Communications technology and the mobility of present generations have cast the time honored letter into a sad retreat. However letters give a fascinating look at persons and places and afford a backdrop to the affairs that men cultivate. A random sampling, taken from file, all at least a quarter of a century old, give an idea of personalities, events, and opinions behind the pragmatism unfolded in the progress and passage of a career.
From Professor Owen Sheehy Skeffington,
Trinity College, University of Dublin, 15 December, 1953.
S.B.Day, Esq (Then a medical student).
"Many thanks for your nice letter. I enjoyed the meeting very much and thought your paper really excellent both for matter and delivery. I also enjoyed riding my various hobby-horses! Incidentally I took up my point about calcium deficiency with Dr Jessup later, (he was kind enough to drive me home). As you may remember he "refuted" my remarks about the child being handicapped as to bone structure as from before birth due to the calcium deficiency of the mother. He replied that pre-natal rickets was exceedingly rare. This is true, but irrelevant. I did not mention rickets. My point was that the whole bone structure, including the teeth, is less good than it should potentially have been. This does not necessarily mean disease or distortion though it will mean more caries in teeth - it may "merely" mean that the child will be a few inches shorter than he might have been. This "stunting" of slum-dwellers does not necessarily mean that their health is impaired, but it does mean, my whole point, that they are prevented from before birth from ever becoming the adult that potentially they were. Hobby-horse again!
You have a good sense of humour and will therefore appreciate the fact that while I got a ticking off from my wife when I got home because I admitted forgetting to apologize for her absence, you now thank her for so charmingly gracing the occasion! In actual fact our new baby (age 5 months) prevented her from coming along. Good Wishes. O.S.S.
From Dr Michael Gipson, Yorkshire, England.
February 12, 1977.
Yes, I know, looking at your letter dated January 6th, 1976 I agree it's pretty awful that I should be replying over a year later! Anyway I hope this letter finds you and perhaps you will forgive its lateness and eventually find time to send me your news too.
Since I left New York in'74 I have remained a Senior registrar here in Sheffield - now in my sixth year (14 years after qualifying!). I have applied for about 10 jobs, which have all gone to local candidates. Out of the 26 total Senior Registrars in Plastic Surgery in the country 19 of us are now applying for jobs and there were only 3 vacancies in 1976. Never mind, I shall eventually get a post, I expect and I am moderately happy here at present with the children (Amanda aged 10 and Mark aged 9) at local Preparatory Schools, fees now for both totaling L1200 a year! I have also, legally, started private practice in a local nursing home on my alternate weekends off, so my finances are not too bad - even though inflation here of course is appalling. Petrol is now 80p per gallon.
In the BMJ recently two jobs were advertised in Canada and Kuwait and I felt very slightly tempted. At time I have regretted not accepting DW's offer at Einstein. However I gather his junior partner has got the push already and D is now divorced and has left Einstein - so perhaps I was right to not return. I feel I shall definitely stay in England now, unless conditions become really appalling. The Health service is in a terrible state at present, as is the economy generally, but of course, we all bumble on and we seem to weather the storm quite well.
How are you and Ivana? Have you made any more trips to Easter Island or any other exciting places? I shall be very interested to hear your news if you have time to drop me a line. With all best wishes to you and Ivana, Yours, Mike.
From Professor Horace W. Davenport,
Professor of Physiology, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 21 February, 1977.
Dear Dr Day:
Thank you for your letter. In return I send you a copy of a little book I wrote together with a gloss on it. You will see that I am particularly fitted to appreciate your quest for Stevens.
I have known Owen Wangensteen for years, and I see him occasionally. I know about his interest in history, and I sent him a copy of my Moser. I have always been very favorably impressed by the cooperation of Surgery and Physiology at Minnesota.
I don't know about Berzelius and lactic acid. I have done nothing more on him than is recorded in the talk I sent you. I doubt that I will do anything on digestion. At present I am working up the history of the oxygenation of the blood. The reason for this is that the centenary of this department will be celebrated at the time I retire. I want to do a history of what was known about physiology and what was taught, and blood seems to be a good subject to study.
Having graduated in Ireland you must have known stately, plump Buck Mulligan and helped to deliver babies in Horne's house. Hoopsa, boyaboy! As you can imagine, I get into trouble with medical students who think I am patronizing them when I mention Leopold Bloom.
With thanks again and best regards, Yours, Horace Davenport.
From: Professor Horace Davenport, March 24th, 1977.
The University of Michigan.
Dear Dr Day,
Thank you very much for your kind thought in sending me your book. If I ever revise my talk on gastric juice, I will give Stevens, and you, full credit.
With warm regards, Yours, Horace Davenport.
From: K. A. Day. Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York. 2/3/78.
Dearest Papa and Ivana, Thank you for such an affectionate letter. I am quite well and am working hard. Papa you wrote that you bought a Dodge Firebird. I thought Pontiac made Firebirds. I won't write too much. I am returning your check. I had more problems with the car and the bill finally amounted to about ninety dollars. I realize that the car is expensive to keep up and am planning to give it up for the present. I cannot worry about it too much because my studies are the most important thing. Thank you for the letter. With much love. K.
From: Dr Shivaji Lal, Chelsea College,
University of London. June 1st, 1978.
Dear Bis, It was nice to hear from you even though there was the sad news about the Reunion 1980. I did in fact receive your protocol about the affair. I just can't understand the motivations of the RCSI Dublin people. What on earth made them so obstructive and bloody minded? I can't see how the proposed reunion could ever be construed as a threat or an inconvenience? What's the politics behind it?
