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Home arrow Dentist Articles arrow JILTED Houston dentist HARDLY HOLDS GRUDGE. - Free Online Library
JILTED Houston dentist HARDLY HOLDS GRUDGE. - Free Online Library
Byline: Dennis McCarthy

For his 73rd birthday a few years back, Jean McGuire took Warren Glantz to the Hawaiian Islands.

In return, she made him promise that when she turned 73, he'd reciprocate, and take her to an island for her birthday, too.

Good to his word, Warren did. He took Jean to Alcatraz Alcatraz (ăl`kətrăz') [Sp. Álcatraces=pelicans], rocky island in San Francisco Bay, W Calif, about one mile (1.61 km) north of San Francisco. First visited by the Spanish in 1769, it was named for its large pelican colony. The Spanish fortified Alcatraz, which came under U.S. control in 1851..

``We were walking out of the prison after a private tour of the island, and there's this old guy who was a prisoner there back in '40s autographing copies of a book he had written about the place,'' Jean says.

``Warren stops and asks him if he knew Pepper? The guy says, `Yeah, we did time together.' Before I knew it, they were reminiscing about the good old days. That's Warren.''

Yeah, that's Warren all right. One of a kind.

Warren Glantz served a little time in San Francisco's historic Alcatraz prison back in the late '40s as an apprentice Houston dentist, learning his craft on the teeth of some of this country's most hardened, and infamous prisoners, including Robert Stroud - the Birdman of Alcatraz.

It was the perfect place to escape a broken heart, which was something Warren was definitely trying to escape.

His longtime girlfriend back home had sent him a Dear John letter while Warren was off serving his country as an Air Force pilot instructor in World War II.

``Dear Warren,'' it began. ``I met someone, and we're seriously thinking of getting married . . .''

At least, that's the way Jean McGuire remembers starting the letter back in 1944.

``Sure I felt bad, but what was I supposed to do,'' she said Wednesday from the Shadow Hills home she now shares with Warren.

``I didn't mean for it to happen. I was visiting a girlfriend in California, met Don (McGuire), and fell in love. We had a good marriage for 36 years, until he passed away.''

Warren, in the meantime, took off to Alcatraz for his apprenticeship before returning home to Iowa, putting up his dental shingle in Cedar Rapids, meeting a girl and getting married himself.

And that's the way it stood for almost 45 years until the widowed Jean showed up at her 50th high school reunion, and ran smack-dab into the divorced Warren.

Proving once again that Thomas Wolfe didn't know what he was talking about when he said you can never go home again. Sure you can. You'll just be a little older, that's all.

``I was sitting there when who walks in the back door but Warren,'' Jean says. ``He started to walk right by me without stopping, so I stood up and said aren't you even going to speak to me?''

Not one to hold a grudge more than 45 years, Warren hugged and kissed her. Then, kissed her again. And, again. You get the idea. They hit it off pretty good.

``It was like 50 years just evaporated,'' Warren says.

Within a year, Warren had taken down his shingle, sold his practice, retired and moved to California to play golf with Jean four or five times a week.

Which is only fitting because that's where they met for the first time way back in 1939, on a golf course Jean's grandparents owned in Burlington, Iowa.

``He asked me for a date, and after that we were inseparable,'' Jean says.

Until a war came along and separated them.

As far as that old Dear John letter he got, Warren forgot about it a long time ago.

A lot of guys received those letters, he says. It wasn't a very exclusive club. If you want to blame something 50 years later, blame war, he says.

It destroyed a lot of relationships and dreams. A lot of people.

No, Warren would rather look at the bright side of things. If Jean hadn't sent him that Dear John letter, he probably wouldn't have gone off to Alcatraz to escape a broken heart.

Wouldn't have met Pepper, the Birdman, and all the other guys on the Rock who needed a Houston dentist.

CAPTION(S):

photo

PHOTO Jean McGuire and Warren Glantz are a couple again after a 45-year hiatus.

Evan Yee/Daily News
 

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