Monday, September 19, 2022

Santa Monica--Tribute

 Sunday 2 February 2003

Dr.Gilbert Steingart died.

A beautiful video Young at Heart: A Tribute to Gil Steingart by Verna Harvey Gindoff is posted on YouTube.

Clips include Gil's 90th birthday in 2000 (he recounts the typhoon), his sister-in-law Deb Gindoff's 85th birthday in 2000, and his granddaughter Lisa Frumkes' rehearsal dinner and wedding in 2001.

Lt. Gilbert Steingart (1946)

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Malibu--90th Birthday

 Saturday 29 January 1990

Friends and family gathered to celebrate Gil's 90th birthday. On the day of his actual birthday, he and his friend Sandy were on a trip around the world. His recollection doesn't quite jibe with the letters he wrote 55 years earlier. The story of the two typhoons had morphed into one.  The following is a transcript of audio from that birthday party

GIL:  January is a big month for me. I was born in January. Then in 1943 the navy called me, and I entered in January. Then in 1946 January, the navy was very very generous in allowing me to return to civilian life. January is a big month. Here I am in January again. If I'd waited another couple of days we'd be out of luck.  Anyhow. Maybe next year in January we can do it again.

GEORGE SEEDS JR.: Tell us a navy story.

GIL: No navy stories tonight

GEORGE SEEDS SR.: Tell us about the typhoon and how you got off the ship and all that kind of crap.

GIL: Navy typhoon.

DEBBY GINDOFF:  It's true.

GIL: It's a miserable story but you know we sailed from Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. We were heading for Tokyo. Got to Okinawa. Something was the matter with the screw they said, so we had to repair it.

QUESTIONER:  What kind of ship was it?

GIL: Well we were on

DEBBY:  A flagship.

GIL: A flagship? It was old freighter that had been converted to the flagship for the service squadron.  The damn thing could go twelve knots when you had the thing wide open and then it would go for awhile and go phfft. We were under repairs when we got the warning that we were having a typhoon heading for Buckner Bay in Okinawa. Any ship that was able to get up steam they got out. Everyone who could get out got out.

We couldn't get out so we put anchors on one end of the ship and another anchor on the end of the ship. As the typhoon came in the anchors wouldn't hold. We were torn lose. Then we started to go ahead. Anywhere the wind went we went.

They blew one way and other way. Finally. The skipper knew, according to the charts, that a reef was there. So he figured we'd head up on the reef and we'd be okay.  He headed up on the reef. The elements were not in favor of it, turned the ship around.  There we were sitting on a reef.  Every time the sea hit us we rolled back and forth.  Back and forth.

QUESTIONER:  Were you scared? Actually, I didn't know what was happening so I couldn't be scared.

GEORGE SR: Typical navy.

GIL:  This is not the end of the story.  The wind blowing blew in a little patrol vessel that had some depth charges.  The skipper of that ship wanted to get rid of the depth charges so he dumped them over the side.  And as our ship rolled back and forth, it rolled over and it triggered one of the depth charges. That's not bad cause we're sitting on a reef.

The wind is still blowing and here comes an LSM (landing ship with troops on it) starts heading in and plows into the hole that was blown open and that cut us in half.

At that time the skipper called me up to the bridge and he said you and the medical doctor are abandoning ship and you are going over the side and going ashore so when casualties occur we'd be there.

I had on an old Mae West. I had to go down to the office. Got the medical records. Threw them over one shoulder and some other records over the other shoulder.

Went over to the rail and looked down.  There was a little raft big enough for 2 people.  The skipper wanted me and the medical officer to go down to that raft. Well it was 60 feet down.  I had never gone down a line in my life.  I'll guarantee if you watched me you'd have said I'd been doing it my whole life. 

But anyhow as I started going down the ship,  anytime the ship would roll over, I'd look in at nothing but water.  When we got up I could see that raft again. Got down onto the raft.  This raft by some kind of a system they had they had shot a breeches buoy ashore and had the raft tied to a line that was going to pull us to the shore, that was 100 yards or so.

The medical officer and I got into this was a foam raft with slats on the bottom.  They started bringing us in. Every time the sea would raise us up and put us down on the coral would work on the bottom. It didn't long before no bottom was left.  Our legs were hanging down in the cork raft.  Every time we went down we'd pick up more coral. The medical officer and I decided this is not a very good idea. So we got out of the raft, got a hold of the line and pulled us into the shore.

QUESTIONER: What happened to the boat?

GIL: Who knows? And that's my story.

DEBBY: Did you have any casualties to take care of afterwards? 

