Dr. Robert Breedlove returns to Escondido

Dr. Robert Breedlove takes the field at the Skiatook vs. Glenpool football game on August 31, 2018./Joseph Rushmore.

We are certainly NOT in Kansas anymore, Toto!

I really wasn’t talking with that Wizard of Oz character recently, but rather my bride, Debbie, while we were stopped in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-15, northbound in our rental car. We were once again visiting huge San Diego County, near Escondido, California, a city we have regularly enjoyed since we permanently relocated from San Diego to Our Town (Stillwater, Oklahoma) in the fall, 1981.

Wow, what a cultural shock we experience each time we travel to the West Coast city of San Diego, long ago nicknamed “America’s Finest City”. 

The impact begins as soon as our commercial jet aircraft touches down on SD’s historic Lindbergh Field Airport runway. On our recent trip, it took 45 minutes to taxi from the runway to our unloading gate. Once we deplaned our aircraft, it took another 45 minutes for our checked luggage to arrive in the baggage claim area.

Neither of those types of long delays have ever been part of our local experience, flying in and out of our Stillwater Regional Airport (SWO). We have used SWO a dozen times since scheduled service began here with American Airlines, August, 2016. It certainly has been great for Our Town to have secured this major air carrier.

Next in SD, we are off to get our rental car, and more time was consumed, riding in the large shuttle bus to the central car rental structure. This was followed by waiting in a long line before the rental agency’s clerk rented us their vehicle. Now, we’re off to our traditional airport arrival eating venue, iconic (1940’s origin) “El Indio”, a small Mexican food restaurant, located just northeast of the airport.

Once again, the food was simply delicious, and the patrons were lined up about a dozen deep to taste their favorite menu items.

You see, dear folks, the Golden State of California, currently has an estimated 38 million people, or to put in another way, approximately 1 out of every 8 Americans live in California. Also, current business estimates are if California were a separate country on Earth, it would have the fifth-largest world economy! By comparison, our spacious Oklahoma has one tenth the population of the Golden State. Wow………

Yes, California seems to have it all, the Pacific Ocean, mountains, deserts, national parks, rivers, lakes, and a zillion things to do. All that diversity is appealing, including coastal San Diego’s eternal spring like weather. It is appealing as long as you are willing to share your living experiences with the masses of fellow humans.

My lady, Ms. Debbie, lived her San Diego life from birth to age 30, and I lived there, 1978-81. In order to see her sisters’ family, brother’s family, and our longtime friends, at least once per year, my bride and I are reacquainted with the San Diego County lifestyle of hustle and bustle 24×7.

It would be nice to hire Uber, Lyft, or commercial taxis to get us from Point A to Point B when visiting the San Diego area, but doing it that way isn’t practical at all. For us, the driving distances are just too far apart in this very large county. In their North County area, Escondido is about 40 miles from the airport, and the Pacific coastal communities are about 20 miles west of the inland cities. We also have relatives in the East County area (Ramona), and this small city is about an hour’s drive inland, involving mostly winding highways.

Therefore, it is imperative for us to rent a vehicle, and, thus, be prepared to drive always crowded I-5, I-15, I-8, I-805, or any of the numerous other multilane freeways that crisscross the metropolis like spider webs. Also, be ready to drive your vehicle around 80 miles-per-hour, even though most speed limits are 65 mph, because if you only drive the normal speed limit, you will cause further traffic backup problems.

Because there are so many vehicles on the roadways, it is almost impossible for law enforcement officials to stop anyone due to causing possible interrupted traffic issues, and, thus, additional highway problems.

All being considered, however, once we get to our various destinations each time we travel to SD, the conversations, laughs and human bonding we always experience with our loved ones, make our travel efforts all worthwhile.

Now, when we are ready to return home, if we could just click our heals together, and be immediately whisked back to Our Town! Wouldn’t that be the absolute BEST travel solution of all?


Dr. Breedlove, a native of Mineral Wells, TX, moved to Stillwater, OK, in the summer of 1953. His entire pre-professional education was obtained in Stillwater Public Schools and at Oklahoma State University, obtaining a B.S degree in news-editorial journalism in May, 1969. At OSU he had a sports column in the Daily O’Collegian, and also did a radio sports show in the evening.

He earned his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, in June, 1974. He has been on the College of Medicine Admissions Board since 2000, an activity he enjoys a great deal in helping select Oklahoma’s future doctors.

His internship was served at Baptist Medical Center of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, 1974-75, a rotating-type program to give him a broad-based experience in general medicine.

Dr. Breedlove did his dermatology training for two years at the Lloyd Noland Foundation, Inc., Fairfield, AL, and his final year at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, completing all necessary training, July, 1978.

In the fall of 1978, he successfully passed the qualifying examination for board certification, and has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Inc., since then.

His initial solo private practice location was Chula Vista, CA, 1978-81. Chula Vista is south of San Diego and only a few miles from the border with Mexico. While in San Diego, Dr. Breedlove met and married spouse, Debbie, a San Diego native.

The couple along with daughter, Michelle, and son, Allan, moved to Stillwater, Dr. Breedlove’s hometown, establishing Stillwater Skin & Cancer Medical Clinic, Inc., October, 1981. In 1983, a second son, Robbie, was born in Stillwater.

Dr. Breedlove holds active memberships in the American Medical Association, Oklahoma Medical Association, Skin Cancer Foundation Fellow, Payne/Pawnee/Noble County Medical Association, American Academy of Dermatology Association, Heifer International, Sigma Phi Epsilon national Greek fraternity, lifetime American Legion and Boys State Co-Chairman, Greater Tulsa Officials’ Association, North Central Officials’ Association, Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Lifetime OSU Alumni Association, OU Alumni Association, lifetime Oklahoma Historical Society, lifetime Oklahoma Academy of Science, former president of the Stillwater Pioneer Athlete Memorial Committee, Nature Conservancy and Greenpeace.

In addition to his family, and his occupation, his “loves” are officiating and traveling. He has been an athletic official in various sports since 1967, and in 1987 was featured on the cover of the national publication, “Referee” magazine. He has worked hundreds of important athletic contests, including the All-State football game, Oil Bowl, and several state championship games. His travel adventures have taken him to many countries around the world, and he hopes to make the famous Century Club (100 different places) in his lifetime.

Part of his community service involvement is giving an annual sportsmanship award at Stillwater High School, his alma mater. He has awarded a deserving male and female athlete a trophy every May since 1990. Since 1997, he has sponsored a high school junior student-to-be medical externship through the Stillwater Medical Foundation for six summer weeks, an incredibly competitive and prestigious award. This award also pays a generous stipend.

In 1997, he was named Stillwater Community Health Center Volunteer Physician of the year, and has been a regular monthly volunteer with that organization since its inception in 1993. When volunteering at this clinic, Dr. Breedlove treats all medical problems, not just dermatology ones. He donates at least one night per month at the clinic. If his patients need more that this clinic is able to offer, he refers them to his private practice, and they are treated pro bono (without charges).

Dr. Breedlove has maintained a Ponca City, OK, office since 1982.

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