To more pleasant things. I'll be delighted to do the two reviews for the Companion To The Life Sciences provided the deadline can be deferred to the end of September. My reason for making this request is that I have a vast backlog of papers to write up as well as several other writing commitments which have to be cleared up one way or another by October. I literally won't have the time to do the reviews for early or mid September. I hope the deferral is okay with you. If not I won't mind. In fact will almost certainly greet the refusal with a sense of relief! Assuming for the moment that you are agreeable to the proposed deferment, can you tell me what kind of audience the reviews should be aimed at? My initial reaction is to base the two reviews on Neurophysiolkogical items, since this is my subject specialty. Perhaps one of the reviews could deal with the conceptual mathematical revolution that is taking place in the discipline of Neurophysiology. Roughly speaking this is connected with the introduction of modern control theory and signal theory techniques. This revolution should not be confused with the abortive bandwagon of the sixties which was concerned with cybernetics and information theory. The other review might look at the change taking place in our thinking about learning and motivation or rather about the CNS processes underlying these psychological processes. Or there could be something on development - though on this topic I would have to do some background reading. Anyway I pass the ball into your court.
Things are going well here at the moment. I have plenty of interesting work to do. The children are growing up in the way that children do and this provides the usual attendant pleasures and surprises. I have a shimmy of interest in things philosophical and educational and have in fact started some research with students. Bridget is getting ready to go to Regent Street Polytechnic to do a 2 year course in Social Work. Life is at the moment, with the usual provisos against the times, rather pleasant - at least on a selfish personal level. Regards and best wishes to Ivana. Hope you can both come to London and spend some time with us. Shev, and of course, the rest of the family.
From: Professor William Bevan, Duke University,
Durham, North Carolina. January 2, 1979.
Subject: Special Issue, Biosciences Communications Journal.
Dear Professor Day,
It has been some time since you have heard from me. I write now to say simply that we are very much at work on the special issue which we promised you. We should have it in your hands within the next 30 to 60 days. It, of course, will confirm to the space limitations you asked us to observe.
Best wishes for a bright and satisfying new year, Cordially, Bill. (William Bevan).
cc: Dr H.E. Kennedy.
From Leon Tuki, Correo Isla de Pascua
Easter Island, Chile. October 10, 1978
Dear Dr Day: I hope this short letter will find you well. I was very happy to receive the vitamins and aspirin. I went to consult the doctor and he told me how many of the vitamins to take each day. Now I am feeling much better.
Thank you so very much for your concern and your help. I will always have a very appreciative memory of you. I hope you will return to Easter Island some day, even if it is just for a short visit. I will look forward to seeing you.
Sincerely Yours, Leon Tuki Hey. (Leon Tuki).
From: Professor U.S. von Euler,
Fysiologiska Institutionen 1, Stockholm 60,
Sweden. December 27, 1978.
Dear Professor Day,
Many thanks for sending me the copy of Biosciences Communications which I have read with great interest. It convinced me immediately that my potential contribution would have added nothing to the well-written and diversified essays dealing with the question.
However, the issue is of great general interest and in a way I think Bourne's dolphin is a pretty good example, even if stripped of philosophical decorations. I also liked your essay which is in fine literary style I would not be likely to reach.
With best wishes for the New Year,
Sincerely, (U.S. von Euler).
From: Frank E.X. Dance,
University of Denver. 15 January 1979:
Dear Dr Day:
Not to extend this correspondence - however I felt compelled to write and tell you that you write a very pleasant letter. You manage to project a tone of friendliness and warmth which is unusual for the typical correspondent. Congratulation on an enviable achievement. Sincerely, Frank . (Frank E.X. Dance).
From S. Day, Visra Bharati,
Santiniketan, West Bengal, India. February 8, 1979.
Dear Papa and Ivana, I have arrived in Santiniketan. The atmosphere is peaceful and very much to my liking. I have been told that there are few working days as the people are in constant celebration; indeed, this entire week is mela which is a festival. Work will begin again on Sunday. Of course you must understand that here Saturday and Sunday are days of work while Tuesday is a half-day and Wednesday a holiday. The pottery section as you might have guessed is at Shriniketan which is some distance away from Santiniketan. I am going to commute and when mela is over, everything is closed now, I will buy a bicycle. You will be happy to hear the arrangements that I have made for room and board. It was impossible to obtain any space in the Students Hostel; however I was offered the choice of a private room or a bed in a Hall of fifty beds. Both accommodations are for guests and I am the resident guest in the hall of fifty beds. The only meal that I eat in the Guest house is dinner and that is three rupees. I have estimated the cost of my room and board for seventy days as in mid-April I plan to leave here and travel to Darjeeling. At five rupees a day I do not expect the Guest house bill to amount to more than four hundred rupees. I do not know what arrangements have been made with Mr Sengupta, Asst. Registrar, but it is possible for me to pay the bill. I have spent one hundred and sixty dollars most of which was spent in train fare and hotel accommodation in Calcutta. Including a bicycle, a trip to Darjeeling, and Guest house bill and train fare back to Delhi. I shall only need one hundred fifty dollars leaving me with an ample amount of money.
I have seen Calcutta and no longer wish to see it. It is hard to conceive that life exists under such conditions and it is even harder to conceive that anyone could enjoy Calcutta existence. I will not return to the urban boil but will instead travel through Burdwan. I did not contact anyone in Calcutta and I did not stay at the Grand Hotel. Because of the cricket season in India, or so I assume, the Grand was booked out. I did however stay at the Hindustani International which is also a five star hotel. My disagreement with Calcutta might be perhaps because my only associations were with Howrah Station, taxi drivers, and Hotel Clerks, and of course the toxic air. I arrived late on Saturday night and left Sunday afternoon.
