Word and Image

Archive for April 22, 2018



The surgical gown in this picture dates back to the early 80’s. We stopped wearing cloth in favor of paper. (Cheaper than doing laundry.) Someone just went down for claiming the gowns would shield against Ebola virus. With all the lies in the world of late, this is just another sad admission.

Charlie Wilson got a high honor – obituary in the NY Times. He was a giant in neurosurgery. A hero – to many. He was a contemporary of my boss – a giant too – Joe Ransahoff. Well, not too contemporary, Charlie was more than a decade younger. He was the new brash West Coast guy that we at NYU competed with for a time. Like my boss he later remarried and had a fast car.

When I told my first wife that was my aspiration too, she replied, “But, I have all the money, honey.” Ransahoff’s first wife got ninety. “?” “Yup, 90%.” Connie told me when I asked his office manager about the divorce agreement. I’m doing better. But, no fast car.

Fame, fortune, success – what is it to be great? The man could operate. He had more/many high profile successes than I could ever claim. The rich and famous were happy to be operated upon by his residents as long as Charlie did the critical part. The operative failures are not mentioned. After all we are all human, not gods.

But there is a punchline to an old joke as you enter heaven and are surpassed by a man walking/jumping past you, “Oh him? That’s God. He just thinks he’s a neurosurgeon.” No matter. Charlie died in a skilled nursing facility. How sad? We all die. The legend lives.