I tried, but it's difficult to control yourself when you're a child. I guess an awful lot of me slipped out because I heard the phrase "You know how you are" a few million times. Sometimes I got the feeling that my parents thought that if they didn't keep me under rigid control every minute of every day that I'd lose it altogether. Maybe I'd start eating chocolate and laughing and just plain never stop. Maybe they feared not being able to reel me back in if they just let me go ahead and be myself.
Now that I'm an adult and know all about adult things uh-huh, sure I know that my parents were not creative and I was. If they bought something that needed assembly, they read the box and put it together in the way the manufacturer wanted them to. If I bought something, I felt that reading the instructions was cheating. And if I couldn't put it together easily, it was quite ordinary for me to jump up and down on the box and say all the dirty words I knew -- which, thankfully, weren't many.
My punishment for box jumping or any infraction of the peace rules was to be talked to "for my own good. When someone says this is "for your own good" it always, always, always means that someone is trying to make you openly acknowledge his or her superior power. So, anyway, how did I survive these spirit killers? How did I survive being dragged to the preacher so he could talk to me because I was "different"? How did I survive hearing my mother ask my relatives if they had any idea what she could "do" with me? I did the best I could by escaping into a land of stories. When my mother made me vacuum the bedroom I shared with my sister, she was more concerned with the length of time I spent vacuuming than with how clean the floor was after I was finished.
All she ever checked was to see that the light bulbs were spotless, so I learned to clean the bulbs, then I'd get in the closet with a book, a flashlight, and the vacuum and sit down for a forty-five-minute read. Since my mother had the ears of a bat, I had to make sure the suction was going on and off, so I sat there putting various parts of my face to the hose, sucking and reading, sucking and reading. I did learn that one must make sure the hose end is clean or one's face gets awfully dirty, then one's mother makes one actually clean the room.
So, anyway, I learned to get round the work, work, work, clean, clean, clean ethic of my mother's house and make time for the books I loved so much. I read nonfiction even then. I read about heroes, about men and women who had done things and accomplished things in their lives. There was the most magnificent queen who ever lived, Elizabeth I, and there were girls who dressed as boys and became spies.
Oh, but the list was endless. I didn't realize it then but what I was doing was researching. Yes, that's right, researching. Now I receive reader letters saying in awe, How do you ever do all the research necessary to write historical novels? Okay, let's have a reality check here.
This woman has written me that she has a full-time job and three children under the age of five and she wants to know how I research a romantic novel. I want to ask her how she survives each day. I guess I'm explaining so much about my life to make you, my readers, think I'm a normal, sane person because something happened to me that isn't normal and maybe not even sane.
You see, I fell in love with one of my fictional characters. Up until I started writing a book titled Forever, I liked to think I was a perfectly well-adjusted person. Maybe I did have a lot of stories running through my head, but to me, the people who don't have these stories are missing something.
Anyway, I like to think I was happy and relatively well adjusted. I was thirty-seven years old, had a great career, had friends, and best of all, I had met a wonderful man named Steven. Steve was a dream come true: If I'd made him up he couldn't have been better. And he adored me. He laughed at all my jokes, thought I was beautiful, smart. You name it, everything was perfect between us. There was no question that finally, at last, I wanted to get married.
When he asked me to marry him, while riding in a hansom cab through Central Park, I threw my arms around his neck and said, "Yes, yes, yes! But that night, actually, early Sunday morning, I awoke at 3 A. That's unusual for me. When I first started to write I was plagued with Ideas, and I was so afraid that I'd forget them when I awoke that I got out of bed and wrote all night. But after I'd written about ten books, I'd wake up with an Idea, then fall back asleep. It was so big that I couldn't relax against Steve's warm body and go back to sleep. So, tiptoeing, I got out of bed and went to my computer to write down my thoughts.
What I was really thinking about wasn't so much a story but a character. Well, okay, a man. A wonderful man, a man unlike any I'd ever written about before. A man who was more real to me than any other man I'd created. In my books, I write about one family, the Tavistocks. When I first started writing, every time I finished a book I'd get depressed because I knew that I'd never again see the characters in my book.
So one day I had the brilliant idea of writing four books about four brothers in one family. However, I had not taken into consideration that when I finished the series I would be quadruply depressed. When I reached this point, the only way I could figure how to recover was to write more books about the same family. At the time I didn't realize what I was getting into. As the number of books about this family increased, the mail brought me thousands of requests for family trees.
And people kept pointing out that I'd have a man and woman with a little boy in one book and in the next book their child would be a girl. I had to buy professional genealogy software to keep up with all of my people, since within a few years I had over four hundred characters, all related to one another. Over the years I had come to love my Tavistocks and their cousins, and they had become very real to me. So on the night of my engagement it wasn't unusual for me to start writing about a man named Tavistock.
I named him James Tavistock, to be called Jamie, and he was a great big gorgeous sixteenth-century Scotsman running around in the Tavistock plaid, and the heroine was a modern woman of today who travels back in time to meet him. When Steve awoke the next morning I was still at my computer, trying to get down dialogue and notes for the book. He'd never seen me like this because over the years I had learned to treat writing like a nine-to-five job. I took off weekends and holidays just like everyone else.
