The owner of a Taft antique store wants her late father's doctor's bag back. She says someone stole it from her business last week. Dr. John Bitzer was a physician and team doctor in Taft for 43-years. In that time, he and his bag became inseparable.
The late doctor's bag was still fully stocked, the way he kept it. His daughter got it out to get a bandage, and that's the last time she saw it.
Inside Old's Cool Antiques and More are items of instant nostalgia. There's an old phone, a toy train, and a picture of Dr. John Bitzer, the father of shop owner, Renee Hill.
"And, he was kind of a short, little, funny guy and he'd run, and it was the giggle on the sidelines," said Hill
Hill is talking about her dad's 40-plus years spent as the Taft High and Taft College sports doctor. He always had his black doctor's bag with cortisone shots by his side.
"He'd have his cortisone shots and no shame. He'd pull your pants right down and get at it, you know. Everybody remembers Dad," said Hill.
Doug Keeler is now the editor of the Taft Midway Driller and was a former Taft football player and remembers Dr. Bitzer well.
"One of my teammates got whacked in the chin and so at halftime, Dr. Bitzer brought the famous black bag in and put seven stitches in his chin," said Keeler.
When Dr. Bitzer passed in 2004, Hill got the black bag. Since he was such a long-time Taft resident, her plan was to make a display in her shop, with his picture, some signed team footballs, his well-known pipes, and the bag.
"So, I had taken it out and left it on the table to get a band aid out, and when I went to get the band aid again, there was no bag," said Hill.
There was no bag, no stethoscope, no syringes, nothing left of her father's forever sidekick.
"The bag is just such an iconic part of being a doctor and then part of him," said Hill.
Hill filed a police report, spoke with the Sheriff's Department, and told other antique shops to keep their eyes peeled.
"I want the bag back. I don't care who took it. I don't care why they took it. Just give it back. I want the bag back. It's my dad. I want it here," said Hill.
Hill says whoever has it can return it anywhere, her shop, any place in town, or even at the 17 News station.