People here in Santinkitan rise with the sun and seem to vanish with the morning dew. By eight o' clock, the time that I have chosen for my sun rise, both dew and people have gone their way. I have met many people none of my own age. Most have been Ph.D. students or professional potters; however, just last night one student introduced me to his entire Dormitory. It is interesting to note that this dormitory was in Shrikinetan. The name Biswas Day opens doors here, doors that have remained closed for the few "hippies" that I have met.
Professor Jhori welcomed me in Delhi. He took a great interest in my affairs. In fact he showed more concern than Mrs KKA who I have decided is true sewer wash. I have left this until last and have no room to continue but let me say again Prof Jhori showed me every courtesy. I was well treated, very well treated by Shankerdass. Much love, S.
From: Rev. Frances Longworth-Dames,
Cheltenham, England. December 6th, 1989.
I was so pleased to receive your Christmas card, and your news in your note inside. Your very demanding programme continues. How specially interesting that you have been as professor in Czechoslovakia for some months. What has been happening shows up the impotence of worldly power, political and military, does'nt it, but so few of us are ready to put ourselves to the test. So there are more reasons for offering ourselves to the God who has revealed Himself in the defencelessness of the Child of Bethlehem.
I am still hoping that your programme may bring you for a few days to Britain and that we may meet. So please accept this as my Christmas card to say "Happy Christmas" to you and your wife. Frances Longwoth-dames.
From: Israel Shenker,
Brig o' Turk, Callander, Scotland. September 8, 1989.
Dear Stacey and Ivana,
Many thanks for springing into action when you saw my piece on midges, not midgets. Yes, they are the same as no-see-ums. I noted this in an early draft of my article, and then - perhaps to stress the peculiarly Scottish pedigree of my beast - decided to cut out references to depredations in the U.S., Australia, and just everywhere else. There was even a "learned" reference to the role of midges in Russia.
You wrote just before going to Prague. I was there during the Prague Spring, and have vague memories of trying to talk to Dubcek - without success. When the Russians took over I was about to move from Time to the New York Times, so the foreign editor of the latter asked me if I would go to Budapest for a while to report from there on anything to do with the situation in Czechoslovakia. So I went - as a "tourist", and after a couple of days the police woke me, took me into custody, escorted me aboard a train to the border, and finally (to my relief) put me aboard a train to Vienna. There I cabled the foreign editor telling him about my arrest and expulsion, and expected to get a reply saying I had performed nobly in the cause of free journalism. He cabled: "TRY BULGARIA"……So we are about as well as can be expected now, at our advanced age. The midge season is almost over, and we look forward to the short days and long nights. And, of course, (almost) unrelenting toil.
As Ever, Shenk and Mary.
From: Dr Max Heller,
West Yorkshire, England.
(Responding to a circular letter, sent in my name, to raise building funds for a Dublin Hospital).
Dear Stacey, I am certain that there can only be the one STACEY. You are like a son to me. I do not see or hear from you for god knows how long, and then its only to ask for money. Children are the same the world over.
I am pleased to say that I have not received any earlier communication from you. However this is not surprising since my wife and I were out of the country for a year, and mail had to be re-routed to the Tokelauen atolls, and there were only a few boats per year, the mail and anything interesting having been fingered over several times before it got to us. If it ever did. But that is another story, and as you have waited forty years to get in touch with me, you can wait a little longer, you are only a youngster. If you remember my year quite a few of us were W. D's second W.W. Myself, I am over seventy years old. What happened to Malcolm Marks? The last I heard, he was in Canada. Monty Levine is now Sir Monty. Why not tap him for a few bob. Try Joseph Heller. Tell him that his relative in England suggested you try him. Re-reading your letter, I find interesting that dear Jean ended up in Israel. You could almost have forecast that.
Your letter was waiting for me when my wife and I returned last night from Japan. No, we had not been looking for you, though if we had known how much a drink was going to cost, we might have made the effort. Just think how lucky you were in that your letter was not sent on to us in Australia and that we only stayed one night in Japan! We might have gone knocking on doors. As I have already written, I am over seventy now. If you intend replying to me, I suggest you send it express delivery. Felicitations to you and your family.
From Edwin W. Brown, Jr., M.D.,
PROJECT VIET-NAM, Washington, D.C.
January 7, 1966. (Addressed to me at Cardio-Pulmonary Division, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California).
Dear Doctor Day,
I very much appreciate your calling during my recent absence and regret that I was not in the office at that time.
As my secretary indicated, our program is limited to the involvement of U.S, citizens under the terms of our contract with the Agency for International Development. I am told, however, that an effort is being made to encourage the Canadian Government to undertake a similar volunteer program in Viet-Nam, and if these efforts are successful you will doubtless hear about it through the news media. I am not aware of other short- term programs in Viet-Nam for which you might volunteer, but you may wish to get in touch with Mr. Dennis Karzag of AMDOC, an organization which is involved in arranging short-term voluntary assignments for physicians in a number of areas of the world. His address is: 27 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101.
Thank you very much for your interest. Please accept my sincerest regret that we are unable to avail ourselves of your generous offer to volunteer your services.
Yours Sincerely, (Edwin W. Brown Jr.).
From Professor W.A. Altemeier, Chairman,
Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati.
To Dr Stacey Day, Department of Surgery.
March 18th, 1970.
I thought you might like to see the talk which I gave at the Dedication Exercises for "The Gloved Hands" in memory of Doctor H. Thomas Fox, on Sunday, March 8, 1970.
The Dedication Exercises were held in the lobby of the new Cincinnati General Hospital.
W.A. Altemeier, MD.
(Dr Fox, a member of our Surgical Resident Staff, died at Camp Zama, Japan, as a result of injury while on active duty in Viet Nam).
