“Dirt Always Wins” — A Story, Part Two

'30s girl injecting insulin

Sterile Technique There’s a curiously moving photo in a 1930s medical handbook put out by Dr. Elliott P. Joslin, who started a clinic in Boston that still specializes in treating diabetics. It shows a sweet Shirley Temple clone, almost 3 years old, the caption says, sitting on a wooden table and injecting her doll-like thigh with a needle and syringe that contains a dose of insulin. (A darling voice muffles an “ouch!”) She’s just a baby, yet she’s her own life-saving nurse. I became diabetic at 7 and almost died because the family doctor … [Read more...]

Salami and Eggs: A Family Tale

Don't Hide the SalamiIn my college-dorm bed, I came upon this passage while first reading Vanity Fair. I was fascinated, puzzled: "Isn't it a good salmi?" she said; "I made it for you, I can make you better dishes than that: and will when you come to see me." Becky Sharp was trying to woo the dull Sir Pitt, even though she was already married. But woo with a homemade, quaintly spelled salami? I read on ... Besides the salmi, which was made of Lord Steyne's pheasants ... Does pheasant go with garlic? Did she make the mustard too? Later, much … [Read more...]