I found that this worked better for me than the lunacy of "waiting for inspiration. Steve was very understanding. He's an investment banker no, I do not allow him to handle my money; I said I was in love, not insane and was a bit fascinated by the creative process. So he ordered his own breakfast from the delicatessen in the real world the woman fries eggs for her man; in New York we dial the telephone for our men , and I kept typing.
After a while he got bored with hearing the keys of my computer, so he tried to get me to go out with him to see a movie or walk in the park. But I wouldn't go. I couldn't seem to stop writing about Jamie. Steve said he understood, then decided to leave me to my work; he'd see me the next day.
But I didn't see him the next day, or the next. In fact I didn't see him for nearly two weeks. I didn't want to see anyone; I just wanted to write about Jamie. I read books on Scotland until the wee hours of the morning and everything gave me an idea about Jamie. I thought about him, dreamed about him. I could see his dark eyes, his dark hair. I could hear his laugh. I knew what was good about him and what was bad.
He was brave and honest; his honor was such that it was a life force. He was proud to the point that it hindered him. But for all his many virtues he was also vain and at times as lazy as a cat. All he wanted was me -- I mean, the heroine -- to wait on him. After two weeks I went out with Steve; I don't know what it was, but it was as though I couldn't really see him.
It was as though I was seeing all the world through a Vaseline-coated lens. Nothing seemed real to me. All I could seem to hear and see was Jamie. Over the next months my obsession with this man only deepened. Steve did everything he could think of to get my attention. He talked to me, pleaded with me to stop working and start paying attention to him. I couldn't really answer him. I just wanted to get back to my computer and my research books.
I don't know what I was looking for in the books; maybe I hoped to "find" Jamie in them. I have to say that through all of this Steve was wonderful. He really did love me. After about four months of complete inattention from me, he begged me to go with him to a counselor. By this time I was feeling guilty.
No, correction, I was feeling that I should feel guilty; what I was actually feeling was that I wanted everyone on the earth to go away and leave me alone with Jamie. For three months, Steve and I had weekly visits with a therapist, talking about my childhood. I was completely uninterested in any of it. I sat there and told them what they wanted to hear, that my mama didn't love me and my daddy didn't love me, et cetera. The truth was, in the back of my mind, I was thinking only of what I wanted to write about Jamie.
Had I fully explored the way the sunlight played on his hair? Had I described the sound of his laughter? Steve knew very well that I was paying no attention to any of the therapists, so, after eight months of receiving nothing from me, he told me he wanted to break our engagement. In a scene that I felt as though I were looking at from a distance, I gave him back his ring. The only thought that was in my head was, Now I can spend all my time with Jamie. When I first told my friend and editor, Daria, about my obsession with this hero, she was thrilled. Obsessed authors write great books.
The authors who fail are ones who call their editors and say, "What do you want me to write next? Of course, to be honest, Daria had learned to listen to authors while line editing other people's manuscripts, eating a bagel, and directing her assistant about covers and cover copy. Daria has one humdinger of a brain. But then something odd happened. After about three months of my talking nonstop about this book, Daria said, "I want to see what you've done.
Now this is very odd. Writers act as though they have lots of self-confidence, but we all have clay feet. We are in awe of the power of our editors, those first people who see our work. Daria always raves about the first section of a book I turn in to her. Later she may tell me it all needs to go into the trash, but not at first. It's like, you can't tell your best girlfriend that the guy she's madly in love with is a creep.
After she breaks up with him, you can tell her. Anyway, I usually sent Daria my book in fifty-page clumps and started pestering her for her opinion i. One book, I sent her the whole five hundred pages in ten-page segments. Wisely Daria refuses to have a fax machine in her apartment or else all her insecure, praise-hungry authors would be faxing her their books page by page then demanding an hour's praise for every paragraph that they hope is wittily written. By all of this you can see how unusual it was when I didn't want Daria to see what I had written.
I told her I wanted to finish the section I was writing before I sent it to her. The truth was, I didn't want her -- or any other woman -- to set eyes on my Jamie. Even after months, I still refused to allow Daria to see any of the book, and she began to be concerned. Some writers lie about how much they're writing, but I knew Daria didn't think this of me, since I write because I love it -- correction, I write because I must, because I am driven to it.
Daria grew more concerned when, a month after it happened, I told her that I had broken my engagement to Steve. She seemed a little worried when I said that the broken engagement didn't matter, that I hadn't been very upset by the breakup. Months went by and I kept writing. When I write, I keep a file named Scenes, and whenever I have an idea about possible bits of dialogue that I might be able to use in the book, I stick it in this file.
Being very frugal, I almost always use every word I put into this file. But I had written so much about Jamie that the Scenes file was over six hundred thousand bytes, over four hundred pages, and I hadn't yet really started the book. I kept telling myself that I needed to do a bit more research or needed to know just a tiny bit more about Jamie before I could actually start writing the book itself. I had Jamie and my heroine, who was named Caitlin, in every possible situation. I told myself I was "exploring possibilities of their characters.