From Professor Masakazu Konishi
Beckman Lab, California Inst. Of Technology
August 16, 1976
Dear Professor Day,
Thank you very much for your letter of July 23rd, 1976 inviting me to write an article on bird song for Biosciences Communications. I shall start working on the paper as soon as I find time. I am sending you a photocopy of a paper I wrote some time ago. Some tape recordings will also be sent to you as soon as they are ready.
From Ramon B. Campbell M.D.
Rapanui, Isla de Pascua.
15 de Junio de 1977.
Le ruego perdone no haber respondido oportunamente su amable carta enviada el 30 de Sept. 1976. Esperaba poder llegar hasta alla personalmente y estar algunos dias con . Uds. gozando de la gentil invitacion a su casa, pero no fue possible.
Ha habido muchos problemas con el Nuevo hospital que ha resultado de ma calidad y mal instalado, por lo cual aun no puerde entrar plenamente en functiones. Creo que ha sido un engano de la firma constructora norteamericana, de Miami.
Yo debo regresar pronto al continente y no se si volvere algun dia. Cumplo ya tres anos en la isla y es preciso que vuelva a mi hogar, pero sienta mucha pena de hacerlo sin haber echado a andar La Colonia de Rehabilitacion de los leprosos, que esta casi terminada. Es en situo muy lindodonde reparer la salud de esos desgraciadios y tambien un centro de trabaja agricola y artesanal para volverlos a la salud espirituel.
El servicio de salud nr cree que yo soy necessario en esta stapa y envoi a un medido recien recibido y sin experienca alguna en lepra. Se que ests sera un desastre y que la enfermedad volvera a resurgir. En 1975 se detectaron 6 cases nueves, entre gente menor de 20 anLe he escrito al Dr Borgono pero no me ha contestado. Tanbien le he hecho al representante de la OMS en Santiago, sin resultado. Mi deseo habria sido quedarme unos seis meses mas para poner en marcha esta gran obra medica y humana.
Si ud, puede escriba al Dr Borgono o al representante de OMS en Santiago, Dr Carlos Davila. Creo que no preocuparse de este problema es una muestra mas del subdesarrollo cientifico que nos afecta y que desprestigia nuestra imagen en el extrangero.
De nueve le reitere mi agradecimiento del ano pasado. Si voy a USA me dare el gusto de visitarle aunque sea de paso.
Saludos a su esposa. Reciba un abrazo de su amigo, Ramon.
From Professor John Widdess
Puint na Teint, Sneem, Co Kerry
16 June '77
Many thanks for your kind letter of June 6, with enclosures. The appreciation is beautifully written, and I am very pleased and honoured by your having it published. I am sending an order to Karger for reprints, on the order form enclosed.
I shall be pleased to hear from you about your plans concerning an Old Boy's Reunion for 1980, and look forward to having your letter.
Last winter here was, contrary to the usual, of great severity, and even now real summer has not yet arrived! It was impossible to get into the main roads from here until mid-January, when we visited Dublin for a month. The new RCSI building is very impressive, and of course has everything up to date. I was at the Bi Society Inaugural last November, and saw one of the new lecture theatres in action (400 seats - very large compared with what we had in the old building). The "State Rooms" in the Old College are preserved, and can be used for ceremonial purposes.
Again I thank you for your good wishes, and for writing such an appreciation, and send you like in reciprocation. Yours Sincerely, John Widdess.
From Professor (Sir) Harold Himsworth,
London. 5th January 1978.
Dear Professor Day,
Many thanks for your letter of the 23rd December which arrived yesterday. I heard further from the "Philosophical Library about a week ago but delayed replying as I thought I might hear from you.
First, however, may I say that I am more than appreciative of your offer to take 50 or 100 copies of my book, depending on price, from the stock of 600 which the publishers wish me to guarantee. This is a most generous gesture on your on your part and, whatever comes of the present negotiations, one that adds still further to my indebtedness to you. For this reason, I am the more exercised by the problem of replying to the letter I have received from the Associate Director of the Philosophical Library of which I enclose a copy herewith.
I am afraid I was not favourably impressed by the suggestions in the penultimate paragraph or the ultimatum in the last. Further, although the format was satisfactory, neither was I by the book they chose to send me for examination. Accordingly, after some thought, I wrote a reply (a copy of which I enclose) and dispatched it today.
I appreciate that there is always a commercial risk in publishing a book of this kind. So I do not rule out the possibility in principle of it needing to be subsidized. Quite fortuitously, however, I have a knowledge of publishing on this basis books pf limited appeal in the most expensive of all fields, that of art, and the terms as proposed are not such as would normally be entertained. To say the least, therefore, I should wish to be sure that the service provided in other respects was sufficient to meet the purpose for which I wrote the book, before considering the matter further. If I were satisfied that this was so, I would, provided the terms were reasonable, be prepared to consider subsidizing publication out of my own pocket.
It may well be that, after receiving my letter, "Philosophical Publications" will not want to proceed further with the matter. In that case I shall be sorry, not because I doubt that my questions require answering, but because I know how much I owe to your effort on my behalf.
Naturally, these developments have led me to think about the whole situation regarding publication. Obviously I cannot go on imposing on you in this way. At present, however, it does seem that I ought to give "Philosophical Publications" a chance to reply. May I do this and write to you again?
With my further thanks and all good wishes for the New Year.
Yours Sincerely, Harold Himsworth.
P.S. I sent Trotter's book to the Sloan Kettering. I hope that when you got back after Christmas it was waiting for you.
P.P.S. I mention a note I wrote about a man you may have known. Even if you did not, I think some of the points in it may strike a sympathetic cord in you as one concerned with advances in research.