GIL: No casualties thank God. Our ship was lined up with a whole bunch of ships that were all piled up together. The sailors were going from one ship to the next to get ashore. And I had a beautiful collection of seashells.  That was gone. Nothing else went.  This was something that appealed to the sailors, so they picked it up. 

Anyhow. That's my story of being shipwrecked.

Links to the original accounts of the two typhoons are below: 


WWII Navy Dentist: Typhoon Ida

WWII Navy Dentist: Shipwrecked

WWII Navy Dentist: Wind Hit 130 Knots

The ship, U.S.S. Ocelot, after "the typhoon." 

Here is an early version of the birthday party invitation.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Santa Monica--Eleanor Died

 3 May 1992

Eleanor Sharlip Steingart was born in Los Angeles, California on November 28, 1909. She attended Santa Monica High School, graduated from UCLA (then called University of California Southern Branch) and received a masters degree from USC.

Eleanor met her future husband Gilbert in high school.  They courted for 8 years. Gil graduated from USC Dental School in 1932. They planned a lavish, June 1934, hotel wedding. When Gil’s dad died the week before the scheduled wedding, the nuptials were cancelled.  A month later they married at the home of Eleanor's sister Ruth. 

Eleanor loved parties and gave bridal showers for every one of her friends. She and Gil celebrated every holiday with a party. Before War II, the couple held an open house every Wednesday night.

In the summer of 1942, Gil and Eleanor rented a "palatial" house at Lake Arrowhead. Gil and Eleanor, daughters Linda and Norma, friends and relatives filled the house to overflowing.  The vacation was the last hurrah before the specter of WWII became a reality.

Eleanor and Gil kept their promises to each other and wrote daily letters during WWII. The Samohi » 500 Letters of Love Most of the plans they wrote to each other about came to fruition.

The two entertained extensively in their Santa Monica dream house. Gilbert became interested in psychosomatic medicine and hypnosis in dentistry and became an authority in the field, lecturing worldwide. The couple traveled to countless destinations around the world and on numerous cruises.

Eleanor died on May 3, 1992. Her life was celebrated with a party.  The house was filled with orchids and sweet desserts were served. As she wished, no formal service, neither secular nor religious, was held.


 Eleanor During WWII


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Santa Monica--50th Anniversary


24 June 1984

100 friends and relatives came to a party honoring Gil and Eleanor Steingart on their 50th anniversary. 

A page from the album

Gil and Eleanor celebrated by going on another cruise.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Santa Monica--Hypnosis in Dentistry



From a lecture by Dr. Gilbert Steingart: 

...when I began to use hypnosis in my practice. My patients were very accepting of its use. However I hesitated to inform my fellow dentists … lest they dub me a nut or a quack. But I’m getting ahead of my story.

It all started when I began to practice dentistry.  I… heard remarks from patients like “Doctor, I hate dentists, nothing personal of course” … What could I … do when a patient said “I’d rather go to the hospital than have my teeth worked on” or “… I’d rather have a baby than have you work on my teeth?” The … use of local anesthetics, nitrous oxide sedation, tranquilizers, intravenous sedation and even general anesthesia failed to affect the attitudes of my patients toward dentals treatment … Something was missing. It took me a while to realize…I was treating dental problems instead of patients with dental problems.

 … it was 1946 I had just returned to civilian life after my tour of duty in the South Pacific compliments of Uncle Sam and the U.S. Navy.  I was attending the annual meeting of the Alumni Association of the School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California.  The speaker was Charles Cooke, Ph.D. His subject was Hypnosis. I listened and thought “so what.” Several weeks later I attended a meeting of the Santa Monica Dental Society. The guest speaker was the same Dr. Charles Cooke … He announced that he was conducting courses in hypnosis, and he had me … I learned how to hypnotize… What to do next was my problem … I … realized that inducing hypnosis was only part of it.

Here is a sampling of mementos from his long professional experience:

Clippings 1956

Clippings 1959-1960

USC Alumni Journal 1960

The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis April 1962

Journal of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology 1963

One of the hundreds of programs, courses and lectures. 

One of scores of scientific meetings

From the National Enquirer date unknown

In 1990 he turned 90 and continued to lecture

His last lecture

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Santa Monica--Dream House


Dr. Gilbert Steingart and his wife Eleanor moved into their dream house. A wish come true. A 21st century owner tore down the house and replaced it with a Mc Mansion.

Architect's rendering

From articles

Aerial Photo circa 1958

Realtor's Flyer 2003

21st Century Mc Mansion