I was born in Aarburg, Switzerland, September 11, 1937. It was a cold Saturday night, my Dad was the town physician, and I was delivered at home. I went to grade school in Aarburg and Adelboden, High School (Gymnasium) in Lucerne and University in Bern where I received a Dr. med. in 1963. Because of my thesis on the comparative anatomy of the mid-brain in primates, I got a job at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, then started a Psychiatry Residency at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Towson in 1971. Faculty appointments at UAB and UoF followed. I worked for the Veterans Administration for 15 years as Chief of Psychiatry in Birmingham, Gainesville and Tampa. The VA generally does an outstanding job considering the requirements Congress puts on it without adding the money. After serving as Chief of Staff of the Tuscaloosa VA Hospital, I went into private practice in Winter Park and was Chief of Psychiatry at Winter Park Memorial Hospital, later South Seminole Hospital and Medical Director at HCA Westlake Hospital and then Orlando Regional Health. In 2003 I rejoined the VA, but had an MI the night after handing in my retirement papers in 2006. Florida Clinical Research Center became my part-time home until 2013 when I turned in my shingle.
Even as a kid, I took pictures. There is a picture of me at the Basel Zoo with my 1937 Kodak 6-20 Popular Brownie, probably about 1943. My whole family were Leica enthusiasts. I got a Leica as a confirmation present in 1953. I have some 2,000 images from my Dad including old Agfa Color slides from the 1930s. In the late 1950s I started filming 8mm film, but after a while, got discouraged by the cost and poor resolution. I have some 16 mm B/W family movies from my Dad. When we visited my brother Walter in Switzerland in 2009, he showed me how the new non-linear editing programs allow efficient editing without filmstrips on the floor and glue on the hands. Sophisticated cameras and inexpensive storage media made making movies more feasible.
I started taking courses at GeniusDV in South Orlando: Avid, Final Cut Pro, Apple Color, Apple Motion, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Muse, Video Production, Sketch-Up, Adobe Photoshop. My first documentary was on the Langford Resort Hotel (1913). I've videotaped events for the Winter Park Historical
Association, Casa Feliz, Campaign clips for Carolyn Cooper, and most recently interviews of WWII veterans and WP citizens' experiences during the war.
My current project is on Edwin Osgood Grover, Rollins Professor of Books. Thaddeus Seymour encouraged me to start this project. It involves considerable historical research, collection of videos and images from local and country-wide sources.
Most of my video productions these days, are family events and services to non-profit groups that, unfortunately, are not tax deductible. The luxury of not being bound by deadlines, and having artistic liberty makes up for the intent of IRS rules. I film, write, edit video and sound (ProTools), and finish videos for DVD or for YouTube or Vimeo.
Tuscaloosa VA Hospital
Ed Gfeller 2016
Images, unless otherwise indicated, are Courtesy Olin Library Archives
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