There’s a certain Dr. Ward, born in the 17th century, who appears to have been known as “Spot Ward” due to the great “claret stain” on the side of his face. From my completely un-academic Google-scanning, I’ve learned that he was considered a bit of a quack, and there’s an engraving by Hogarth in which his stain is emphasized, along with his quacky reputation.
If you click on either of these links, scroll down a bit until you find the engraving “The Undertakers” – he’s the guy on the top right with half of his entire face shaded.
I’m fascinated by this! Know of any other historical figures with stains?
We recently took a daytrip to a historic small town about an hour away. After walking around on Main Street for an hour or two on a ridiculously hot day, we popped into the local confectionary for ice cream. It was crazy busy in there, and while we were focusing on keeping the kiddos away from the colorful displays of treats, I heard the guy next to me in line say “Ah, she has a birthmark!” I cringed slightly, pasted a smile on my face and looked down at Addy to see if she had heard. But before I could do or say anything, the guy continued: “Just like me!”
My head snapped up to look at him, and sure enough, this guy in his mid-thirties had a dark red stain on his face, and it was even bigger than Addy’s, wrapping around his shaved head. I broke into a smile: “Port wine?” “Yep!” “Ha, that’s exactly what she has! Did you ever do any treatments?” (No questions are ‘too personal’ after finding common ground like that!) He shook his head: “Nah. I did one treatment when I was older, but that’s it.” Then he smiled: “Now I really like having it on my face; you know, it’s something different, no one else has it.”
So here’s a guy with a deep-red stain on his face, darkened a bit with age, wrapping around his skull, and he’s saying he likes it. Awesome. I wish I’d had time to get tips from him on how to encourage that kind of confidence, but we were too rushed. Oh, well. He still made my day!
Have you ever run across someone who shared a particularly odd trait with you? Were you as excited as I was to find them?