Jeff Holman is someone I’ve known for ten plus years, and for most of that time I’ve considered him one of my best friends. The two of us attended college together at the University of Rio Grande, where I studied English Literature and he pursued his Biology degree. We’ve gone on several lengthy road trips, had quite a few crazy adventures, and have been involved in each others lives since college for many pivotal ups and downs. Jeff was the Best Man at my wedding and fairly recently he and his family have returned to the great state of Ohio after he and his wife finished their doctorate schooling out in Iowa at the Palmer College of Chiropractic.
Holman Descending A Staircase
In a continuing effort to introduce my friend to the local establishments some of us prefer to haunt I invited him out to a small local bar and grill where we sat down to a few alcoholic beverages and a couple of cheeseburgers. For being a Thursday night, the place was pretty busy but I chose one of the corner tables in hopes we could get away from the majority of the crowds chatter and perhaps avoid the noise from the televisions mounted overhead. However shortly after we sat down a heated political debate between several of the bar’s patrons started up directly across from us, mainly focusing on Ohio’s upcoming issue 2 vote. The main antagonist was a boisterous, rotund, middle age woman who was either affably autistic or an outspoken asshole. It was hard to tell. The drunken verbal sparing went on for most of the evening so occasionally our interview was interrupted as the two of us listened in on the bar stool talking heads with amused smirks.
Joshua: So Jeff Holman thanks for sitting down here with me today.
Jeff: No problem. Don’t make me look bad.
Joshua: (Laughing) Ha ha! Don’t make yourself look bad, I just report the facts!
Jeff: (Laughing) I’ll do what I can!
Joshua: Let me start off by saying once again, even though it’s been four or five months, welcome back to Ohio!
Jeff: It’s been a trip man.
On the Holman occupation front, Ohio wins again.
Joshua: What would you say has been the biggest change going from Iowa to Ohio?
Jeff: Well I guess becoming familiar with the area and everything that goes along with being new to a place. Finding the local places to go . . . .
Joshua: Such as this fine establishment!
Jeff: And, time seems to go by faster in Ohio, it really does.
Joshua: (Laughing) Ohio is in a time warp actually, little known fact.
Jeff: It feels like that. I mean I count the weeks now, where before I used to count the days. It’s crazy.
Joshua: Well and you’re busy now too, I’m sure it’ll slow down. You’ve got a lot going on, you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, which actually brings me to my next question. You are a new father, you’re definitely one of my first good friends to have a kid, your son is going to be a year coming up here in December. What has fatherhood taught you in general so far?
Jeff: I think my role as a father is a lot different maybe than some other people. I think I understood my role as being there for my wife, and being a good assistant. She has very good instincts, and maybe all mothers do, but I just need to make sure that she’s alright with the decisions she’s made. To back her up and to support her. Not to say that I’m not there, or that in the early months I wasn’t there through the night but it was always to make sure that she was happy, that she was comfortable. But if you ask me now it’s different, because when he’s a year old it’s a lot different then when he’s a month old. A LOT different.
Joshua: Sure, he’s crawling, mobile, he’s doing stuff.
Jeff: Yeah, now it’s totally different because when he sees me he lights up, he recognizes me. Even if I only get to see him two of three hours a day, which even to say that is crazy, but that’s life!
Joshua: Well yeah I mean, you’ve gotta work!
Jeff: Yeah. So, when he sees you, and comes crawling towards you . . . I don’t know, altogether fatherhood’s been pretty cool. The only thing I tell people though is, have a kid when you’re ready, because if you’re not ready there will be some times . . . . there have been so many times that my wife and I have laughed at two or three in the morning because of our relationship and just how crazy we’ve made it. But if you weren’t absolutely ready for a kid then you’d be crying.
Joshua: Switching topics now. Another big development in your life, since I’ve known you, is that you are now officially Dr. Jeffrey Holman.
Jeff: That’s right, I am a doctor, I just don’t have my license.
Joshua: So you’re done with that now, you’re a doctor, you’re a chiropractor, why did you decide to go into chiropractic? What were your influences?
Jeff: I think you were there! I think we were at the bookstore next to the Ruby Tuesdays down in Huntington West Virginia and we were in our senior year in college. I got a book called Professions for Biology Majors. I’d always wanted to be an optometrist, even through high school I mentored optometry, and there was one paragraph about chiropractic in this book and it just seemed like it fit. It fit the lifestyle that I thought I wanted, it fit being able to run your own business the way you wanted to run it. Of course that’s going to influence who you have in your practice, but even though all of that was the same it was more physical, it seemed like it was more outgoing then what an optometrist would be just sitting in a office.
Joshua: Yeah you’d have to have more of a personality as a chiropractor, if that’s the right word, “personality.”
