Monday, December 31, 2012

TING AND I, Tina's Crash and Ramsey, NJ


During the first few years of our marriage, Tina’s gait was steady, though the steps were small. She drove our second car with care, but with decreasing ability. I tried to get her to cease. We first had the car adapted to hand controls for the gas pedal, but she had trouble learning their use and usually reverted to foot controls. Toward the end of the Ledgewood Commons phase (1986-93), she pushed the gas pedal rather than the brake pedal while backing up, shot past me and through the open area between the buildings, then smacked into a neighbor’s garage, causing $17,000 worth of damage to their garage. We love you, too, State Farm Insurance.

Fortunately, no children were playing where they often did, or the mishap could have been lethal. Reluctantly, Tina relinquished her car keys and never drove again. Thereafter, she felt, perhaps correctly, that the neighbors viewed her as a bit of a hazard. When I decided to accept a buyout offer from IBM soon afterward, she was not sad to leave, except for having to say goodbye to Ruth and Mal Goldberg, Zane and Wendy Garfein.

RAMSEY, NJ, 1993–2000

In 1993, IBM had a slow year and decided to cut costs by offering an early retirement package to a subset of its workers. Eligibility required being over 50 and having worked more than ten years with the company. I just qualified in both criteria and was one of the very first to take the offer. The key item for us was continued participation in IBM’s medical benefits program. The buy-out offer came at about the time that Tina could barely make it up the stairs to our bedroom in the two-story condo. During one MS exacerbation, we had a temporary chair lift put in, running up alongside those stairs. The handwriting was on the wall, the wall beside the stairs: We would need to move soon.

I predicted to an IBM friend, also qualified for the buy-out, that first IBM would pay some of us to leave, but in the following years they might just push him out. He disagreed. I was right.


I did some job searching before I left IBM. Pickings were slim. The best was a small family-owned firm, the Texwipe Company, in a town next to Ramsey, NJ. They employed roughly a hundred people, split between the New Jersey headquarters and the North Carolina manufacturing site. They made very clean cleaning materials for manufacturing areas that need to be ultra-clean, primarily

for the micro-electronics and pharmaceuticals industries.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that an institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. In this case, Texwipe, the man was Edward Paley, the smart, decent, and creative founder of the company.

Before being hired, I visited the headquarters several times, once giving a talk, and found Ed Paley the most impressive of the bunch. His three sons–Steve, Bill, and Doug–were involved in the business, which presumably they would inherit. Steve, not a scientist but an interested and intelligent layman, focused on technical matters. He was my boss, and generally a good one. Bill was mostly involved in marketing. When he was not skiing, Doug got involved somehow, also. When the firm was later sold, none stayed on.

I had developed a good reputation in contamination control science and technology. The Texwipe Company sold its products on the basis of their technical merits. For example, its wipers were cleaner and more absorbent than most of the competitors’ products. Their needs and my skills were a good match. I was nominally the Director of Contamination Control. I supervised testing and quality control for their products and made a few, unwelcome, visits to the plant in North Carolina to show them how to do things more cleanly. My other major activity was to represent the company on various industry panels and to do some scientific publishing to give the company added scientific panache. I was a public-relations scientist, if you will.

On the verge of hiring me, they had one remaining concern: would Tina’s health coverage be their responsibility? When I assured them that my IBM retirees’ insurance had that covered, they sighed in relief and signed me on. While their concern was understandable, prudent, and all that, it was not–shall we say–lovable.

The work was reasonably interesting. The people were nice, and some are my friends to this day. I published some more papers and was involved in setting some industry standards. In prestige and challenge, the job was a step or two down from my Research Staff Member position at IBM, though it paid as well. Ramsey was a pleasant town, and we only needed to get Phil through middle school and high school, then we could move on, as we did.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

THE SHIELD OF GOLD, Ch. 9, "Washington Heights Riots"

In July of 1992, a New York City policeman shot and killed a suspected drug dealer, leading to some of the worst urban rioting seen in America. The policeman’s name was Michael O’Keefe. The man he shot was José Kiko Garcia.


The shooting occurred during a struggle between the two men by the entrance to an apartment building in Washington Heights, which is toward the northern end of the island of Manhattan. This part of Manhattan is largely populated by people from the Dominican Republic. It has been notorious for the amount of drug trafficking occurring there, sometimes called the “drug capital of the world.”


Officer O’Keefe evidently thought his life was in danger. He issued a “10-13” call for assistance, a call sign reserved for dire situations. Although he stated subsequently that he believed that Garcia possessed a handgun, no such gun was found during the follow-up investigation.


Many residents of this part of Manhattan saw this shooting as an unjustified killing of a Hispanic man by a white police officer, and six days of rioting erupted.


Police officers are not exempt from the rules regarding justifiable versus unjustifiable homicide. In order to show that the shooting was lawful, O’Keefe had to demonstrate that he had a reasonable belief that his life was in danger. The case was brought to a grand jury in August, which did not indict him, indicating that they accepted his version of the incident.


