I was struck by the salacious headlines. I wonder how they got this information? And, who got it, and who leaked it? Detail? Huh!? So! I can tell you from all my years of carving a Thanksgiving turkey…. I can’t do this in seven minutes. Couldn’t! … not even with 14 assistants. I’ve been told that the first historical limb amputation was performed in 40 seconds by a French surgeon. The assistant lost several fingers. Geez! I think that if these facts can be proven, Guinness should issue a new record. Hey! I’m a surgeon. I should be able to take this heinous act in context from a certain technical point of view. Lies! Who’s Pinocchio today?
Everyone’s gotta make a living. Some are creative. Others entertaining. I’ve seen variations with folks dressed like the Statue of Liberty in New York City. And then there is the renowned Naked Cowboy in Times Square. What do you call them? Mimes? This crew would fall into the category of stationary mimes. If you aren’t careful they can startle you as they suddenly move as you pass by. I have to admit that they are worth a look…perhaps a second glance… I was fortunate to have seen Marcel Marceau on a field trip in the 9th grade. He’s among the first artists listed in a google search today. Wow! I count myself indeed fortunate. Take a picture, pay a sou.
We’re at the national meeting circa 1983– AANS. This is as conservative a group as you’d ever wanna not meet up with. Very! Trust me! They’d vote republican as long as the candidate has a heartbeat and then maybe without the “beat” if they could. We’re newly minted neurosurgeons just out of residency – Henry and I. Neurosurgeons and their spouses showed up in elaborate costumes such as full regale colonial wear. What to do? We hadn’t a clue. This was nearly our first rodeo. Ah! Brilliant! Henry and I went to the nearest men’s room in the lobby. Voila! Arthur Day a conservative from Florida tried to stop us at the entrance. We were streakers. It’s legal. And! We had a ticket. Damn, if he didn’t mutter while he let us in. I never did cotton up to the powers that be in our national leadership. There are some liberals too. We span the spectrum. However, there is definitely a hard core of conservatives who speak for our organization. Not me. They don’t speak for me and I don’t have my opinion counted among them. We’re all just fine that way.
I have mentioned the A Cappers? It was a folk dance group we participated in during our lunch hours from 4th to 6th grade. Mrs. Cappadoni (get it? A Cappers?) was the advisor/teacher. This is the group. There is a lot of history here. Smart kids. Girls are here who have played a major part of my life. Anne my next door neighbor, she was gone into the wind, moved to Ohio, and lost after she was married. I tracked her down many decades later to be crushed by her lack of interest in connecting again. Beverly was my partner. Funny, in three years as partners, I do not recall a single conversation of substance between us. Colleen, she had her mom contact my mom and we had a “playdate” at eight years old. There’s forward thinking, before the term was invented. Yup, history played out in a very funny way. I haven’t been back to really see anyone since I left in 8th grade. Maybe someday… well, except!!
I awoke this morning from a nightmare in which I was threatening a dear (Republican) friend – literally ending our friendship with venomous language in my dream. Sorry, Susie – not your fault.
Vote early! Vote often! Impeach their sorry asses! There is no defeat with grace. I don’t know many Republicans. And I will know fewer now. Grab pussy. Drink. Lie. Cheat. Shout. Call it fake news. Pass your agenda at any cost. Your end is near. Ignore the will of the people. But I am on the side of the good and of the majority.
VOTE THEM OUT!
The Naked Cowboy is/was an institution on Times Sq. Nowadays, all sorts of imitators abound. There are some very ugly copies about. And there’s Elmo and the Statue of Liberty all waiting to take a picture with you (for money). This is the real thing. Nuts. It’s tough standing in your BVD’s in the freezing cold. Worse. Women just want to hug you when you get a picture taken. That’s cold dedication. I admit that I have not seen this dude since 2014. Did he retire? Maybe he went to a warmer sunnier place.
Yes, he was out in a full blown snow storm. I think he puts the tips in his shorts?
Signature shot. I shoot weddings. No, not really. I’ve just been there when weddings occurred. Yes. I’ve shot a few. Not as the paid prime photographer. That would be too stressful. After all, wasn’t brain surgery nerve wracking enough? However, I always wanted to do wedding photography. The stress would never equal an aneurysm rupturing right at a critical moment during surgery. You’d never know if it never happened to you. I had some spectacular saves. No, it was not salvage due to incompetence. It was just a few miracle saves. No one ever died on my OR table. For that I thank whatever spirit guided my hand.
