From the housestaff - one side of the story ...
Contributor: Carl Voyles
I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard a familiar voice, "Come join us in the lounge for a Drambuie."
It was the last evening of our 50th medical school class reunion. Joan and I were standing in the lobby of the new Washington Duke, the old downtown Durham one having, like an old soldier, apparently just faded away.
Dr. and Mrs. Stead, Joan and I sat around a coffee table beside the grand piano in the lounge, sipping Drambuies and exchanging anecdotes.
"Do you remember the CPC debate between Wiley Forbes and Ocsar Hansen Pruss," I asked. "The Nott patient who died with tularemia?"
"How could I forget that!" Dr. Stead gave me his familiar smile.
"You were assistant resident on Nott. You and John Hickham missed the diagnosis!"
"We all did. We were really chagrined! But I did sketch a pen and ink of the ulcer on the patient's chest into the progress notes. He'd been bitten by a deer fly."
"Yes, they put it on a slide and it helped nail down the post-mortem diagnosis. As I recall, he'd been skinning a rabbit," Dr. Stead added, shaking his head. "Wiley Forbus had a field day with that one! Some streptomycin would have kept him out of the morgue." "And do you remember the time ---" we moved on to more positive memories, some of which I have included in a recently published book.
Galen Wagner asked me to write an introduction explaining how this, which will certainly not be the first or the last, collection of "Stead Stories" came into being.
It may have been sharing of Drambuies and stories with Dr. Stead in the Washington Duke lounge, and it was the midsummer notice about our October Alumni Medical Alumni Reunion. Enclosed was a note from Galen asking if I would be a contact for those of my era who knew Dr. Stead. "It's his 95th birthday," Galen added.
"Be glad to," I said, then added, "You know, to have worked with Dr. Stead is to have stories about him. I've included a couple in Angles and Dangles and Other Sea Stories. I'll bet we can get some really good ones if we contact those planning to attend."
"Good idea. Maybe we could make a book of them as a birthday present."
So, by email, phone, fax and pony express we have solicited and gathered, then I have hunt-and-pecked edited versions into my Gateway 2000 which I faxed on to Galen, who has compiled what follows.