Monthly Archives: July 2023


Quite a claim, but true. Aren’t zillions of folk drawn to this great city by its multiplicity of attractions from the historicity of its appearance to its institutions of education, health care, biotechnology, business, finance, transport, manufacturing, tourism, finance and insurance, and hardly least, its music, not to mention its storied sports franchises, the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins. Plenty of interesting people to befriend.

Like Dr. Christine Cornejo, the young dermatologist who attended me following my surgeries for melanoma. At our first meeting I saw how thoroughly she examined me. We talked afterwards about her medical education and her parents who had immigrated from Bolivia. She spoke of her hopes in her profession. Her sincerity was obvious. We developed a friendship immediately that went well beyond doctor and patient, and replicates itself every time we meet. I wrote about Christine in my memoir as already a great doctor. Every time her name comes up speaking to her associates, they light up about her capabilities.

Have you ever heard of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra? Sounds pretty professional, doesn’t it? Close, but no cigar. It is made up of doctors and other health care professionals who don’t smoke cigars, but play like their brethren players in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Many of them could have become professional musicians, but chose to go with a profession of similar value. Next time you see your doc strike up a personal conversation. I have lots of doctor friends of both sexes with whom I’m on a first name basis, and who offer terrific insights to me on health and matters unrelated to health.

The Hub has lots of resources. Manny Casseus is another case in point. Manny came to the United States thirty or more years ago speaking only French, the language of his native Haiti. He met here early on the lady who became his wife. She too had immigrated from Haiti. If any couple reminds us that immigration is the “lifeblood” of our society, it is this couple. Manny now heads up his lab at the Beth Israel Hospital. His wife holds a similar position at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. These are two world famous hospitals. One son recently passed the bar. Another son recently earned an advanced degree. Manny and his family have quickly reached a high level in American society. He and they are what I would call a great American family. How do I know all this? Because using the facilities of his lab, and Manny’s talents for my own health care, we quickly became hugging friends sharing stories of our respective lives whenever we met. Manny always smiled, did his job to perfection, and radiated the charm Haitians project. Lucky me to have found such a friend!

Not that all friendships are in Boston or with health professionals. In LA one time I took my seat at the architecturally pioneering Walt Disney Concert Hall to hear conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Always connecting, I spoke to the elegant older lady seated alongside. One thing led to another and it turned out she was an opera star of yesteryear. As you can imagine she filled in the intermissions of the concert with fascinating behind the scenes stories of her career.

Listen and you shall hear some other stuff to hold your interest. Like Jordan asking me how I think my own persona impacts other people. I make the attempt. Then Jordan tells me what he thinks the answer is. He is a very smart man, as you know. I agreed with his take.

Along the way we digressed to talk a bit about the fascinating movie industry. We determined to talk about it and its stars on both sides of the camera in a future podcast. So, you have this one to hear now, and about the movies later.

People, Always People