Oh, I often felt as though I were "in love" with a hero, but it was nothing compared to what I felt about Jamie. Months went by and still I kept writing notes for my book. Daria was more than annoyed with me as I still wouldn't allow her to see anything I'd written. She reminded me that I was past my due date; it had no effect on me. She sent me a copy of the cover and talked to me about all the people at my publishing house who were depending on me, something that I usually cared a great deal about.
But I didn't care about anyone or anything, just Jamie. I think it was the wedding invitation I received from Steve that made me realize that I had a "problem. I realized that I had discarded a real, live, utterly wonderful man for a character I had created on paper. I realized that I had not talked to any of my friends in months and that the romance trade papers were running little gossip bits about, What ever happened to Hayden Lane? But realization cannot stop something that's bad. All smokers know they should quit, but that doesn't make them able to stop the habit.
But when I was able to admit to myself that I did indeed have a problem, I decided to get help. I spent three months going to a therapist every day. No one had even conceived of a case like mine. At first I tried to keep it from her that the man I was obsessed with was a figment of my imagination, but I have a big mouth and I'm not good at intrigue, so she soon found out.
Her advice was to get out more, see people. I tried, but that didn't work because I bored everyone to death with "Jamie says" and "Jamie likes" and "Jamie does. In New York, there's a palm reader, a psychic, a tarot card reader, some esoteric something on every comer. I went to several of them. I guess I hoped that someone would tell me that within a week or two I'd be back to my old self.
But not one of them told me anything helpful. They told me I was rich and famous and had a star in my palm that meant I was "special. In other words, they didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. At home, I cried a lot and yearned for Jamie all the time. I didn't just want to write about him, I wanted to feel him, touch him, talk to him.
I wanted to follow his long legs down country paths; I wanted to bear his children. I don't know what would have happened, or how long all of this would have gone on, if I hadn't met Nora. As I sat there with foil in my hair my hair is white blonde and I get downlights to make it look more "natural" -- weird, huh? I thought, I think I'll go have my chart done. I say that Nora is like a spider because I soon teamed that she knows even less about astrology than I do.
She put the sign up to attract people. Nora really is a clairvoyant, and as soon as I sat down and asked for my chart to be done, she said, "How about a psychic reading, instead? Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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Start reading Remembrance on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Pocket; Reprint edition 1 August Language: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Showing of 1 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. You will read it again and again Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. I hope I can make sense of my opinion of this book as I just finished reading it and am a bit torn on how I feel about it. Although I did not mind that this started in a first person view, I felt that the first part of the book took FOREVER and went on and on about things that really did not matter and the constant descriptions and stories about things just went to long Aha, finally we are getting somewhere but soon realized that it would only last a little while and then I had to switch gears I wish she would have spent a little more time in this part than she did.
These events happened at the beginning of the summer, so Spence Junior High School, between Baylor Hospital and what is now North Central Expressway near Fitzhugh, rented classrooms to the new school. This was , during World War II, and we went to medical school year-round then. Freshman and sophomore students of the new school met at the junior high school until a garage building across the street from old Parkland Hospital became available.
That building was converted into an auditorium for lectures, and prefab buildings were rapidly put up behind Parkland Hospital for the preclinical years. It was a trying and scary time because we didn't know for sure whether the medical school was going to make it. Ninety percent of the Baylor medical students stayed in Dallas at the new school.
The navy had put in a training program for students before the army put their program into the medical schools.
Guide to the Edward Devereux Papers, ca.
Those signed up for the navy had to go to Houston to finish medical school. Those of us who remained in Dallas at the new medical school were inducted into the Army Specialized Training Program immediately. During your last 2 years in medical school you wore an army uniform to classes? Yes, except in the hospital we were allowed to wear white coats or, if we were working as an extern in a hospital, we could wear scrubs and a white coat. Did you enjoy your clinical rotations at Parkland when you were a medical student? We were very busy and worked long hours.
The staff men at Parkland did most of their private cases at Baylor. The surgery staff was all private.
- A Quiet Thing!
- Violin Sonata (Sonatina), Op.137 No.2, D385 piano/violin score!
- The Struggle for Immortality.
I liked them very much. Carl Moyer came after I had finished medical school. The man who had great influence on me at Baylor Hospital was Eric E. Muirhead, head of surgical pathology. Joe Hill was the chief of the laboratories and pathology at Baylor Hospital. Eric was a wonderful pathologist and I admired him. He was a good teacher. When Moyer was visiting Dallas, Goode brought him to the room where Muirhead was doing the autopsy on a young man from Clovis, New Mexico, and I was helping him.
The patient had bled to death from a duodenal ulcer. Goode had tried every way to save him. As soon as Goode saw that the problem was a bleeding duodenal ulcer, he became so distressed that he couldn't stand it. The finding that a young man had bled to death in the hospital from a duodenal ulcer when all tests had showed no blood in the stomach made us all ill. I gather that your decision in medical school to go into surgery was relatively easy?