The rioting that broke out for six days in this community was so severe that reinforcements were called in from the other New York boroughs to assist the New York Police Department there.


I spent a very strange three days on that detail. We assembled many blocks south of the area that was in turmoil, then drove into the riot area with police vans containing up to a dozen patrolmen in each. As we drove through the neighborhood, we saw what looked like a war zone, with cars overturned, cars and buildings set on fire, the streets filled with rioters.


It was pandemonium. Objects were thrown at our van, but we kept driving, as we were clearly outnumbered and did not want to use deadly force unless absolutely necessary.


Frankly, we feared for our lives. We made virtually no arrests. Shots could be heard in the background. We looked for the less violent, rather than the more violent, streets. We did not want to get killed. We drove with our riot gear on, and we limited our responses to those calls from cops needing immediate assistance, call signs 10-13 and 10-85, meaning help was needed “forthwith,” as soon as possible.


What caused the rioting? Why were the Dominicans in such an uproar? Hard to say, really. The lack of an indictment and an arrest was not very unusual, although not finding a gun on the victim made the circumstances unclear. New York Mayor David Dinkins and several other local politicians did not help to keep the atmosphere from being inflamed, either.


As with the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin by Neighborhood Watch participant George Zimmerman, the initial reports contained significant inaccuracies. For example, rumor was that O’Keefe had shot Garcia while Garcia was lying on the ground. The autopsy and crime scene analysis showed that this was not correct. Furthermore, Garcia was reputed to be a drug dealer and had been the subject of arrests for illegal possession of a handgun.


What surprised me was how quickly a riot can develop. Perhaps this was somewhat influenced by the recent riots in Los Angeles, and perhaps the hot summer nights contributed to the tendency for violent confrontations to break out.


Understandably, people sharing a common culture tend to give greater weight to the testimony of people like themselves than they do to that of outsiders, and so it is hard for policemen who are not of their culture to get a fair hearing from them.


When law can no longer be enforced, everyone present becomes at risk.


THE SHIELD OF GOLD: A Candid Memoir by a NYPD Detective, was
co-authored by Lenny Golino and Douglas Winslow Cooper, and is available in ebook and paperback editions, published in November 2012, through Outskirts Press and

Would-be authors are invited to see DWC site

Thursday, December 27, 2012

TING AND I: Being Dad

From TING AND I: A Memoir...
Never having played soccer, I started merely helping out at Phil’s soccer practices. I came to understand soccer by analogy to basketball and hockey, with which I was more familiar. The youngest kids swarm like bees around the ball; but as they get older they learn to spread out, get clear of defenders, give and receive passes to put themselves in scoring position. I became a soccer coach. It was a pleasure to coach Phil and his friends, almost all of whom were very nice. All the players were to get at least half of the game playing time each game. Beyond that, the better players played more. One parent, of an obnoxious underperformer, berated me for not being more egalitarian. What seems fair to the less able can be unfair to the more able.

I helped Phil learn to swim, and he made very good use of the pool.

When Phil left Chicago with Tina, I was “Doug,” not “Dad,” to appease Tina’s husband, who was Baba, Chinese for Papa. In my heart I was Dad, and years later we changed to that. I was determined be a loving father to Phil and to have whatever relationship would be allowed with Ted. For years Ted was estranged from us, and I am still “Doug” to him, but “Dad” to Phil. Ted and I are, at least, good friends.

Phil has his parents’ genes, with brains, good looks, a strong, tall body. People have commented that his gestures and speech resemble mine, which makes me happy to hear. I say that he has my smile. Tina and her ex-husband are both very serious people. Ted is quiet and somber. Phil is outgoing and cheerful. He has had our love and encouragement, but not the pushing that some parents exert.

When Tina was a young girl in a suburb of Rochester, she and a few friends had a tree house, where they would get together as the “Gloom Club.” Play and poetry were somehow part of this, but I don’t know the mix. She was a very quiet and serious child. We have a picture of her at about 5, neatly dressed in a jumper over a sweater over a blouse. She is refusing to smile for the camera. She is adorable. It’s on my dresser, “To Doug, Love, Ting.” Close by is her engagement picture, a large version of the one that ran in the New York Times, in May 1967: beautiful, though still serious. A portrait based on this is to be on the cover of this book. Next to that is one of Tina and Phil (age 6), and me, all smiling radiantly. History summed up in three photographs.

Two more pictures emphasize a similar message: a poster-size photo of Phil at age 2, happily cuddling a small stuffed St. Bernard toy, and a smiling Phil at nearly 29, triumphantly graduating from the University of Chicago’s top-ranked business school with his M.B.A.

When he was around six, we entered Phil in a Saturday “Chinese School,” where he would be with other Chinese-American children, learning a bit of Mandarin. He didn’t like it. After a couple of months to be sure, we let him drop it. He is an American boy, of Chinese ancestry, with the emphasis on American.