Jeff: Yeah, yeah. I feel like that too. You’re not only trying to convince people of letting you provide a service for them, but you’re trying to change lives, change how people live their lives, to better themselves.
Joshua: Yeah, as much behavioral as it is physical.
Jeff: Right. That, and the connection that chiropractic started an hour south of where I was born in Iowa. I had a lot of family, aunts and uncles, in the seven years that I was out there I can’t tell you how many weddings and funerals I went to of people I really didn’t know, because we lived in Ohio growing up.
Joshua: So your time in Iowa was sort of a reconnection as well?
Jeff: Absolutely it was! Especially after my mom passed away there were some aunts and uncles who stepped up and really wanted to nurture. One in particular who doesn’t have kids, I think really took an interest in making sure that everything was ok. She still calls me every weekend, excited and nervous for me because that’s one thing my mom did and her side of the family does, is worry.
Joshua: Honestly though, what mother doesn’t? But going back to chiropractors. What do you think more people should understand about chiropractic, or what are some misconceptions that you come across?
Jeff: I think just the idea that we only adjust the spine, or we only crack bones. There’s one thing in particular that we try to do and that’s treat subluxation, and there’s three things that cause subluxation and that’s thoughts, traumas, or toxins. So thoughts being stress, you know, everyday life. Toxins, even being the nutrition and the food that you eat or the drugs that you take. Trauma, obviously like a car accident but even everyday life, guys that are working at the factory doing the same thing everyday. All three of those things effect how your body is able to take care of itself. Chiropractors help your body do what it’s supposed to do.
Joshua: Now, because I know you, and I’ve talked about you and you being chiropractor I’ve heard people say things like chiropractors are “quacks” or fake doctors or whatever, how does that sit with you? How do you handle that?
Jeff: Here’s my thing, and I don’t get worked up on the doctor thing because anyone who goes to school and gets a bachelors and then goes on to school you can get a masters. I was in a doctorate program. I went to school for nine years. That’s the only thing that makes me a doctor. It’s the same as someone that can get their doctorate in music, that can get a doctorate in social work. So they went to school for that, and they deserve the title of doctor. I’m not saying I’m a medical doctor, I wouldn’t want to be a medical doctor. I don’t want anything to do with medical doctors. Although I consider myself a healthcare practitioner. So I think that has a lot to do with how people perceive chiropractic because of how chiropractors put themselves out there. You don’t see medical doctors at a mall trying to get people to come to their office, doing a free spine screening, or doing a free drug test, you don’t see that. That’s because the medical field can compensate themselves through pharmaceuticals, and that’s what I don’t want anything to do with. We do deal with nutrition, we do deal with supplements. But when I say you should go out to the store and get some natural vitamin C, buy some oranges, that’s not going to put any money in my pockets. Whereas a doctor can say, here’s a supplement for ya, and then they get quite a good kickback. And the chiropractic profession in our country is really only a hundred years old, up until the 60’s it wasn’t even legal in all states. In fact chiropractors would get jailed for running a medical practice. We’re not that old, so I can understand where there is some discrepancies in the public.
Joshua: So would you like to see more regulation on chiropractors, or a more streamlined education?
Jeff: I’m under the impression that if it works, then how can you put it down? But I think there does need to be a distinction between what I do, and what I was taught at the fountainhead of chiropractic, Palmer which is the namesake of the family that started chiropractic, compared to what western states herbal medicinists do. But they can take their tests, and they can be called a chiropractor.
Joshua: It’s all the same test right? They all have to take the same standardized test?
Jeff: Yeah, so there should be a distinction, but I think if someone is trying to do good, from their heart, and can run there own business should be successful. An overall general feeling I have, and maybe I’m just hopeful, that there are more people out there looking for a healthcare alternative. That they’re sick of going to the medical profession, and being seen in fifteen minutes, and not really getting an evaluation and just being prescribed something. So if there are people out there that want something else, I hope that we’ll be able to provide it. That’s what I want to do.
Joshua: Now Jeff, I’m going to mention a few other doctors, you may not know all of them, but give me one sentence. Your thoughts, whether they’re good, bad, or just your opinions. First one is, Dr. Dolittle.
Jeff: Uh, African American, um can hear animals?
Jeff: That’s right isn’t it?
Joshua: Yes, yeah. You went with the Eddie Murphy version. My initial thoughts were the Rex Harrison version. Just caught me off guard, that’s all.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah I don’t even know that one.
Joshua: No, that’s fine.
Jeff: Eddie Murphy.
Joshua: Eddie Murphy. Now how about Dr. Zaius? The original Planet of the Apes, one of the main apes?
Jeff: Those apes scare me in those movies.
Joshua: Ha ha! Ok, now how about Dr. Phil?
