A bit of doggerel to ring in the New Year. With thanks and apologies to Longfellow & Revere…..
Listen child neurologists and you shall recall
the meeting in Ann Arbor
that started it all.
On the 5th of October in Seventy-Two,
one hundred forty founders gathered.
There remain but a few.
Bylaws were drafted and the first officers chosen:
Swaiman, Fenichel, Allen,
Menkes, Gomez, Schwartz and Rapin.
There were papers on meningitis, hydrocephalus and Reye’s.
They talked Phenobarb and Phenytoin,
watched grainy seizure films all day.
When it ended, folks said “splendid!”
Let’s get together and do this every Fall!
Maybe sprinkle in more seminars,
add named lectures and awards,
beaucoup coffee, pastries, pasta, wine
Whatever we can afford.
Forty-seven meetings followed
In DC and twenty four states.
There were seven border crossings
(Canadian charm and currency rates)
Chicago shattered attendance records.
Charlotte topped it the following year.
San Diego would have been special,
but then coronavirus fouled the air.
Everything went virtual, suddenly everything was zoomed.
People began to wonder aloud
if medical meetings might be doomed.
Which brings us to the New Year.
Who can say what lie ahead?
Will we gather for a Golden Gala
or log-in virtually instead?
Losing a once-in-a-generation meeting was hard.
Losing a 50th would be ten times harder:
a once-in-a-lifetime chance
to celebrate the Past, Present and Future.
So we’ll wait through an uncertain winter and spring.
Like Revere at midnight, we’ll wait, ready to ride.
We’ll wait and look up
at the Old North Church tower for a clear sign:
One if in Boston.
Two if On-line.
(to be continued…)
Posted January 5, 2021