I didn’t even know Mountain View had a Public Health Department and I’ve lived here three years.

I called “my” doctor’s office about getting vaccination boosters before I leave. They wanted $50 for an office visit and there was a charge for each booster depending on what it was. If I just got a tetanus booster the whole charge would be $80. I started looking for a cheaper alternative. I figured maybe I could get them for a reduced cost at a public health facility in some city that was maybe within 50 miles. That’s when I looked in the phonebook.

About half of a mile from where I live there was the Stone County Public Health Department. It was out at the edge of town away from all major highways on a deadend street.

I called. Yes, they gave adult immunizations and boosters. How much? A $5 “record keeping fee.” I made an appointment for the afternoon. It was a fairly new brick and block building but at first I wasn’t sure I was in the right place because I didn’t see a sign. As I got to the door though I noticed that one of the front walls was covered with giant letters that said “Stone County Public Health Department”. Right in front of that wall, growing all the way to the roof, was an overgrown privet hedge that completely covered the letters and the wall.

I only had to wait 45 minutes past my appointment time. They didn’t give me a receipt for my $5 that I paid in cash.


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