From Dr Edmond Yunis M.D. (and family).
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas 1989.
Dear Stacey and Ivana,
You must be very excited to have been amidst historical events in Praha. We are very grateful for all your greetings. Everybody is now quite well. I had surgery………….took long time to recover. Despite this delayed note we miss you a lot and care. Sincerely, Edmond
From J.F. Brandejs, PhD.
Canadian Medical Association- Director Statistics, Systems, & Econ. Research,
March 30th, 1978
Attached please find the promised background notes on computerization on the macro (national) and micro (physician's office) levels. Please feel free to modify the notes in the spirit and style of your book.
Also enclosed is a set of photographs of computers and the Babbage Analytical Machine. A copy of a letter from the Science Museum of South Kensington is attached outlining copyright regulations for this photo.
Please do not forget to deal with confidentiality and privacy of medical information. A document which was prepared for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Confidentiality of Health Records in Ontario is included for your information.
From Dr Terence Lear M.D., F.R.C.P.I
St George's, Northampton, England.
That was a sad letter about our reunion in 1980. Twice recently you have not wished matters of truth, principle, identity, envy, malice, and uncharitableness to intrude. You might have guessed something of the sort I suppose - for in Ireland the only hero is a dead one. On the other hand astute as they are they might have realized that your organizing capacity alone is worth $20,000.
I was in a psychiatrist's conference held in RCSI not long ago when the amenities were rather indifferent. Still your philosophy in this case (was it Voltaire's too?) to expect the best in the best of all possible worlds makes some sense although the transatlantic point of view requires understanding or presentation of which there is scant evidence in Dublin on present showing - we must wait and see - I suspect a bunfight or nothing at all will be the outcome. I hope I am wrong - perhaps my prediction is distorted by some bitterness which I feel but which you do not permit yourself.
Well to more cheering considerations -and we too are enjoying Spring despite very wet weather. Our garden is much the same size as yours - well stocked with blossom trees, flowers, lawn, and green house. We have blackbirds nesting in a privet hedge and bluetits in a box. Kathleen said in company recently that she had two lovely tits adding promptly 'midst some fascination and astonishment that they were in the garden! Opposite, with a fence between, there is a park which was once Northampton racecourse, a favourite haunt of the Prince of Wales, until it was closed at the beginning of the century.
Ours is a corner house and since the town expanded so the traffic increased until now we trade noise pollution for convenience. There is more action for teenagers in the town so we shall stay put for a while.
I was reading Milton Shulman's "The Ravenous Eye" recently and he argues that TV is responsible for the generation gap which you were concerned with. I must say however that your younger son is no stranger to the written word which augers well for communication between you.
B returned to Q after a long Easter break - he has some "O" levels this term and then a decision about "A" levels - he would like to study medicine but worries about making it since the entry stakes are so competitive these days. He is not top flight academically but he shows consisten hard work - in a word reliability, some signs of creativity and curiousity about people. - a good combination for general practice or psychiatry but he would have a rough ride to get there - once installed I suspect he would doctor alright. He may cast around for other opportunities not so influenced by profession.
S starts history in Oxford next September. At the beginning of June until mid August he hopes to visit America - he is staying with friends in North Dakota at first and may tour round from there. He worked and saved for the holiday himself so I am sure he will enjoy it.
Ivana must be thrilled about seeing Prague and Vienna again - I hear the latter is rather expensive though. Kathleen, B and I will have a fortnight on Majorca at the beginning of August. At the end of that month I have a conference in Sweden which will be my first visit to Scandinavia.
Kathleen sends her love. Yours, Terry.
Dr Audrey N. Grosch
President, American Society for Information Science
From Dr E. Gabrieli, M.D cc: Dr Stacey B. Day.
May 15, 1978
Dear Dr Grosch:
I would like to bring to your attention an effort in medicine closely related to the mission of ASIS.
In 1976, Dr Stacey B. Day, called to a meeting a group of prominent scientist/physicians, educators, managers, leading technocrats, captains of industry, legislators, economists, social scientists and consumers, to examine the present problems of the U.S. health care system, and to look into the future. This "Faculty of One Hundred" selected five critical issues"
- Science Policy
- Management of Medicine
- Institutions of Medicine
- Data Leases and Computer-based Systems and
- Decision Processes in Medicine.
This product of the Aspen Meeting was a "Master Plan for Development of Clinical Computing in the United States". Prompted by this document, suddenly a "Canadian Master Plan" has emerged which was drafted a year before, but elicited inadequate governmental responses.
In October, 1977, in Milan, Italy, as chairman of this planning group, I participated in a meeting of delegates from Sweden, West Germany, and Italy, and by that time there were already four "Master Plans" on the table: one from the Aspen Conference (Dr Day's programme), one from Canada, one from the Council of Europe (in collaboration with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and an "Italian National Master Plan.
The amalgamation of these four plans is the proposed "International Master Plan" designed for a coordinated development of medical use of information sciences and technology.
As Chairman of SIG/MR, I feel ASIS could become a natural organizational framework for bringing this important effort to the attention of the policy makers in Washington, in business and industry and in education. Your advice in this matter would be much appreciated. Sincerely Yours, (Signed Gabrieli M.D.).
cc: Dr Stacey B. Day.
From Valentina Borremans
Cuernavaca, Mexico. 23rd October 1978.
Dear Stacey B. Day,
I have given my last reprint of Illich's article "Factors in Contemporary Medicine that Undermine Moral Values in Society at Large as well as in Medicine", and I do not find the issue of Biosciences Communication in which it was published.
Could you please send me a copy of the issue - 3 (1) - of Biosciences? If it has to come from Basel, please have it sent by airmail.