I digress. An example? My first is a vivid memory. I was just getting the temporal lobe exposed when the posterior communicating artery aneurysm let loose and ruptured. Blood filled the operating field in an instant. Muscle memory!? I just stuck a clip into the blood and released the clip. The bleeding stopped. Just like that! You have to understand that the bleed is coming up the carotid artery straight from the heart and you die from uncontrolled bleeding pretty fast. Like a bullet in a tire you are flat (dead) pretty fast. I looked around, (changed my underwear), and proceeded to look into the operating field. The clip had been applied perfectly. I mean, as in, we didn’t move that clip again. It was perfectly placed. A third year med student who had been observing me that day, years later at a national meeting: the student, now a fellow neurosurgeon, took me aside. He told me that that operation was the first aneurysm he’d seen and his impression at the time was that operation was how all aneurysm surgery was done. Silly me. I was trying to impress him?
…Friends. They don’t mind that I tote a camera to their weddings. And I shoot without pressure. And afterward, I donate my efforts to the cause. It’s a nice complement to be told that an image I took was treasured as much as any other taken that special day. It’s happened more than once. I’m glad my skill is sometimes appreciated. Oh?! This couple is still married. Happily?
I’m a nice guy. I’m personable, friendly, fairly laid back. I’m shy. I like my privacy. I have a secret life. Well, it’s secret in that the rest of my family may never have seen some of the things I have seen or done. It’s the same for all of us, right? It just struck me that among the many pictures I take, there are few enough pictures of people. I don’t like to be confronted nor to confront. I may take pictures unawares and sideways. There have been times, Halloween parade NYC, and others where the object is to take pictures of people. Ok. But otherwise, I have to remind myself to take pictures of people. Shy? Reticent? Non-confrontational? It turns out that it is the pictures of people that are the most memorable now. I suppose it helps if you are related. It seems that everyone is interested no matter how badly the picture was taken. Fortunately, I have lots of above average shots of the family. Someone I know would be fascinated by the goods for sale. Me? I just wanted a picture of the costume. That was free!
Not. Kristina entertained me at Harald’s party. She’s Swedish. What fascinated me was she’s actually related to a famous Swedish neurosurgeon. Don’t ask. Hey! It was a party where the birthday boy was a neurosurgeon. I sat with her and she tested me on identifying Swedish, Finnish, or Norse women from their looks. I was a miserable failure. You can’t judge a book by its cover. We traveled from Unset back to Oslo and then I never saw her again. Like me, she lived in NY. She remembered me to some folks at Harald’s house some years later. I remember her too. Harald’s Norse. She’s Swedish. Can you tell? I will admit… nah… it would only give me grief.
9/11 is synonymous now with the attack on the World Trade Center. I was at home just getting ready to head to work. I would have driven right past the WTC on my route to work. Instead right out my kitchen window I saw smoke. It was downtown. Not too far by my estimation. I was wrong it was from the WTC. I climbed to my roof and started taking pictures. I called the NY Times to offer the pics. Ha! There were a million pics by the end of the day. I watched it. In retrospect I can see the event unfold.
The second building was struck and new flames shot out. At first, I thought the fire from the first building had jumped to the second. Then, I realized the buildings are separated by nearly ¼ mile. No chance. Then the first building fell, collapsed leaving a cloud of smoke. It was unbelievable. I fully expected the building to reemerge when the fire was controlled. Nope! And then the second building fell.
Unbelievable! No no! It can’t be. The buildings are more than 100 stories tall. There’s no way they would simply collapse. No way. The smoke cleared. The buildings were gone. I knew people who perished. I knew relatives of some of the victims. History was changed.
My home as many others became a refuge. My son brought home two classmates who were stranded. My niece showed up. My wife charged out to try to help the survivors. Unfortunately, there were no wounded. Jules was on a school trip. The bus did not return the kids out of caution. So many years have gone by. I have seen the new building rise from the ruin and ashes. Everyone can tell a story of remembrance. This was mine.