An incident in medical school may have turned me off a bit to internal medicine. Tinsley Harrison, the chief of medicine when I was a senior, had a great impact on all the students. He would assign each medical student a patient and the next day on rounds, we would have to present the patient to him. He had given me a nice looking woman in her early 20s who had rheumatic fever. She didn't want her body to be exposed to an examination.
It was hard for her to have me examine her even with the nurse standing there with me. She was embarrassed and very modest. The next day Dr. Harrison brought his entourage with him. I told him I'd rather do it outside. He looked like he was going to knock me down. Finally, he agreed to go out in the hall, where I explained the situation to him. He'd already done a precordial examination so he knew what her findings were. He accepted my explanation, but he sure got upset with me. I didn't know if I'd pass or not.
I liked Harrison, but he wanted things his way. Ben Harrison was one of our most responsible teachers at Southwestern in surgery. He made good rounds and had a 3-month surgical session that was excellent. They were the principal surgical teachers at that time. Frank Selecman came back about that time from the service. Sam Weaver was not the best of teachers, but he was a good surgeon, a Mayo-trained man. Others included Lee Hudson and a section chief at Parkland in medicine named Alex Terrell, who was very good. Paul Thomas, Al Harris, and a fellow named Reagan were good internists and good teachers.
Why did you decide to come back to Baylor Hospital for your internship? I was interested in surgery by then and I thought I wanted to stay in Dallas. I felt comfortable at Baylor Hospital. Also, it was during the war and it was hard to shift around much. I was afraid if I got out of the pocket, I might get lost and end up not making it in some way. When you were an intern Baylor Hospital consisted of the Veal Hospital? And the Annex, which was the colored hospital.
This was before integration. The outpatient clinics also were there. They had big fans in the screened windows, and some of the unscreened windows, bringing air in from the outside. The Veal Hospital was primarily private. It was a busy place and nearly always filled. The nurses wore white uniforms. Everything was very proper. When you made rounds or went to a floor to see a patient, the nurse would stand and would accompany you into the patient's room. It was very well run. There were plenty of nurses, although a lot of them were student nurses.
You couldn't get much out of Goode because he was busy operating. He was an excellent teacher and surgeon. Harold, what was a typical day like when you were an intern? Did you get to the hospital at 7 am? Did you go right into the operating rooms? Did you do a lot of operating as an intern? An intern was expected to be at the hospital by 7 am and not to leave until the work was finished. You stayed on duty until 7 pm or later. If you were on obstetrics, you worked 48 hours on, 24 hours off.
I wanted to find out about other specialty areas. It turned out I liked surgery best of all, as I thought I would, until I came under the influence of Muirhead. Had it not been for 1 or 2 things happening, I might have gone into pathology, which I dearly loved. I still like it. As a resident I came in at 7 am and went right to the operating room if I was on surgery or made rounds if not. I've told every resident who worked under me subsequently this story.
Tom Marinis, the senior resident in surgery, and I were doing a case. Cochran, our chief of surgery, came in one morning and asked about a patient on the ward. We had surgery patients in two bed wards, one male and one female. He was very caring and meticulous. You don't know how that patient is doing. You might get tied up in the operating room and be there for several hours, and they needed you. I did it under a local anesthetic. Folsum, chief of urology before O'Brien and Mitchell, helped me.
I injected the local and Dr. Why don't we go ahead and operate. We got it done, but he pushed me all the way. He was a great man. Later, while I was in the army, they changed it to 4 years after the internship. I did a total of 5 years of training, including the internship. I was glad the training period was lengthened. The residency was on a pyramid system—several were accepted to begin in surgery but were gradually eliminated, with only one finishing the fifth year.
At a Baylor resident Christmas party, held on the first floor of the nurses' home. Cheek is on the far left, and Mr. Most of the surgery you did as a houseofficer was abdominal? Yes, mainly abdominal, hernias, thyroids, etc. Robert Shaw was head of chest surgery in Baylor in this community, and Cochran also did some chest surgery until Shaw returned from the army. Goode was an extraordinary surgeon, but he did no thoracic surgery.
Vascular surgery was not a subspecialty then. Varicose veins were about it. During your residency training, did you see an area that you liked more than another? Did you lean toward breast surgery early, or did that develop later on in your career? I jokingly have said I was always interested in breasts.
Actually, I became interested in breast disease from a surgical pathology standpoint years later. Cochran did general surgery but had a primary interest in breast surgery. Because of that he always had many more breast cases to do than any of the other staff surgeons and he did them better. He did a beautiful radical mastectomy with skin graft if it was cancer. He was the one who lectured on breast cancer at the medical meetings and at the school. A lot of people didn't like to scrub with him because he was slow and meticulous.
I would grab every case that my house-officer colleagues did not want. He directly influenced me more than anyone else. After finishing my residency I had to do general surgery if I was going to make a living. Although I wanted to practice elsewhere, Dr. I think you need to do nothing but breast surgery. He felt that Dallas was then becoming large enough that breast surgery specialization was possible. Anna Lou and I had married, and during my last year of residency she became pregnant. I had to go to work. My interest in breast surgery was simply Dr. Cochran's interest rubbing off on me.
