When Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas, Hillary Rodham Clinton found herself seated by President George Bush (senior). She had long been interested in the health of children, and so she told President Bush how poorly the United States protected the health of its children under one year of age. President Bush responded, “Our health care system is the envy of the world.” Mrs. Clinton replied, “Not if you want to keep your child alive to the year of his first birthday.” After investigating the matter, President Bush told Bill Clinton, “Tell Hillary she was right.”
One reason the Native Americans could not mount a more effective resistance to whites who illegally took over their lands was that the whites brought highly contagious and deadly diseases such as smallpox that devastated the Native Americans, who had not developed an immunity to them. In 1763, the British acquired blankets from a hospital that treated patients who had smallpox. The British then gave the blankets to Native Americans, deliberately trying to infect them with smallpox so that many of them would die, thus decreasing their ability to resist the whites.
An accident can end the career of an athlete very quickly. Maureen Connolly, an American tennis player, won singles championships at Wimbledon in 1952, 1953, and 1954. In addition, she became the first woman ever to win the Grand Slam, by winning the major championships in four different countries: Australia, England, France, and the United States in 1953. But while she was riding a horse at home during a break from tennis, a truck sideswiped her horse and severely injured her right leg. Just like that, her tennis career was over.
After jockey Julie Krone was bucked from a horse and broke her ankle, she was still determined to race although her foot was in a cast. After all, she had won more races than the other jockeys at Monmouth Park in New York with two weeks left in the season, and another rider needed only 10 victories to catch up to her. Therefore, Ms. Krone tore off her cast and had her doctor put on another cast that would fit in a riding boot, and she continued to race and won the riding title at Monmouth.
Underneath their colored stockings, professional baseball players wear white sanitary hose. Why? In and before 1905, players wore only the socks bearing the colors of their team. However, in 1905, Napoleon Lajoie’s foot was cut by a player sliding into second base. The dye from his colored socks seeped into the wound and he came down with a bad case of blood poisoning. He survived and continued to play baseball, but as a precautionary measure players began to wear white sanitary hose.
The Great Fire of London destroyed 87 churches and over 13,000 homes in its four days and four nights of burning. The night it started, Sept. 1, 1666, Samuel Pepys’ maid woke him up, but after looking out the window, he went back to bed. In 17th century London, fires were common. The fire spread because the Lord Mayor did not want to create a fire break by pulling down houses. Some good resulted from the fire — it stopped the plague by killing the rats whose fleas were spreading it.
Young dancer Alicia Alonso had two operations on her eyes to repair detached retinas, forcing her to lie still for months until the physicians allowed her to get up from bed. As she lay in bed, she practiced dancing using only her fingers, moving them as she visualized the movements of the dancers in such ballets as Giselle. When she finally got out of bed, she was unable to stand by herself, but she got herself in shape again and became a world-famous ballerina.
In 1951, renowned conductor Herbert von Karajan prepared to make a recording of Bach’s B minor Mass. He rehearsed the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde chorus and the Vienna Symphony 70 times to prepare for the recording, then he came down with a case of blood poisoning two days before the first recording session. Nevertheless, he conducted from a stretcher, raising one arm into the air, and the recording was outstanding.
John Huston directed The Misfits, the final film of both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. During filming, Ms. Monroe became very ill, and Mr. Huston made her go to a hospital to recuperate. Later, a reporter asked why he had done that — was it out of consideration for the movie picture or out of consideration for Ms. Monroe? Mr. Huston replied, “The picture? The hell with the picture! The girl’s whole career was at stake!”
Country music singer Willie Nelson has a lot of respect for Dr. Red Duke, but since mortals are in fact mortal, even the best doctors will have some patients die. Dr. Duke took care of Willie’s mother before she died, and he took care of Willie’s father-in-law before he died, so Mr. Nelson joked, “If you don’t quit losing them, I’m going to quit sending them to you.” Dr. Duke smiled and said, “Willie, you’re just going to have to get them to me earlier.”
John von Neumann worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico, and helped develop the atomic bomb. Later, he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission. When he was dying of cancer, he had to take heavy dosages of medicine. The government made sure that the people taking care of him all had security clearances just in case he accidentally let secrets slip while under the medication.
In 1991, Pittsburgh Penguin hockey player Mario Lemieux scored a goal and made three assists as Pittsburgh defeated the Minnesota North Stars and won the Stanley Cup. As recognition for his efforts throughout the playoffs, Mr. Lemieux was voted Most Valuable Player. However, before the game, he suffered from so much back pain that he was unable to tie his own skate laces.
Maria Tallchief believes that her long years of intense physical activity as a ballerina resulted in her suffering from arthritis after she retired. Her pharmacist once asked her, “You’re now paying for all those years — it was worth it, wasn’t it?” Ms. Tallchief replied, “It certainly was.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
FUNNIEST PEOPLE IN DANCE (PAPERBACK)
David Bruce’s Lulu Bookstore (Paperbacks)
David Bruce’s Amazon Author Bookstore
David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore
David Bruce’s Apple Bookstore
David Bruce’s Barnes and Noble Books
David Bruce’s Kobo Books