In the modern history of this city, two doctors served the people here who couldn’t afford to pay them.
Their names were Dr. Morris Clayman and Dr. Sam Klauber.
In today’s world, if you are without money you can take yourself to the local health center and receive treatment at no cost. It is the law.
Seventy years ago, when Dr. Morris Clayman was practicing medicine on Chestnut Street he became a legend among the poor because he served the poor as a matter of duty to humanity.
He might not have looked at it exactly that way himself, but Dr. Clayman was not your average doctor.
His clientele was poor and struggling Jews, Italians, Irish and Polish just arrived from Europe many with small children who needed medical care – but the parents had no money and there was no clinic that would examine and treat them for free.
Generations of Chelsea residents owed Dr. Clayman their lives – and he was beloved among the poor and the memory of this generous man dead for decades still remains.
Dr. Sam Klauber, who died recently at the age of 101, had a practice on Washington Avenue in Chelsea for 18 years.
He was Dr. Clayman incarnate – serving the poor – only his practice was largely the new Chelsea people who came here in the 1970’s seeking the post modernist version of the American Dream.
Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans, Costa Ricans, Dominicans, Jews, Irish, Italian and Polish – he served all these ethnic groups, treated everyone with pride and after the fashion of Dr. Clayman, didn’t think of charging you if you couldn’t afford to pay.
Both Dr. Klauber and Dr. Clayman are owed a deep debt of gratitude by this city’s struggling people and those whom they served without payment.
What a nice touch it would be for the city to properly honor these two men who gave their professional lives to Chelsea’s people.