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2001: No entry--in England
2002: My Day in Numbers
2003: Things That Go Bump
2004: Hey, Look Me Over
2005: Too Much Fun
2006: This Day in the Life
2008: Faw Down Go Boom
2009: Seven Weeks
2010: The Yuck List
2011: Did You Ever Know that You're My Hero?
2012: Living Vicariously
"A Little Princess"
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A SAD DAY FOR DAVIS
You may want to silence the video at the bottom of the
that comes up automatically, until you have finished
reading the entry; I can't figure out how to get it to wait for a
command to begin!
8 May 2013
I knew Herbert Bauer wasn't going to live forever, but since he seemed to be going
strong at 103, you did kind of start to think about how to make his 104th special.
But Herbert died at 4:40 a.m. this morning. The conscience of Davis has
finally gone to meet his wife, Hannah, without whom he has been for too many years.
She died in 2002, at age 82.
I figured time was growing short when he announced a couple of weeks ago, after he
went to his last Farmers Market, at which he had been a staple, that he thought he was
going to have to give that up. It was getting to be too much for him. He gave
up driving on his 100th birthday.
Dr. Herbert Bauer completed his medical degree at the Medical School of Vienna,
Austria, in 1936. As the German army invaded, he left the country. For a couple of years
he lived in London and organized a charity that helped find jobs for about 200 people who
escaped from German-occupied countries. Thats where he met his wife, Hannah.
The couple moved to San Francisco, where he completed a one-year medical internship at Mt.
Zion Hospital while working as a nursing assistant. After a few years working in public
health in San Luis Obispo, he got his masters degree in public health at the
University of California Berkeley.
In 1952, he was assistant public health director in Sacramento County when he read in a
newspaper that Yolo County had an opening in its health department. He got the job, which
meant commuting on country roads to work in the basement of the county courthouse.
The health department had a staff of six people and two rooms. The bigger room was open to
public view. The smaller one, he said, was used for two things: coffee breaks and
In the early 1950s, he wrangled some grant money from the state to construct a new public
health building. That building was the health departments home until 2006, when 255
county employees moved into the newly built Herbert Bauer, M.D. Health and Alcohol, Drug
& Mental Health building.
Before Bauer, public health in Yolo County mostly consisted of lining school children up
once a year to make sure their hearts were still pumping and their hair wasnt full
There was no trace of any kind of mental health treatment, he said. There was
also no family planning clinic. And health inspections meant checking whether people were
putting lids on garbage cans. Starting from scratch, Bauer built a real public health
It was easy, because whatever you did in public health, that was automatically
new, he said. It never had been done before.
He drove the first dean of the University of California Davis Medical School from the
airport to the campus, and soon medical students were rotating through the countys
public health department. He also joined the clinical faculty.
At 61, Bauer retired from the county and went back to school, obtaining a child psychiatry
certification from UC Davis. He did not stray from his original career path, he said. He
just switched his emphasis.
I considered mental health simply a part of public health, he said.
There is no borderline between physical health, mental health and social
In his psychiatry practice, he took only patients who received Medi-Cal assistance,
because private patients have other opportunities, he said.
After his retirement he was past president of the California Lung Association, and he
chaired the bioethical committees of Woodland Memorial Hospital and Sutter Davis Hospital.
He also took up dance and joined the Pamela Trokanski Dance Theatre in Davis.
How did Herbert make it to 103-1/2?
I live by my three commandments, he said. Try to
put purpose into your life. It helps to have someone to love. And, maintain a certain
amount of humor."
I was blessed to be a peripheral part of Herbert's world for a few years. I'm not sure he really knew who I was, but I loved helping out with his birthday celebrations.
Herbert will be missed by the entire community of Davis.