I’m not a groupie. NYC was too full of big shot celebrities for anyone to really be surprised. So it was always better to be cool. Did I tell you we ran into Richard Dreyfus and Judy Collins at a Bar Mitzvah ceremony? Lisa gushed all over Judy. She had profoundly affected her through her songs and music. With a bit of a pained and earnest look, Judy leaned in and asked, “Where’s the bathroom?” Yeah! Cool. Well, the gown was on display. It was the replica, not the original. So, it was silk screen printed. And the bead work was glued. Yup. Hot glue gun. So, it weighed a ton but not from precious stones, but from glue. Up close I guess you can tell. My camera zoom got close (sort of). All in all it was a small display. I must admit the hype was greater than the experience. No. Just be cool.
You grew up and you saw your first Playboy. Now, there is no Playboy. Or so they tell me. Back when I was in the second grade, a kid on my block asked me if I wanted to see ‘bear’ women. No! No thanks. I didn’t get it until he said and I understood – ‘bare’ women. The big joke was that the magazine was only showing the backside. No frontal. Oh brother?!! And then there was the time my friend wandered across the street from the YMCA and returned breathless to report they had a magazine called “Pregnant!’ No, it was Pageant. I guess he could not spell (too well). But the first Playboy? It was at a party at my dentist’s house (his daughter’s party). Another girl put a Playboy in the bathroom hamper for Elmer and I to peruse. Then we’d leave and she’d leave another. Marilyn made an impression upon us all. She died when I was just a kid. But she left an indelible memory. If you are not familiar, this was her Playboy nude. How it ended up on a calendar is interesting but not unexpected.
Yup. That’s me with Mike. Who? Mike Singletary of the Chicago Bears, Super Bowl Champs of 1985. Yeah, it’s like when were there four Beatles? Who? Who were the Beatles? Old. Me. Yup. The Bears won that year with a marvelous defense. The Giants – my beloved NY team won the following year. The Bears wupped their butts (Giants) on the way to their championship. Too much history? Mike came to speak at our national meeting. Last year it was Peyton Manning. Is there a theme? At least it wasn’t Ben Carson again. Get it? I’m a neurosurgeon and he came out during our last meeting. Not Mike, Ben. Too confusing?
Well, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meets once a year. And there are invited speakers. We are a very conservative lot. Not me. Them. Maybe there are a few progressives and even some Democrats among us. I, for one, don’t care to have my politics mixed with business. And, no, I don’t wear striped underwear or boxers. Bet you wanted to know that too.
We had Bush – you know – GW – give the Cushing oration. Cushing, he was the modern godfather of neurosurgery. In fact, Cushing trained Davidoff; Davidoff trained Ransahoff; and Ransahoff tranined me. So I am pedigreed. I digress. Mike was invited to speak and the NFL came. Everyone did a little PC dance and no one said, “Don’t do it!” And we heard a discussion about chronic traumatic encephalopathy CTE. Mama, don’t let your kids grow up to be Cowboys (Dallas) and don’t let them play football. Mike claims he only had a concussion twice. Lucky! He’s still sharp. Once was William “Refrigerator” Perry. I bet that was a boatload of fun. Meanwhile I got a picture at our opening reception. He’s a sports hero of sorts. I have many. But boy was it fun! Yes! Mike and me.
Oh! Bush? The security was so tight that they did not announce he was coming until the meeting started. There was no obvious secret service presence. However, bags were checked and it was strictly no photographs. Some secretly used their cellphones. I’m way too cool for that! W actually spoke coherently. To listen to him one could understand that his TV demeanor was hardly like his real life thinking. Nice guy?! Hey, don’t tell. I voted for him once.
The second election was scheduled just after our fall meeting. Gorbachev was the speaker. Remember him? The room was packed. A member of our national leadership rose and spoke – I thought to introduce Gorbachev. Nope. He said, “Bush will sign medical malpractice reform if it passes congress. Kerry and Edwards will not.” He sat. The room was silent. And the implication was clear. Though I knew there was not a snowball’s chance in hell medmal reform would pass I voted special interest. It was the one and only time I have ever voted for a presidential winner. Yeah, twice I voted for anarchy and Ross Perot. Don’t shoot me, ma? Please.