I told him that if I ever got a chance, I would limit my practice to breast surgery. Cochran paid me the highest compliment when he was in the hospital with coronary heart disease during my last year of residency. I spent a lot of time with him, practically nursing him, because I respected him so much. We talked a lot. I think you and I would have made a good team. When you completed your surgical residency you went into practice here at Baylor.
Did you go in by yourself? I went into general surgery practice by myself. Everyone knew by then that I was interested in breast work, but other surgeons were also interested in this area. Goode was doing lots of breast work at Gaston Hospital. Yes, Cochran became incapacitated during my last year and had to close his office. Sparkman was fine and the younger of the two. We felt more comfortable with him because he was senior to Sparkman and was a little smoother about things. I asked Cochran if he would be kind enough to remain the chief until I finished so he could sign my certificate.
He kept it in name only. Duckett understood, and he told me one time that he appreciated the fact that I wanted Cochran to do that. He and Cochran were close friends. Your residency was interrupted for 2 years. I was called to active duty and had a good 2-year army experience.
It was toward the end of the war, when servicemen were beginning to come home. I was assigned to an orthopaedic hospital in Brigham, Utah, for 6 weeks. Then they sent me to Fort Sam Houston for 6 weeks for some basic training. The in my class were sent to various places from there. There were many cases of tuberculosis.
Jimmie Harold Cheek, MD: a conversation with the editor
Shaw had come back, and I'd been helping him a lot in surgery because nobody else wanted to scrub with a chest surgeon. He offered me a fellowship with him when I got out of the army. I felt complimented about that and considered taking him up on the offer. I did a lot of chest work, particularly thoracoplasties. Your army experience, from a training standpoint, sounds to have been excellent. It was good for about a year.
That was a great experience for me because it gave me about 8 months to study surgical physiology and pathology from the books. They had firings every week, and a physician was required to be there with the ambulances at the firing blockhouse, 7 miles out in the desert. Why, I don't know. If something had happened or blown up, we couldn't have done a lot. They had a station hospital. We sewed up lacerations, and that's about it. During the last 4 months I transferred there and started operating again.
Muirhead was the chief of surgical pathology when I came back from the service, and Cochran assigned me to work in pathology, ultimately for about 10 months. Muirhead was a good teacher. I saw a lot of specimens and also did much histology work, including frozen sections with the pathology residents. Muirhead asked me to write my second paper for publication to report a carcinoid tumor producing an alveolar carcinoma pattern. It unfortunately turned out to be both a carcinoid and an alveolar cell carcinoma of the lung.
Toward the end of that time, Muirhead took a full-time job at Southwestern. I appreciated him telling me ahead of time because I thought that without Muirhead, pathology would not be as good at Baylor and therefore I didn't pursue it any further. I was still seriously thinking about thoracic surgery, but Dr. Cochran was still directing my way. I talked to him about it. He and Bob Shaw were very close friends. He wouldn't have opposed it at all. I told him I had to finish the pathology work and I really wanted to finish my general surgery training to be board certified first.
Cochran that same day and told him. Why don't you do what you started to do? Martinak and Griffin, 2 obstetricians, occupied half of a little building on North Washington across from the valet parking area. They shared that building with Arthur Gottlich Charles Gottlich's father , one of my best personal and most appreciated professional friends.
He was a gynecologist and with Sol Katz, internal medicine, had the other half of the building. At the back were 2 little rooms. Both of them would have fit in your office! Arthur encouraged me to stay in Dallas. I told him I didn't know where I could get space. I'll clean them out and you can be in our building. I went there and stayed 3 years. You were how old when you started in practice? You started in ? Most of my income was from the emergency room because I was one of the few guys taking emergency room surgery calls.
The nurses remembered me, so they would call me. Most of the emergency stuff didn't pay, but occasionally I would get a patient with insurance that paid me a little. I made enough to pay my rent and to barely feed Anna Lou, me, and the little one. And soon there was another little one. During the first 3 years Arthur Gottlich probably referred more patients to me than anyone.
I finally had to have more space. I moved to the Doctor's Building at the corner of Washington and Gaston Avenue and was there for about 20 years. It was a good location. I gave talks, primarily on breast diseases and breast surgery, whenever I had an opportunity to do so or was asked.
How long did it take before you totally limited your practice to diseases of the breast? By the time I moved into the Barnett Tower, over half of my work was breast surgery. I realized that I could do it. I had put away funds for the education of our children. I talked to some of my colleagues and they encouraged me to make the move. I started telling the Baylor physicians what I was going to do about a year before limiting my practice.
I also told patients and referring doctors what I was planning. The only exception I made after limiting my practice was to repair Tom Landry's hernia. No, but he became a friend. I had sent out letters to the referring doctors about a month earlier. I was getting ready to move.
Marvin Knight was chief of orthopaedics and the chief Dallas Cowboys doctor at that time. He's got a large inguinal hernia, and I want you to fix it for him. I thought I would talk him out of it. He was the nicest gentleman you could ever meet. He had a big hernia. I've done a lot of hernias and you've got a big one and it needs to be repaired.