Jeff: You know I think his show, and I’ve only ever seen a few episodes, but I think he’s become an icon. (chuckling) And I’ve never really thought about this before, but I think he was probably one of the first doctor shows, you know what I mean, and I think that’s exciting. Even though, that’s a psychologist, and some of the information they put on those shows, they deal with issues but some of those issues don’t belong on TV. From that though there’ve been a lot of shows that show medical oriented information and I think that you’ve gotta assume that what’s on TV is what that people want to watch. So the fact that people are wanting to know about their health is exciting.
Joshua: Ok now, Dr. Zoidberg. Do you know who that is? From Futurama? The crab man?
Jeff: Uh, is he the one with the . . . . (makes claw snapping motions with his hands) uh, he kind of freaks me out. And he has that, it’s not a speech impediment, but he’s got those tentacles in front of his mouth . . . . and does he have something on his head too?
Joshua: Sometimes. When he gets excited. And how about Dr. Kevorkian?
Jeff: I think it’s a real ethical issue.
Joshua: To be sure!
Jeff: You can easily say that it was wrong, but I think what was wrong was that people viewed him as being a doctor, and that his practice of medicine was wrong.
Joshua: With the whole Hippocratic oath and all that.
Jeff: Right. Ethically you’d hope that he was doing what he thought was right and if he was doing what he thought was right and people were knocking on his door than it’s hard to say. On the other hand I don’t, I guess I don’t feel that its right for someone who’s in that position, where they wanted to end their life, I don’t think that’s something they should put on anyone else. That is something they should put on themselves.
Joshua: Next, Dr. Strange.
Jeff: Oh that one really sounds familiar too.
Joshua: He’s one of my favorites.
Jeff: Maybe you dressed up as him once?
Joshua: I did! I made a Dr. Strange costume.
Jeff: Um, I love him. He is absolutely one of my favorites too.
Joshua: Good! What about Dr. Who?
Jeff: Doesn’t he have a show?
Joshua: Yeah, you and I have watched it, well I know you watched about a third of an episode that one time.
Jeff: And it’s about a time traveling thing, or something?
Jeff: That’s very interesting.
Joshua: It is interesting.
Jeff: Now he traveled through time, did he get to pick where he went?
Joshua: For the most part, sometimes his time machine sort of just drops him off.
Jeff: To do good?
Joshua: Yeah, for the most part.
Jeff: So he’s not just dropped someplace to slut around.
Joshua: Yeah the Tardis doesn’t just choose a location based on the quality of their club scene.
Jeff: Yeah, well I think that’s interesting, and I think probably everyone in life wants to do that, although they’d probably want to always be able to pick where they go.
Joshua: Another one. Dr. Doug Ross. George Clooney’s character on ER.
Jeff: You know, that’s a very good question.
Joshua: Is it?
Jeff: I don’t remember ever watching ER.
Joshua: I’ve never watched it.
Jeff: But I think that’s where his career really took off. And I enjoy some of the movies that he’s been in.
Joshua: Favorite George Clooney movie, while we’re talking about. Just off the top of your head!
Jeff: Uhh, well I liked the Oceans trilogy. And there was one that I really liked, uh, From Dusk Till Dawn! His tattoo in that movie is awesome. If I had the cajones to get a tattoo, that’s what I’d get. That’s a good movie.
Joshua: I was just watching part of that today, it was on AMC earlier.
Jeff: I like him. I think he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s a good actor. So George Clooney, I like him. I’m glad you brought it up.
You know what? He is a pretty good actor.
Joshua: And how about Dr. Zhivago? It’s a movie.
Jeff: That sounds familiar, I’ve never seen it.
Joshua: A David Lean movie, I have it. No. I don’t have it, I have Lawrence of Arabia which is another of his.
Jeff: That’s a classic movie though right?
Joshua: Classic movie! You need to watch that. Russian revolution, he’s a doctor, epic. It’s a really good movie, you need to see it.
Jeff: I hope you can see the spectrum of people that have the title of “doctor.”
Joshua: Well here’s another question, this is off the cuff, I hadn’t thought of this earlier but speaking of the spectrum of doctors, would you like to see more chiropractors represented in movies and television, or do you know of any chiropractors that are in popular media?
Jeff: I would say there is not a good example. There is a character on Two and a Half Men who is a chiropractor.
Joshua: Oh christ!
Jeff: Seinfeld talked about chiropractors a couple different times. George with the famous line of “Doctor” Ha! I’m not gonna pay that bill! But I think anyone who’d get upset by that, takes themselves too seriously.
Joshua: Ok Jeff, here’s a question I’ve been doing with everyone that I’ve talked to. Give me seven words to describe you, you’re life up to this point. It can be a phrase or just seven words, whatever you think is more fitting.
