We were on the second floor and we each had our own room and, you know, typewriters. And then we had a kitchen in the other room and we sometimes ate together, not that often. We went to movies together and so on. The movies were just down the street because we lived just at […]

Here is the photo of Bob I told you about. We were on a last outing of the summer, before school began. Bob wanted to go to Katahdin; we’d been talking about it for some time. The party included Mary Jo and Claud Sutcliffe and their infant son Matthew, Bob, and me. We camped overnight […]

He started to get sick before he knew it. It started with a slight tremor I think in the left hand, as I remember, as early as 1968. This was a very slow developing neurological disease. It’s still very rare. And it has all the nasty characteristics of MS and Parkinson’s combined. It tends to […]

He wrote to me. I think in Paris. Yeah, we were in Paris and he wrote to me that they were not sure whether it was Parkinson’s or something else. No, it wasn’t glum. It was a matter of fact kind of letter: I’ve been diagnosed with this, progressive neurological, and that’s what it was. […]

One night senior year, in the fall of 1970, he asked maybe half a dozen students to come to his house. We didn’t know what it was about but he wanted to talk about having been diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness. This was another time you took your shoes off. He probably still had […]

Well, he announced that he was ill and basically throughout the question was how could he use it as an educational device? He had a group of people over and sort of announced it. I just remember being stunned that he was obviously a teacher to his core, that he would seek to give meaning […]

It’s still only identified by the name of the two researchers, the two physicians who described it – the Shy-Drager Syndrome, a degenerative neurological disease, about which hardly anything is known. My wife Esther or I, or both of us together, would drive Bob–we were not the only ones–to Boston, where the research was going, […]

My brother-in-law is a very successful and well-respected neurosurgeon at UCLA School of Medicine and my dad came to him once and he said, “I’ve got bad news for you. Bob’s coming out. He’s in between semesters. And he said, ‘Will you warn mom and [sister] Gloria that I’m walking with a cane now?’” And […]

The first day of class we met in the basement of Greylock Dining Hall. There were 14 of us, I believe. He reached into his briefcase on the first day of the course and he put this grotesque Halloween mask on his face. Everybody was embarrassed to silence, what to make of this. This wasn’t […]

I remember one time he said he never wanted to admit that he is sick because once you admit you are sick to other people you lose your rights as a person — you are a sick person and everybody treats you differently and talks to you differently. People assume that it affects your mind […]


Final Note