I'll be glad to get you someone else. Marvin wants you to do it. It sounds like you really got interested in anatomical pathology. Did you look at a lot of slides on breast diseases so that you got extremely comfortable with all their patterns? Every patient I ever had with a breast disorder had a chest x-ray and a mammogram after they were available. I never operated on a patient without studying the mammogram. I never did a breast resection without first seeing the histology slides of the biopsy. There was a frozen section area in each operating suite where I could leave the operating room, go look at the sections, and then return to the operating room.
You were a real student of breast disorders from all aspects? A surgeon who removes a breast without first seeing the histology makes a grave mistake. I had a patient from San Saba, a little town in central Texas, referred for a radical mastectomy. We planned our workup in the hospital a day or two before operating upon her.
Fortunately, her slides were sent with her from Dr. Goforth, a highly respected pathologist in Dallas at St. He had called her breast lesion a cancer. She was a schoolteacher ready to give up her breast. Kingsley, the chief of surgical pathology, to get the slides and look at them. They showed very active fibrocystic change, a lot of intraductal papillomatosis, but it wasn't cancer.
I explained this new interpretation to the patient. You don't need to have your breast removed. She didn't pay her hospital bill, me, or anybody because she became so angry over it. That case taught me a lesson. Never operate upon a patient without seeing the pathology slides under a microscope yourself and with your pathologist. I wouldn't take the responsibility to read the slides, but I have learned a lot of pathology, and I have loved it.
In your time you've seen a lot of change in surgery of the breast. You've been in the forefront of that. That must give you a great deal of satisfaction to have been a part of the new innovations. There are times when it's necessary. The radical mastectomy that we did in my early days became a modified radical, then less than a modified radical, and then a simple mastectomy, and finally a lumpectomy with x-ray.
That became possible because we had better equipment in our radiation department and better drugs, along with earlier diagnosis. Cancer therapy today is not just surgical; it's become a major team effort. Team effort began in my day and I was glad to see it. There was nothing that made me as happy as to get Mike Reese to come to Baylor to work full time as our first medical oncologist. When we got Marvin Stone to head up our new cancer center, that was a great day. When you began to limit your practice only to breast problems, how many other surgeons in the country did that? I eliminated emergency surgery.
I scheduled cases days in advance. I could see patients one day and operate the next, working 6 days a week. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays were office days. I liked Saturday because the surgery schedule wasn't heavy and we didn't seem so pushed.
It was a more relaxed day to operate. Many people liked to operate on Saturdays. Others took Saturdays off. They always had nurses there, and I didn't see any reason for them not to be working. It was really hard to do. I talked to Ron Jones about it. I have great respect for Ron. He used to drop in and visit when I operated and I appreciated that. I asked him if he thought it was about time that I stop operating. I was getting older. Anna Lou was pushing me to ease up, to be off more. If I operated, I stayed in Dallas to take care of the patients, so we couldn't go anywhere.
We had never traveled any to speak of other than to medical meetings. You don't have to quit unless you just feel a need to. It was difficult to do. The hardest thing was writing the letter telling my patients I wasn't going to be seeing them anymore. That's tough because they had become part of my family. No cancer patient was ever discharged. I saw them on a semiannual basis for life as long as they'd come.
I had them return for many years. I've got a suitbox full of much-appreciated letters from those patients. When you operated on a patient with cancer, you sent them back to their referring doctor but you kept seeing them also? I saw them from a breast cancer standpoint. I sent any other patient back to the referring physician as quickly as I could. If a referring physician did not want me to follow the patient thereafter, I of course honored that request but nevertheless requested that I wanted to hear from them. How long did you keep your office open for consultations after you stopped operating?
For about a year. I would have kept it open longer but the income from office visits alone was not enough to pay office overhead. I enjoyed the survey article that you wrote as a resident. I didn't publish it until I'd been in practice about a year because I didn't think it was worth publishing. Sparkman was the secretary of the staff, and I was the senior resident. He was planning a medical meeting here at Baylor and had me prepare that talk. Most of them were at that time, but not now because they are being diagnosed earlier. Little had been published on this problem at the time.
A man named Trout had described a survey he had done relating to a different problem, and I thought that was a good plan for me to follow. I sent a letter out to 50 or so surgeons, and the response was pretty good. I still have all the replies. The most interesting response was from Arthur Holleb, a resident at Memorial at that time, who had written for his chief at Memorial. As you look back on your career, what accomplishments are you most proud of professionally? There are a lot of things that I'd like to put into that answer. The thing I'm most proud of is having had the opportunity to be a physician and to work in this institution.
I've had many professional friends, too numerous to even mention. It makes me feel wonderful to think about my relationships, professional and some personal, with them. I will always remember them. I'm happy for the contributions, the little that I have done to help the Department of Surgery. I think that developing an emphasis on diseases of the breast and establishing the breast lectureship were most satisfying.
