About the Authors
Jean Gay is proud mother of five and grandmother to eleven. She earned a BA from Auburn University in Sociology and a MA in Counseling from UNA. She served as a social worker in Florence City Schools for twenty years. She was the first woman elected to public office in Florence, serving eight years on the City Council. Today, Jean Gay is president and CEO of Eldercare Services, which she founded in 1996 to provide in-home care for the aging. She has been actively involved in many church and community activities and has received numerous awards and commendations for her good works in many organizations. Her 63 years of marriage to David Mussleman continues to unfold a continual adventure in love, family, business and community.
David Mussleman grew up in a rural farm area and attended high school in Florence, Alabama, where he played football and baseball, as well as other activities that “cool” teenage guys did in those days! While serving his army tour during the Korean War, he suddenly and unexpectedly received military assignment to England. In days following, he achieved his greatest accomplishment, convincing Jean Gay to marry him within 30 days in hopes she could join him in his military assignment in Europe. She did. On returning to the States, David attended Auburn University and earned his doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Among his many accomplishments, David became the proud father of five beautiful children, practiced veterinary medicine for 53 years, was a civil rights activist, co-founded (with Willie Ruff) the WC Handy Festival, developed Wildwood on Cypress sub-division, founded the Keystone Business Centre, and established the first Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Florence. During his veterinary practice years, his patients were both small and large animals, giving him unique insight into animals healthy and diseased, and also into the hearts of the diverse people who owned the animals, their emotions, their love and their dedication.
The point and counter point of Jean Gay’s text and David’s annotation make for as entertaining a diversion as I’ve had in quite a while. They are both good writers. David is a survivor of a vanishing breed of mixed practitioners from a day and age when Veterinarians drew their text from the first chapter of Genesis and what God did on the fifth and sixth days of Creation, long before there was a Veterinarian’s Oath. From 52 years of practice and 62 years of marriage, David and Jean Gay have assembled a bright and beautiful account of their life among all of God’s creatures great and small, giving us something wise and wonderful. The Lord God made us all.
— Dr. Tom Vaughan, DVM, Dean Emeritus, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine