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Page #19



JUNE 2009

We sat under that big old tree by the Lake in the late evening. I was enjoying the questioning from MA. She seemed pleased that, at long last, I was able to understand and converse about Influenza Virology (in some small way) with her.

There had been no articles to read and no materials to study on this trip up and so far it had been more like a final exam than anything else.

For the best part of the afternoon MA had explored my understanding of the subject matter and my ability to answer fairly difficult questions concerning the replication process.

I felt I must have passed, because she smiled and asked if I would like to walk back to the house and have a cocktail.

Now there are few times in my life when anything sounds better than a tall Gin and Tonic. So I jumped up from the old wooden chase chairs and said "very much so".

As MA was getting up from her chair it seemed she was a having a little trouble rising. I immediately reached over and offered her my hand and she gladly used my hand to smoothly rise and start back the path.

It may seem a small thing but it made an impression at the time. Other than the original handshake upon meeting MA - I had never touched her.

She carries herself with such a dignified and professional aura that the normal hug or cheek peck seems totally out of the question.

From the lake, the path leading back to the main house is little more than two worn tracks where people have driven down to the beach. It is like a walk in the country. She has two small cabins between the lake and her house that are rarely used but are what she calls "guest houses".

They stand in stark contrast to the magnificent lakefront house that her neighbor has built on the adjacent property. Simple wooden cabins with wooden porches. They are both beautiful and entirely fitting.

As we were about halfway back to her house she did something entirely unexpected - she placed her small hand on my arm and smiled at me. I can not explain what joy it gave me.

Then she said "when you come up next weekend please bring your tape recorder, we need to look forward a bit". And so I did.....





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