Having the good fortune to be able to assist in establishing a fellowship in surgery for diseases of the breast has given me great satisfaction, because I think it was particularly worthwhile. Playing a little role in the growth of the surgery department, and specifically oncologic surgery, and the development of the Sammons Cancer Center has been important. Also, I tried to teach our residents to treat patients as if they were related to them.
Be a caring physician. Those physicians shouldn't be in medicine or surgery. I've tried to instill that caring concept into my fellows and residents. To be indifferent is a terrible thing. I hope my patients felt that I cared for them. I tried to instill in residents and fellows that they see their patients before they go to the operating room. I don't care what surgical specialty they are in. See the hospitalized patients early in the morning. I think that's good for any physician.
I saw my patients twice a day. You'll see a lot of cute nurses, but don't date them because they gossip too much and you get too interested and neglect your job. Date outside the hospital. Interestingly, when I met my future wife for the first time, I asked her to marry me. She was a student nurse in the Annex. I was making rounds there with my resident, Truett James. He was going into orthopaedics and had patients in the Annex, and my job was to change dressings. Cheek, I want you to meet somebody.
I want you to marry her. I don't have time for that now. Anna Lou didn't know me and I didn't know her. But this little girl, who was one of our patients, decided that that little nurse in there and I would make a good pair. He's going to ask you something. I'll see you later. I've forgotten how we happened to have our first date.
I think she had a girlfriend in her class who thought that I might be a catch. Maybe I took her to a picture show. That's about the only place I could afford to take a date then. I sold lots of blood as a resident to supplement my salary. She went to work for Dr. Albert D'Errico, a neurosur-geon. He was very stern and didn't smile. We were assigned to D'Errico's service as interns. I liked the way he worked. He had a patient die on the table from anesthesia, and he closed the wound on the scalp all the way down the skull as if the patient were still alive. I liked him and scrubbed with him some.
He always had 2 full-time scrub nurses, and Anna Lou became one of them. It made him mad when she quit. I called her from San Antonio when I realized that I wasn't going to be assigned overseas. We got married that weekend. You finished your training in and had one child by then?
She became pregnant during my last year of training. Our first child was born 3 months before I finished training. Rotan, Texas, a little town close to Abilene. She was at Tech some of the time I was, but I never knew her there. Initially after Tech she worked in a bank in Rotan. Her next door neighbor, a physician, urged her to go into nursing. Four children, all girls, and all are married and happy.
We have 3 grandchildren. Do you have hobbies or interests outside of medicine that you've had time to develop? Allen Crenshaw introduced me to golf. His nephew is Ben Crenshaw. I found that I couldn't play and work, though—I didn't play much when I was practicing. I had a number of physician friends who let golf interfere with their patient care, but I couldn't do that. I couldn't operate on a patient in the morning and go to the course in the afternoon.
I did it a few times, and I felt very bad and would always end up going back to the hospital. I didn't try to play on days I operated. When you practiced and got home at a reasonable hour, what would you do at night? We had 4 daughters. We were a pretty good family unit.
We tried to look after them together, but Anna Lou carried the load. Anna Lou and I would go out occasionally. We tried to go out once a week and maybe open a bottle of wine and have a special dinner away from home. We'd have a lady come in to stay with the girls while we did that. Rarely were we away overnight. It's my understanding that you played some role in a number of the projects that expanded this medical center. He was young and energetic, and we just hit it off the minute we met. As the years went by we became friends, sharing what we wanted to see done here.
He was a great doer. He would get ideas, run them by you, and they might drop off or they might materialize. We had great visits. I can't say enough about him. The Truett building was the first major hospital to make its appearance. It was best thing that happened here. I remember when it opened because I was a senior resident at the time. I did the first operation in the Truett operating room.
A patient came into the emergency room with acute appendicitis, and I had to operate on him that Saturday night. Hoblitzelle followed the Truett building. Florence Nightingale, the maternity hospital, had been on the corner of what was Adair and Gaston and had become much too small. It was part of Baylor Hospital. Boone dreamed of taking it down and taking one of the doctor's parking lots and building a new hospital. He did, and it became the Hoblitzelle building. Hoblitzelle was a well-known banker and financier in this community.
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Through his acquaintance and friendship with him, Boone was able to put that together. Then the medical center became Baylor University Hospital. Boone's friendships with some great business and professional leaders of the community, who were influential, assisted greatly in Baylor's growth.
Men like Dewey Presley, the father-in-law of John Anderson. Dewey was a young banker who went to the top at the First National Bank. He was a strong Baylor supporter and became very influential, and he and Boone became close friends. Alvin Balwin, the proctologist who was head of the colon and rectal section for years, was very influential in making this place a major institution.
Closer I Get to You
On one occasion, Boone Sr. He asked what I thought of taking down the 4. He had asked me about this when he saw me in the Florence Nightingale Hospital, where I was hanging out while my wife was in labor. We needed a cancer center, and the Sammons Cancer Center came into being. We were able to entice men like Marvin Stone such a strong individual to come to Baylor to head up the cancer center.
