To preserve and enhance the downtown area as the heart of
East Point, communicating a sense of place, community pride and heritage, while providing for a successful business and
Downtown Flashback Feature
Each month, the East Point Historical Society provides an article for the "Flashback Feature" for the Downtown Newsletter. Each article highlights a piece of East Point's vibrant history. More information about East Point's history is available at the East Point Historical Society located at 1685 Norman Berry Drive, East Point, GA 30344. You can contact them at (404) 767-4656 or visit www.eastpoinths.org. All "Flashback Features" will be archived on the website and can be accessed at any time.
FlightHealth Closes Office in Downtown East Point
Inside an undistinguished white building at the corner of Ware Avenue and East Point Street I got a history lesson in medical care in 1940s East Point. Known since 1998 as FlightHealth to most commercial pilots from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, it is a multi-office facility where pilots have come since the airport’s early days to get routine flight physicals as their jobs require.
Dr. Robert Pinckney Tucker didn’t start out specializing in testing pilots for flight. Dr Tucker had gotten his medical chops as a military doctor during WWII, and was trained to take care of people from birth to death. He bought 115 W. Ware Ave in the 1940s, before the street numbers changed (now 1603 Ware Ave.) and in 1947 established a medical practice to provide care to hard-working families of the local mills and factories in East Point. The exam rooms are as immaculately tiled and as clean today as the day his clinic opened.
Dr. Tucker was probably one of the last family doctors who made house calls. He delivered babies, treated measles and mumps and performed general surgeries. He was an early adopter of cell phone technology and had one installed in his car. From his obituary of April 27, 2009: “Dr. Tucker’s office would become a mainstay of downtown East Point. For many years, the office remained open 24 hours a day so that all who were in need of care could be seen. Perhaps his most noted medical success came in the care and treatment of airline pilots. Dr. Tucker became known nationally as a true pilot advocate and friend, offering help and advice that kept many pilots, who were required to meet the government’s rigid physical standards, healthy and in the air”.
Most fascinating to me was what I found squirreled away in the attic; it was evident that Dr. Tucker believed in keeping the clinic well stocked. Long past the time when many of his purchases were still in current use, he had supplies that would last even the next doctor a lifetime. Boxes and boxes of cotton gauzes of all different widths and uses, old parts of an x-ray machine, early eye-testing gear, early wooden blood pressure testers, a small gizmo to perform circumcisions with a related pamphlet of advice to new parents, parts of an Edison sound cylinder recorder, sets of atomizers still in boxes, hundreds and hundreds of old glass syringes, glass urine specimen bottles, and some weird small inflated rubber donut thingys that I don’t even want to think about.
Dr. Tucker retired in 1998 and sold the business to Dr. H. Stacy Vereen, who changed the name of the business to FlightHealth and continued to specialize in Aerospace Medicine. Dr. Vereen kept most all of the original medical office furniture throughout the place and there were even more great vintage pieces in some of the “back” storage spaces. The business is closing now, and all of these glimpses into medical history were recently offered up for grabs: an old addressograph with plates and several old typewriters are still hidden away in the back storage room along with many other medical items. It was from the very most back corner of this space that I dug out the original signage that had hung over the front door of Dr. Tucker’s clinic, which Dana Vereen, Office Manager, then graciously donated to EPHS. Any one interested in purchasing any items left should call 678-983-4182 to make an appointment.
-Holly Keyes, EPHS Board Member