Book Review: The Christmas Doctor takes readers for a ride


Doug Warne
KKNW Scandinavian Hour

Like so many of us who have nostalgic memories of our family and parents, Tom Weber looked up to his father and thought the wonderful stories he heard as a young man about him needed to be told.

Every generation produces a man whose story simply must be told, and while Tom is no Shakespeare, the story of his father holds together well and gives insight into that part of Northwest pioneer history that so many are interested in. John Weber was starving on the streets of Portland, Oregon, in 1904 when his life was saved by a Danish-American nurse. Motivated by what she had done for him, he became a heroic country doctor in northern Idaho. Dr. Weber’s medical practice was so compelling, his courage so startling, and his love so tender, he became known as “the Christmas Doctor.”

Written by his son, this slim volume is the true story of Dr. J.P. Weber, and contains accounts of danger and tragedy, skill and dedication. After reading this account, the beloved actress Liv Ullmann wrote to the author saying, “You have a wonderful father to remember. I am very moved.”

The Christmas Doctor is the story of an energetic physician on our frontier who often risked his life for others. His calling card read, “Have doctor bag. Will Travel.” Whether he arrived on snowshoes, horseback, or dogsled, Dr. Weber usually got the patient well.

The Christmas Doctor is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Doug Warne is the host of The Scandinavian Hour, which has been a community fixture for over half a century in Seattle. He sponsors many scholarships through the Leif Erikson Lodge of Sons of Norway, and serves on the board of that organization. In 2012, he was named Person of the Year by the Seattle chapter of the NACC.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 20, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.