Enclosed a revised and corrected edition of the introduction to my "Guide to Use-Value oriented Convivial Tools" . Thank you very much in advance for your kind attention to my request. With my best wishes, Sincerely Yours, Valentina Borremans.
From CUERNAVACA, Nov 11th, 1978
Dear Stacy Day,
Thank you very much indeed for your letter of November 2nd and for having sent to me the article by Illich. I do not remember if I sent you the text of an introduction which Illich wrote for the French version of my article to be published in "Medicine Sociale et Preventive"
Of course I would prefer, if this is still possible, that this introduction were published with my text in your "COMPANION TO THE LIFE SCIENCES" or in the alternative collection.
Illich will be in Cuernavaca from December 15th until January 20th. If you could come during that period it would be a great joy to meet you.
My very best wishes, Sincerely Yours,
From Dr Ozcan Baskan,
Istanbul, December 1978
Dear Professor Day,
Thank you very much indeed for your kind and cordial letter. I find myself quite at a loss for words in explaining this situation to you. But I shall try anyhow.
Turkey is now going through an economic crisis which is shared by many other nations as well. On the other hand, due to political instability which was protracted too long, and due to campus unrest, our universities seem to have lost all enthusiasm for continued serious work, what with suspended lessons and downright closing of universities for long periods.
Istanbul University has not a central campus as such, the schools being scattered in the city, and with almost no communication among various schools and their staff members except at administrative meetings. This is the reason why I have partly failed in convincing proper authorities to subscribe to your journal. The letters I have written did not produce the desired effects. As to Ankara and the National Library, I have tried to approach them through persons and friends in Ankara University circles, but I could not achieve much from a distance. I think one of the main reason for not subscribing is the shortage of funds, as has been reported to me from various sources. Another reason would be the high quality of the journal, which mere specialists do not seem to appreciate properly. Schools of Medicine in particular appear to be interested in specific topics to fit the existing academic branches. Feeling like a lone ranger in the wilderness, I have been developing some kind of "academic schitcophrenia", because on the one hand I have this interdisciplinary attitude towards science and knowledge just as you, in my admiration, have, but on the other I find myself in a distorted model of classical university education and work, as adapted to a developing, albeit a once imperial, country. I only wish I were not 50 years of age, and were in the States where I would not regret my having chosen the wrong channel and an inhospitable surrounding academically.
I hope I have been able to explain enough. Repeating my great admiration for your interdisciplinary approach, I beg you to excuse me bowing out of the game.
From University Professor Robert K. Merton
Columbia University in the City of New York.
26 December 1978.
Dear Dr Day,
I much appreciate your generosity in sending me one of your two copies of the issue of Biosciences Communication which has your article, "What is a Scientist". That is most collegial of you.
Since various allusions and references in that interesting issue had special resonance for me, I send along a few pieces which relate to those allusions. First, your apt reminder of Gilman's address on the characteristics of a university put me in mind of a Gilman Lecture I once gave at the Johns Hopkins on the "ambivalence of scientists", and so I take the liberty of sending an offprint of it to you.
Second your apt allusion to the first gospel put me in mind of a piece entitled "The Mathew Effect in Science" so I send that along as well.
A third resonance was your invocation of Philip Frank, an old Viennese friend of a life-long collaborator of mine, Paul Lazarsfeld. I took pleasure in your quoting Frank's enlarged conception of science as learning: "by science we did not mean natural science only, but we included always social studies and the humanities". Altogether characteristic…
As I finally came upon your quotation from Planck, I remembered that a number of us have independently found it variously apt, and so I dare send along a photocopy of some recurrent quotations.
With warm regards and best wishes,
(Addressed to Professor Stacey B. Day, M.D.)
From Prof. Dr. Amador Neghme R.
President, Chilean Academy of Medicine, Santiago.
March 2, 1983.
(Addressed to Prof. Dr. Stacey B. Day, University of Calabar,
Calabar, Nigeria, West Africa).
Dear Dr Day,
Thanks for your letter of February 11th received yesterday. You do not need to apologize for the delay imposed by the cultural environmental conditions in which you are at present heroically working. Under the circumstances so clearly pictured by you, undoubtedly it is necessary to have strong inner spiritual motivations to overcome the inertia and ignorance of people.
I deeply congratulate you for your efforts and I have enjoyed knowing that in spite of all the difficulties faced, you have - at least - educated forty young students. I hope that they really have got a good scientific training and also the attitudes, habits and ideals to become excellent physicians devoted to their fellow human beings and the communities, not for profiting but for serving and educating them and to carry - as you wrote - "a new dimension from now into all aspects of their professional life". I do of course rejoice with you and I hope that they will get from your example the spirit and strength to overcome the negative aspects of the environment and the bad examples offered by other physicians, working only for their profit but forgetting their social responsibilities.
Thanks for your kind comment on my Foreword. I beg you to add to it my congratulations for the hard work and excellent example that you are offering to the medical profession with your devoted mission and efforts to improve medical education in such difficult university and social environments.
It gives me pleasure to send through you my compliments and best wishes to the select group of 14 of your students. I hope they will be the pioneers in the fight against the psycho-social and cultural backwardness of people that they are preparing to serve.
Thanks again for your greetings. With best regards, I am Very Faithfully Yours.
AMADOR NEGHME R. Chilean Academy of Medicine.
(Enclosures: Copy of the book review by Professor Dr. Luis Vargas Fernandez on your book "Life Stress").
From Dr L. N. Johri, Nabha, India.
