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Father Son Weekend: First Two Days With My Medical School Roomate


Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

My father –son weekend this year with Brad was in Los Angeles.

We picked Los Angeles because L.A. is warm in March and Brad has invested in Oblong Inc. an L.A. company co-founded by John Underkofflerer and Kevin Parent. They are two great guys I met when Brad was at MIT. 

My 50th Columbia College reunion is coming up in June . I volunteered to be on the Jubilee Reunion committee. As a member of the reunion committee I developed a social network for Columbia College CC’59 using Ning. I like Ning’s founder Marc Andreesen’s mind. I was curious to see if a social network would work with 70 year old Columbia College graduates. We all need social networks because we are all social beings whether we admit it or not. .

The network works. I have reconnected with college friends I have not seen in 50 years. One connection was with one of my medical school roommates.

He invited me to visit him when I was in L.A.(Santa Monica) . I went to Los Angeles two days before my weekend with Brad to renew our friendship. The first challenge was getting to his house and then getting into his house. The taxi dropped me off a block from his house because a gate closed off his street. I snuck through the gate

Marty is a psychiatrist. He sees patients in his house. He office layout is the same as HBO’s program “In Treatment”. I arrived early and figured he would be busy with a patient. I was sure he would leave a window open to climb in just as he did in our basement apartment in medical school. Lucky for me I arrived during his lunch break . He has two Great Danes. Each one is bigger and heavier that I am. If I climbed through the window I would have been the Great Danes’ lunch.

Marty and I had a simple lunch and talked non-stop. He cancelled his patients for the rest of the day. We were off to his gym. I jog daily. I never used an elliptical machine although Cecelia has tried to convince me to try it. Marty insisted I use it because then we could talk side by side. After 15 minutes my quadriceps were on fire. When I got off the machine (after 35 minutes), I could hardly stand up. It felt seasick for the next hour.

In our gym clothes we went galley hopping at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. When we got back to his home he asked me to help him walk his Great Danes.

I am not a dog lover. The dog I was walking almost dislocated my shoulder. It was less than an enjoyable experience.

Marty has not changed one bit in 50 years. I would bet most of us haven’t changed much.

Dinner and an investment meeting in the fancy Shutter Hotel on Santa Monica beach. The meeting confirmed my impression of economic market predictions. Everyone should read “Fooled by Randomness”.

With my thighs still hurting I ended up running 4 miles to the Santa Monica Pier by myself the next morning. My run to the Pier was too much. My thighs were really hurting now. I had to run walk or crawl to get back since I had no money.

Marty and Francine took me for a surprise lunch of Hebrew National Hot Dogs at Costco I love Costco. The three of us went shopping and spent an hour buying things they did not need.

Next, L.A. Louver Art Gallery in Venice. It was wonderful. The David Hockney prints on exhibit were a mind blowing experience.

Brad and John were to meet us at 7 pm at Cholada Thai cusine on Malibu Beach.

They do not take reservations. However, Marty using his best psychiatric skills and charm talked them into giving us a reservation for 7 pm. Brad and John were stuck in traffic. Brad twittered me their problem. We gave up our table and walked on the beach until they showed up. Welcome to L.A.The meal was great and the look of the place was authentic hippy.

On Friday morning we went to the L.A . Museum of Art . The museum architecture is hodge podge. I think L.A. county should have blown up the original build before adding on. The exhibits were fair.

Norman Cousins said laughing is good for your health. I had two day of reminiscing and continuous laughing or smiling. Marty dropped me off at the Mondrian Hotel to meet up with Brad.

Thank you Marty and Francine for showing me the Los Angeles I had never seen before. And finally thank you Marc Andreesen for Ning and reconnecting me to Marty.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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