Last week, I featured my current eye doctor, Mike Scheidler, so for this week, it just seemed a natural to interview Dr. Phil Grush, my former optometrist. He was a bit reluctant, at first, but we had a grand time reminiscing and thus, here's Dr. Phil.

Phillip E. Grush grew-up in Goshen where he played track, basketball and tennis during his high school years. His college days at Hanover tallied track and football where he was, ready for this - a half-back! His comment was, "well, people were smaller in those days!"

Now, Hanover also produced a wife from our fair city, Marilyn Harding, whose family lived next door to Caster Wilson. Phil Grush became interested in Wilson's profession and eventually Phil took over Dr. Wilson's practice. Dr. Grush was in practice in Crawfordsville for over 40 years and I'm sure glad he became my eye doctor. Now, before all of this, Phil was in the Navy where he worked his way up to a rank of Lt. He spent a couple of years at sea, and I'm confident that and the Crawfordsville citizens, are happy that he came back to settle here. That was over 50 years ago. When Dr. Grush bought Caster Wilson's practice, Caster worked a few months of each year for three or four years and when Dr. Scheidler bought Dr. Grush's practice, Phil worked part time, as well. Phil moved within the Ben Hur building then in 1994 went to the Main Street location which is where Dr. Scheidler's practice remains today.

I enjoyed hearing fun stories from Dr. Grush's practicing years. Once, he had two sisters as patients who decided to get contact lenses. One day, one of the girls called in that her eyes were hurting. A couple of hours later, the other sister did the same. Yep, as you probably guessed, they had switched contacts. I could relate to that one as I was forever putting my right in my left and left in my right. Another story centers around one of the prominent Montgomery County forefathers who fell asleep during every eye exam. Dr. G. would have to wake this man up every few minutes as the exam progressed until finally, the mission was accomplished. Another time, a Hillsboro man called and said his daughter's eye was unbearably sore. This was during the Christmas Holiday (Dr. Grush said he spent a lot of holidays in the office). When the girl came in, there was a BB in her eye. Apparently, a young man down the street had been shooting his gun (perhaps a Christmas present) and she was the unlucky receiver of one of the BBs.

I was impressed that Dr. Grush was instrumental in starting the visual screening with the school nurses. He complimented Carol Homann, now retired Crawfordsville High School nurse for aiding in this process. He visited Nursing Homes, the hospital and individual homes, too. Yep, he made house calls. I thought that was amazing!

Marilyn and Phil Grush raised two active daughters here. Both are CHS graduates and were involved in sports. Sandra was a tennis player, Debbie a three-sport star - tennis, basketball and volleyball. She is in the CHS Hall of Fame. Although the girls don't live in the area now, Dr. Grush enjoys his four grandchildren and two great grands as much as possible. Travelling to see the family gives Dr. Phil something to do in his retirement days.

Sadly, Marilyn passed away of cancer, but Phil Grush found another soul mate in his second wife, Edie Crawford Cory. Readers may remember this talented lady who had the Sew-Biz shop downtown. The Grush's look forward to their 25th anniversary not too long away.

The good doctor has been on both professional and community boards, including the first Red Cross Board here in the county and the Union Federal Bank board. Throughout the years, Dr. Grush has been quite active in the University Club, Ouiatenon Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Kiwanis where he is not only past president but a 50-year-member. Since going to Hanover, a Presbyterian-oriented college, he has served here as an Elder in the church. He said, "I wasn't a Presbyterian until I went to college, then I became one and remain one!"

For fun, Dr. G." dabbles in antiques." It all began when he started to get rid of his own stuff. He now has a couple of booths in the downtown antique mall. He also likes golf and does yard work (note, he doesn't particularly like it, but he does it ). Throughout the interview, Dr. Grush kept saying I should interview this person or that person, but I chose Phil Grush not only because he was a wonderful eye doctor, but because my father thought the world of him and so do I. Thanks Dr. Phil Grush for being my subject this week!