griffin win for their troubles? A $5 meal ticket to the cafeteria.
Click to read the August 1987 issue.
  • 'Cafeteria Specials Announced for September:' Speaking of the cafeteria, ours used to PARTY. To coincide with National Cable TV Month, the cafeteria ran a special that featured a Vanna White Look-Alike Contest and game-show like contests called "The Price is Correct," "Name that Song," and "Tire of Fortune." Get it? 
  • 'An Old Technique Yielding New Results:' This is the leech story, and it is ... surprising. Here's the gist: A ranch woman nearly lost her thumb after a horse bolted while she was holding its lead. To try to save the thumb, doctors shipped in several leeches from a lab in New York City to encourage blood circulation to the dangling digit. The woman reportedly named the leeches and had a very good reason for agreeing to the unconventional treatment: "I asked Dr. Bailey if I would be able to bowl again. I've registered for the National Women's Bowling Tournament in Reno, Nev., next May. I plan on being there, even if I have to re-drill my bowling ball."

To read the entire issue, and we recommend that you do, click here. 

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Throwback Thursday looks back on Wyoming Medical Center’s long, rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center, which archives our vast collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia; and to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D. Information is also collected from a collection of Hi-Lites, Wyoming Medical Center's employee newsletter, dating from 1982-1996.