Jeff: I guess I’d consider myself, Loving. Helpful, loyal.
Joshua: Is this just going to be the Scout Law?
Jeff: (Laughing) No, no. I’m just thinking . . . it’s tough.
Joshua: It is tough, Carl hated it. Lauren went with a phrase.
Jeff: Understanding, and I don’t know if you’d count it as another one but also Compassionate, but I guess I feel that they’re the same.
Joshua: I can see that.
Jeff: Focused. One more?
Joshua: I lost track.
Jeff: I think so. Excited.
Joshua: I like those, those are some good ones. I agree with your choices. Alright here’s my last question, it’s kind of a long question, and this will just be first response that comes to your mind type of thing. You’ve just been elected President of the United States. It’s time to pick your cabinet, who’s on your cabinet? Your Vice President?
Jeff: My first lady!
Joshua: Secretary of State?
Jeff: Umm, George Clooney.
Joshua: (Laughing) Yes, nice. Secretary of the Treasury?
Jeff: Lauren, your wife!
Joshua: Yes! Good choice 100%, she is definitely my Secretary of the Treasury! Secretary of Defense?
Jeff: Well, let’s see here . . . . hmm damn . . . . Alex Trebek.
Consider the United States defended.
Joshua: Alex Trebek, Secretary of Defense, that has a nice ring to it. I like it. Justice, Secretary of Justice?
Jeff: Uh, let’s see, Justice, um, Captain America.
Joshua: Captain America, of course! He would be a perfect Secretary of Justice.
Jeff: Or Jesus, whichever. Whoever is available.
Joshua: Captain America or Jesus, whoever picks up the phone first. Ok. Department of the Interior?
Jeff: Ha! You said Interior, so let’s go with Clinton, from What Not To Wear.
Joshua: Ha! Ok, that’s what we’re going with! Department of Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture?
Jeff: This is a serious one.
Joshua: Oh yeah? You really take this one to heart eh?
Jeff: I would say . . . . I forget his name . . . . he is the author of a book and he was in Food Inc. as one of the commentators . . . .
Joshua: Eh, don’t worry about it, google it and send me a text we’ll edit it in later, no problem. Commerce?
Jeff: Jay-Z. He has money.
Joshua: He does indeed have money. Labor, Department of Labor?
Jeff: I would go into downtown Detroit and pick someone off the assembly line.
Joshua: I like that, real grassroots there. Health, Department of Health.
Joshua: What? You’re already the President! And your wife is already taken so you can’t use her either.
Jeff: Dr. Oz.
Joshua: Dr. Oz, why not! Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?
Jeff: I want to see someone more like Mitt Romney in that position of Urban Development.
Joshua: Alright, interesting choice, interesting. Transportation?
Jeff: How about, John Madden.
Joshua: He can certainly coordinate a good run.
Jeff: Well he doesn’t fly in planes, he’s always on the bus.
Joshua: Yes, that’s right! I forgot about that, that’s a good choice. Brilliant. Secretary of Energy?
Jeff: I think, I don’t know his name, the guy who owns the Tesla Company?
Joshua: Education. Department of Education who would you have in charge there?
Jeff: Barnamus. Mrs. Barnamus.
Joshua: Was that a teacher of yours?
Jeff: Yeah, she was my third through sixth grade teacher.
Joshua: She was a good teacher then eh?
Joshua: Secretary of Veterans Affairs?
Jeff: Um, your father.
Joshua: (Laughing) I think he’d run a tight ship there! Ol’ Glenwood Chester, he’d make shit happen. For those out there who don’t know my father he’s an 81 year old former Navy vet who is notorious for his activities down at the American Legion and his volunteering he does with the funeral honor guard there. Finally, Homeland Security.
Jeff: This one, I take this one very seriously. I think, I don’t know if it’s allowed, but I’d pick James Bond.
Joshua: James Bond, he’s not an American citizen though.
Jeff: That’s alright, they don’t have to be an American citizen do they? I’m sure he can get his citizenship before they swear him in. If Pamela Anderson can be citizen, James Bond can be a citizen.
Joshua: (Laughing) That, might be the take away quote from this interview! And probably one of my favorite quotes of all time, if Pamela Anderson can be a citizen, James Bond can be a citizen. Alight Jeff Holman do you have any final statements you want to say before we end this?
Jeff: No, no it was a lot of fun. Thank you for your time.
Joshua: I’m glad you took it serious, and I liked what you had to say.
Jeff: Yeah, I try to take most questions serious, it was a lot of fun though. I hope it goes well. I’m interested to read this one as well as your other blog entries to see how it goes. See how I compared to other people.
Joshua: Well, it’s different questions!
Jeff: Well thank you.
Joshua: No, thank you sir!
That is all!