Greatly relieved & delighted to receive your affectionate note on our return from Delhi where we had gone to celebrate the wedding of my grand-daughter (daughter of my doctor son and his doctor wife). The father of bride-groom insisted to celebrate at Delhi only. Luckily it was at the same hotel where we had met last time on your return from Agra; indeed it was a happy reminder of you both. The cost of a single dinner came to Rs 23,000/- The dowry is a "Must". It is the worst social evil, while the cost of the articles is soaring high.
The assassination of Indira Gandhi by her own security men at her residence is the worst tragedy. There was strong move to change these men (Sikh people) but she insisted & retained them & they played havoc. This province "Punjab" is in great violence. The main difficulty is that many families have their at least one son as "Sikh" - thus their separation is not possible.
Now for the great news that dear K must have graduated in Law on 17th May 85. Hearty congratulations to all of you - dear S is now B.A. (Hons) - must have left for Greece-Egypt tour and may make up his mind to go to Law School. So I realize that both children are interested in "Law" - none had parental taste for the studies of Science.
I have a real, great praise for your great perseverance to work and stay at Calabar in such a hot and unbearable atmosphere - the people are sure to remember you for your able character and associations - you have indeed great stamina and courage. I am sure you will engage yourself for the great benefits of the younger generation in numerous ways.
With best remembrances, affection, and love to self + Ivana & both the children K & S.
From Professor Louis Safer
University of Minnesota Dean, General College
To Stacey, Whose love of poetry and all things human we share, (Accompanied by Catalog. Louis Safer: 35 Years of Painting).
From Le Ministre de la Sante Publique du Tchad
World Health Assembly, Geneva,
9 Mai, 1987
Professor Stacey Day
J'ai l'honneur de vous faire parti, de l'interet que nous portons sur le projet au sujet nous avons en un entretien le jeudi 9 mai 1987 a Geneve.
En attendant informations sur le question, soyez assures de notre accord de principe sur un collaboration eventuelle de mon departement sur projet qui vous interesse.
Mahemet N. M
Ministre de la Sante du TCHAD
From Office Of The Mayor
Metropolitan Government Of Nashville And Davidson County
November 20, 1987
Dr Stacey Day, WHO Collaborating Center
Meharry Medical College, Nashville, 37208.
Dear Dr Day
It brings me great pleasure to send greetings on the occasion of this celebration, not because you have reached a particular age, but because it gives all of us an opportunity to express our delight with, and appreciation for, all which you have done. To coin a phrase, "You're a Good Man, Stacey Day".
On January 6, 1987, I was privileged and honored to announce to my then colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives the designation of the International Center of Health Sciences at Meharry Medical College as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. Your leadership and direction are to be most highly commended. As the first black educational institution in the U.S. to receive such designation, it brings pride to our community, long a center of higher education in the American black community. The distinction this brings to Nashville's medical and academic communities is great. But above and beyond all of this, you have established a center capable of reaching out not only to our community and nation, but to the world community. For this we will remain forever grateful.
I hope that you are able to enjoy this day of recognition. As an event, it may draw to a close this evening, but today is nothing more than a token symbol of the respect and esteem in which you will ever be held by myself, and by the city of Nashville. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and
Best Wishes in your continued endeavors.
Bill Boner, Mayor.
From (President) Jimmy Carter
To Professor Stacey B. Day,
World Health Organization Collaborating Center,
December 31, 1987.
Congratulations on your 60th birthday! Rosalyn and I send you our best wishes for happiness on this day and throughout the years ahead.
Sincerely, Jimmy Carter
From Prof. V. Sery, MD., DSc, Director of the Institute of Tropical Health,
Institut Pro Dalsi Vzdelavani Lekaru A Farmaceutu V Praze
Prague. July 18, 1989.
Dear Professor Day,
I would like you to accept this invitation to undertake with us a pedagogic research study on CONTINUING EDUCATION, on a collegial basis, in Prague during October and November 1989. I would appreciate if you could lead several seminars for our staff and for physicians preparing for their assignments in developing countries, and also, we would be glad if you could provide consultations for some of our researchers. Besides that, your lecture in our section of tropical medicine in Medical Society of J. E. Purkyne would be welcome.
If you are able to accept this invitation I feel sure that you will be able to join in exchanging important ideas and views in this special area of health and medical education.
I send my best greetings and hope that I will hear from you shortly.
Yours Sincerely, Prof. V. Sery, MD. DSc.
From Emmanuel de Margerie
Ambassade de France aux Etats-Unis
August 29, 1989
Dear Dr Day:
As Ambassador of France to the United States, I would like to write a word to you about the Battle of Normandy Museum. It is not only a tribute to the events which bind our two nations and to their mutual friendship, but also a unique kind of Museum, which usually leaves the visitors very impressed.
I want to thank you for what you are doing. Your generosity fills me with a sense of pride and hope that future generations in both our countries will be able to learn and remember the many lessons of Normandy.
Emmanuel de Margerie.
From the Office of the President
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
5 May 1992
Dear Professor Stacey Day
I am writing to express my personal gratitude and the gratitude of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland for the very much appreciated gift that you gave us recently.
I think it is a fine portrait of Oliver St J. Gogarty and we are delighted to have it. I am sure the College is the best final resting place to it. I know you will come and visit the portrait frequently and I look forward to meeting you from time to time.
With renewed thanks, Yours Sincerely,
William P. Hederman MCh FRCSI
From Mrs. Owen (Sally) H. Wangensteen
October 16, 1993
Please don't be troubled by my slow response to your kind letter and that beautiful little book of essays. I have enjoyed them so much, and have reread your letter several times with great pleasure, especially your account of Owen and the Mark Twain story. I never heard him refer to Puddn' Head and did not realize that he knew the novel (a tale that haunted me when I read it as a young girl). What an amusing recollection and how confusing for you!