Boone was a close friend of A. Webb Roberts, who gave generously to this institution. Boone never stopped dreaming and never stopped getting things done. David Hitt headed the institution for a short time after Boone retired and then we were able to entice Boone Powell, Jr. That was a big plus for us too. Robert Folsum was a strong leader in the community, a businessman, the mayor of Dallas, and he headed up the drive to build the Roberts Hospital.
He was a good listener. He knew of some property he thought Baylor should be able to purchase. He didn't want everything in East Dallas, he just wanted the property around Baylor. We visited about that long before it ever got started. And what a great thing that's turned out to be. He was just something else. Did he wander around the hospital a lot seeing people and seeing patients? If he wasn't doing something in his office, he'd be walking around the hospital. We used to walk underground over to the old nurses' home where Jonsson is now.
The dining room for the staff and nurses was over there. He'd visit the nurses and ask what was needed. Which other physicians at Baylor did Boone Sr. He was a friend of everyone, to tell you the truth. He liked his medical staff. He was their friend. He always had a smile on his face and a nice greeting. I can't ever remember seeing him angry. I'm sure he had moments of anger and moments of sadness. He was just always pleasant, and things were always positive for him.
He was a positive thinker. Interestingly enough, I was one of many people on that recruiting committee Dewey Presley had. We interviewed quite a few people before picking Boone Jr. It boiled down to the man from Rhode Island and Boone. All of us on the committee unanimously felt that Boone Jr. Were you and Boone Sr. Did you have each other over? We were out at dinners and social functions together, and we'd pick them up or they'd pick us up.
Our friendship was confined to the hospital primarily. I'm sure we missed a lot that way because he was always asking us to come and we were asking him to come, but he was busy and I was busy. Ruth Powell was a delightful lady. She couldn't have been more cordial. She was a beautiful piano player. She had a sweet personality. Boone did to raise money. My greatest honor was when he let me be on the first board of the foundation. I don't think I've been off since, and I don't know why they ever had me.
I told Boone one time that I would like to underwrite a breast lectureship because we were having so much work in breast diseases. I used to tell Kelly about the dream. I didn't know he was on the board of trustees because he wasn't one to tell. He wasn't that kind of person. I had talked seriously to Dr. Sparkman about it, but he wasn't in favor of it.
I appreciated his view. We'll get the lectureship going. The first breast lectureship was in or , and it has been given every year since. Haagensen gave the initial one; in or Haagensen had given the Rosser Lectureship here, and that was when I met him for the first time. William Devereaux, at Baylor, sent Hannah Davis to me. I didn't know who Hannah Davis was, but she had cancer of the breast. He told me she was Ms. Wirt Davis, which didn't mean much to me. She was a nice person, but I had no idea of her background financially or otherwise.
By the time I met her we were seeing a large volume of patients with breast cancer at Baylor. I felt that with this much work, we could support a breast fellowship. Many residents were coming out of Parkland Hospital having never done a radical mastectomy. One resident coming out of training at Parkland to join our staff had done only one radical when he went into practice here at Baylor. I thought we were doing enough that we could support a fellow who would do a year in breast oncology.
With no more experience than that, one might want to come for more training in the management of breast cancer. How many patients with breast cancer were you operating on a week back then? I would operate on several a week. Others had inoperable disease. I saw the inoperable cases as well.
As time went on, we did fewer radicals with skin grafts and more modified mastectomies, and then more lumpectomies. Hannah asked me why I wanted a breast surgery fellow. I told her of the need that I thought existed. I had visited with Boone about this several times for a year or two. I'd given him this dream, but when I told Bob Sparkman, who was a friend, what I wanted to do, he thought it would interfere with his general surgery residency program. The surgeons who come won't need to do any surgery other than on the breast. We want to educate them a bit further on the care of the breast patient, the surgery, the pathology, and all that goes with it, not just surgery alone.
I think it will make your residency program better. Toward the end of that year, Boone Sr. I was in the middle of changing dressings and seeing patients. I excused myself and went to his office. That was just the beginning of a great relationship financially with Hannah and Wirt Davis. She eventually gave millions of dollars to Baylor, primarily to the surgery department. Alan Bookatz was one of her neighbors.
She loved Alan and helped him to get some things started too. I have great respect for her memory and for her family. How many fellows did you have? When you started it was one? We had one at a time in breast surgery. I think the breast surgery fellowship has strengthened the Department of Surgery. I believe it was the first fellowship in the department, although Al Baldwin's fellowship in colorectal surgery may have come first. The vascular, thoracic, and orthopaedic fellowships came later. How many other programs in the USA have breast surgery fellowships? Ron Jones told me recently that he thought that 15 others had started since ours started at Baylor.
Some years we had 2 fellows rather than one. We had strong applicants and took 2 because there were enough patients to keep 2 fellows busy. I've always insisted that the breast fellowship not interfere with our general surgical rotating residencies. Did the fellows in breast surgery get to do a lot of surgery themselves or did they primarily watch you or your colleagues?
They were already trained surgeons. We'd let them do whatever they could. We could leave the room and they could operate however long you wanted them to operate. The fellows also operated with other Baylor surgeons doing breast operations. I wasn't interested so much in their doing surgery.