8/07/2005

Baltimore

As part of Jamie's sightseeing we included a family day in Baltimore.

Jim and I have a soft spot for Baltimore. We met at Johns Hopkins Hospital when Jim was in medical school and I was a student nurse.

Baltimore was a part of the stories my mother's step-father told. Dad Jack, John R. Baer, was born and grew up in Baltimore. His stories were part of the reason I chose Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.










We started with a focus on sports.
Babe Ruth's Museum is a delightful stop in Baltimore - giving you a glimpse of Ruth's personal history as well as his career as a baseball hero.

Our next stop was the Baltimore Aquarium.
Juliana had been a summer intern at the aquarium a few years back so we would not need to take the tour.









The family group: L-R: Monica, Jamie, Alison, Karen and Juliana.



Jim and I had not visited Hopkins Hospital in quite awhile. I doubt either of us ever thought that one day we would bring our grandchildren here. The hard part of a trip like this is staying in the present. Its so easy to be drawn into your memories that you get lost in trying to find the past through all the changes you see - and lose your audience.

The old main lobby is the one place that has not changed. This well-known monumental statue of Jesus the Healer greeted and comforted us in the 1950s as it does today and as it has for thousands of people for more than 100 years. There were fresh red roses at his feet.






























A fairly recent movie,Something the Lord Made, tells the story of Vivien Thomas, an unknown African American man, who was the famous Dr.Alfred Blalock's collaborator in developing the revolutionary blue baby heart surgery at Hopkins. It is a story that vividly brings us face to face with the overt and covert insults and injustices of segregation.

We had all seen the film so we stopped in the lobby of the Blalock Surgery building to look at Thomas' portrait.

Jim and I are connected to the time of the film. As a medical student, Jim had seen Thomas at work in dog surgery. As a student nurse working in the surgical recovery room, I had cared for a child just post the surgical procedure by Dr. Blalock.

The film is emotionally wrenching for me because I am ashamed to remember how much I was of that time and lived through those days most often blind to the pain and injustice of segregation.


Jim takes the time to read the names of the others pictured on the walls. He calls me over to see this gentleman: Dr. William S. Baer, the first Chief of Orthopedics. This man is Dad Jack's uncle. I knew about him but I have never seen his picture. Yes, I believe there is a favoring around the eyes.

How funny! Medical history, social history, personal history and family history - that's quite a package.

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