... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

Now we have some magnets from Bob, who is an internet-friend I've never met, but who sent this series...

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Becoming a Man:
Half a Life Story

Paul Monette

My Amazon wish list


Steve's Show

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That's it for today!



16 November 2001

Well, he's done it again. Mr. Schalchlin stunned 'em again. Dr. G arrived at work this morning, tennis elbow held carefully as he carried in all his stuff and picked up the chart of the patient sitting in the waiting room. He had a huge smile on his face and told me how wonderful Steve's presentation had been last night.

My reputation had been on the line, of course. I'd touted this guy to my old boss so much that he arranged for Steve to be the guest "speaker" without ever even seeing so much as a photo of him, strictly on my recommendation.

At his introduction, Leon announced to the assembled medical professionals that if it hadn't been for me, he never would have heard about Steve.

Neatly passing the buck, that. But I wasn't worried. I'd seen Steve capture a crowd before.

He started under less than ideal conditions. The local hunkameat establishment was catering dinner and the docs, who were arriving on MD time anyway (i.e., late) weren't going to pass up a chance for free food. So while Steve and I were eyeing the clock nervously, thinking of getting to the airport on time, they were eyeing the roast beast and taters and wondering whether to have gravy on their pie or not.

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Undaunted, Steve started promptly at 6:15, figuring that anybody who was more than 15 minutes late didn't deserve to get the full concert.

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I love watching him work. He began by telling the group that he didn't mind at all if they ate during his concert, but he just asked that they not talk to each other. And with that, he launched into the first song. I was sitting in front so I could take pictures and keep one eye on the crowd. Having been given permission to eat, they sat there and chewed their cud and occasionally glanced up at Steve. This was, after all, not your usual Medical Staff Meeting.

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When Steve has everyone's half attention, I can feel him working harder. He makes more direct eye contact, his commentary is more focused, he pauses more to let points sink in, and when he comes to an emotional part, he makes it very forcefully.

As he got more and more into his story, more and more people began to look up, their food turning cold on their plate.

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By the time he got to the fourth song, he had everybody's rapt attention.

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The psychiatrist I transcribe for

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My new boss

And by the time he did "Friendly Fire," his audience participation song about what it feels like to have to take so many medications, they were all with him, and sang along enthusiastically.

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When it was over, we raced out of there, barely having time to shake Leon's hand and wave to Greg, Ned's friend who volunteered to do all the sound (and videotaped the show for me). So I didn't get a chance to have people I knew take me aside and tell me how wonderful he'd been. I waited all day to get feedback from Leon. And then it came:

The response was really +++ -- The hosp. admin. suggested that we might bring him back for a different audience--such as RNs, VNA, Hospice etc.--stay tuned or start working your publicist magic with the hospital administrator while her memory is fresh???? Thanks again for all the work you did to bring him here!!

So once again Steve's won over a dubious crowd, left his mark, and sped off into the night.

You know--I'm gonna have to buy this guy a box of silver bullets.

One Year Ago:
Do You Still Love Me?

(Club Photo has started deleting
photo albums after 90 days,
so the photos which were once there,
have been removed now)

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Created 11/9/01 by Bev Sykes