Your experience was not quite as traumatic, however, as one told me by a Mexican surgeon (later a Surgeon-General, I recall). On his first day in Owen's operating room he crowded a little too close to the operating table and Owen told him sharply to "step back". The young assistant interpreted this to mean "get out" (however you say it in Spanish). He immediately left the room and took off his gown. A little later Owen missed his assistant and asked what had happened to him? Fortunately he was found and reinstated, with a happy ending. The surgeon told us the tale with gusto when we visited him in Mexico City.
I like to think of you in Japan and found your introduction to Inokuchi's book very moving. I remember as well our happy visit and the friends we found there, who had all been in Minnesota years before. We had the good fortune to have a charming young lady as our guide in Kyoto and kept in touch with her for years thereafter. She eventually met, through her job, a young Swedish radiologist and they were married and went back to Sweden. She continued to write us, this time about her problems in learning Swedish. I remember Owen's saying with disgust "I wonder if it has occurred to her husband that he should be learning her language also?"
My closest contact with Philosophy, as I think I wrote you, is through a grandson (the only son of Owen's only daughter) who teaches Philosophy at MIT in Boston. I had hoped to visit him this summer but unfortunately was not well enough to travel (this also explains my not writing you earlier). I had by-pass surgery (6 by-passes) almost ten years ago, plus a pacemaker later. I have been lucky and should not complain, but I realize that one cannot expect such patchwork jobs to function perfectly indefinitely.
May I add one quick note more (re Dr. Inokuchi's mention of the Gifford Lecture?). Some years ago, while working with a friend on a paper about Henry James, I had the pleasure of reading the mss correspondence (at Harvard) between Henry and William James at the time William was preparing his Gifford Lectures. (I believe it was then a series of lectures, not a single performance). Its importance, of which both men were keenly aware, has, it seems endured. How many endowed lectureships have merit after one hundred years?
As you can see I am my own typist and a poor one. But I want to get this off today and also tell you that I am mailing the little idol also. It used to sit over the mantelpiece in our library room downstairs. I don't know what thoughts it may have inspired, but we were fond of it. Always remembered it came from you.
Best Wishes, SALLY.
From Dr Hariduth Ghoorah MD
Beau Bassin, Mauritius, INDIAN OCEAN
Spring 2002 (Sent to Praha).
My Dear Ivana and Bis
Your contribution will be immense when Bis completes his "MEMOIR". His last letter mentions the episode 1950-1955 (should it not be 1949-1955?).
I left Paddington Rly stn before 9.0 pm on 28/09/50 to reach Dublin via Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire. The train journey from Dun Laoghaire to Dublin is the most memorable journey of my life. For miles the train track skirts the sea coast. On one side the blue sea, the other, the green (such green never seen in my life before) of the lovely plain of Eire (Ireland). There and then I thanked God for welcoming me to a new country where with some efforts my future will be made by training as a doctor. I landed at 7.10 from ship from Holyhead.
Sat was waiting for me at the Dublin Rly stn; with thanks he took me and my luggage and my racing bicycle (2nd hand bought for 3 pounds in UK - 2nd hand bicycle - I was longing for one in Mauritius and we could not afford it - make Raleigh). We landed in York House Salvation Army Hostel (for mostly elderly gentlemen) just opposite RCSI in York Street.
After a light breakfast, Sat returned and we both (he helped) wrote a letter for exempting me from 1st year of Chem/Phys/Bio on the ground of my 1st MB (London) since 1949. This Irish episode is anchored in golden letters in my mind: when next day the Registrar (Norman Rae) gave me his answer - "I agree" and signed by him.
This is the shortest letter I have ever received. Then struck the unbreakable bond of the 4 - "Les 4 mousquetaires" - Sat, Bis, Unus and myself. The tie became ever closer when I moved to the basement rooms at 48 South Circular Road with my bicycle and the photo of Tagore - "where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is force….when the world is not broken" (Rabindranath Tagore).
When I was in Mauritius I was a lacto-vegetarian. By 1949 I had introduced boiled eggs and with Bis' help I bought and tried bacon, ham, and sausages when I was at 48 South Circular Road…….later I learnt to eat and enjoy fish and chips and pickled onions. Back in Mauritius I am surviving as lacto-vegetarian.
The profs at RCSI - some we liked and some a bit less. And as time went on and with increase of activities we never got estranged. Lunch time in the College Canteen, renamed by Bis "the Pelvis" (because of its architecture and place in the basement), Self and Bis had lunch there and meetings with Shev Lal and others………….
Bis as usual was reading from several textbooks e.g. Starling's Physiology; Bainbridge & Menzies; Samson Wright; and last an American book - I cannot remember the name correctly. Same for Anatomy, Pathology etc., etc. His ability and retentivity is proverbial. He learnt Russian language; officer in the army…..
Bis had advised many students at RCSI. He is learned, Ivana. He would recite names of Greek, Italian, French, German philosophers and writers -e.g. from Diogenes, Plato, Michaelangelo and others; (talk) of paintings - "La Gioconda", Rembrandt and writers - Omar Khayyam of whom I had heard the name and knew nothing; Rabindranath Tagore………
Including his researches in circulation in long ago days; "blindness" in W. Africa, Nigeria, and his major work on Psychosociomedicinal Health. He is one full of energy and developing many faculties, in one person, an achievement very few have endeavored and still less have succeeded as him. He is a marvel.
So Ivana, being his better-half, extract the 1950-1955 years from my few jumbled words about him. It is a labour of love, sacrifice, if only a line or two would kindle his memory.
With Affection, Geen and Hari
(Hari passed away, in grace and God-loving, the Bhagavad Gita near, in Spring 2006).