Did he want to play soccer? Fine, I’ll be an assistant coach. Basketball? Let’s do it. Swim? Here’s how. Build muscles? Great idea. Saxophone? Give it a try for at least a year. Within the confines of my “tough love,” or “tough, love” philosophy, he had lots of room for choices, to see what fit him and what did not.

Phil was not a typical only child. His brother was in Chicago. His father and Ted would call weekly and arrange very rare visits here or there. At six or so, he flew to Chicago on his own. What made a bigger difference than a brother and a father in a distant city was Tina’s slowly developing incapacities. She, not he, was the center of concern in our home. He made his own breakfast often, helped with chores, was master of his bedroom domain. He was a help and a pleasure. We rarely disagreed. Praise was a better incentive than criticism, and the latter was minimal. What was there not to love about Phil?

He is second only to Tina in the hierarchy of those I love. He understands that I have tried to lead by example, “do as I do,” while recognizing our differences. We both admire strength, intelligence, honesty, warmth, a sense of humor. He embodies these. He understood Tina’s progressive disability and has treated her lovingly, tenderly. To me he was both loving and respectful, just what I wanted.

Tina did nothing to interfere with my parenting. There was no second-guessing. no disagreement that led to “But Mom says....” We discussed what we were doing, agreed on a course of action, backed each other.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

TING AND I: Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis—MS—is believed to be an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks the covering of nerve cells, the myelin sheath, leading to scarring of the sheath and a loss of its primary function, electrical insulation.

Nerves throughout the body, but principally in the spinal cord and brain, can be damaged this way. The damage can affect sensory, motor, or brain nerves, leading to a wide variety of symptoms, from tingling to paralysis to loss of coordination or cognitive skills and sometimes loss of sight and speech. Many cases remain relatively mild, producing annoying but not disabling losses, and not shortening the victims’ lives.

Four types of MS are usually described, but most patients, as did Tina, go from having relapsing-remitting episodes of MS to having a secondary progressive form, with a slow, sometimes very slow, continued loss of function. Our neurologist has speculated that Tina’s immune response may have “burned itself out,” so that the slow healing of the neurological system may lead to gradual improvement. We hope so.

For several weeks when Tina was near 10 years old, she had an episode of blindness, an optical neuritis that might have been a warning sign that she had MS, which is hard to diagnose, because of the wide spectrum of symptoms. MS is rare enough, one per thousand in the U.S., that it can easily be overlooked. It is a heritable vulnerability, with children of MS victims having a 1 percent chance of developing the disorder (about ten times the incidence in the population at large). The likelihood of an identical twin having it is 30 percent, if the other does. Environmental factors also play a role, with children born in sunny climes less likely to develop MS. There is evidence suggesting a connection with vitamin D, as well as sunlight. Tina is mildly allergic to vitamin D, developing an itchy rash from ingestion and even from exposure to sunlight, which generates vitamin D in the exposed skin.

The Epstein-Barr virus, the cause of mononucleosis, not uncommon in children, may trigger the mistaken immune response. Much is still to be discovered.

So far, there is no cure. Various methods of suppressing the immune system reduce the frequency and severity of the attacks, but only imperfectly and at the cost of leaving the patient more susceptible to infections. In 1994, Tina optimistically started one of these drugs, beta interferon; but after a few months the neurologist stopped it when her white blood cell count became dangerously low. Tina found the lump that was a breast cancer shortly thereafter and believes that the immunosuppressive drug caused it. While it is true that immune suppression can allow the development of some cancers, the process takes time, a decade or more, rather than weeks.

The on-again, off-again nature of MS leads to credence in “discoveries” of dubious “cures” that turn out to be just a matter of lucky timing. Special diets, bee venom shots, removal of dental amalgam, and, currently, the surgical enlargement of veins leading from the brain, are among the many remedies that have been proposed and have become fads, but none have proved effective after extensive testing.

When we married, June 1984, the signs of Tina’s MS were virtually invisible, although she did feel more tired than she thought she should. By 1990, she was still able to walk, but only in baby steps; her fatigue had worsened, and she showed some loss of mental clarity.

By 1993, she was using a cane, was barely able to climb stairs, and it was time to move from our duplex. Short-term memory and occasional reasoning losses were noticeable, as well.

Monday, December 24, 2012

TING AND I: Our Decisions About Chlldren


Tina deeply regretted that she was not able to bring Ted [who was 9] with her when she left Chicago [along with Phil, who was two]. For years this was for her, as for Ted, a terrible loss. Our friend, Wendy Garfein, describes (see “Tributes”) a day at Ledgewood Commons when she and Tina shared their deepest regrets:

Sitting at her kitchen table and reliving her decision as she talked, Tina remembered all the struggles she had gone through. She seemed to be ashamed of herself for making the decision to survive, because it meant leaving Ted behind. Years did not diminish her sorrow and guilt over this decision. It was at that point that I shared my personal story and my own sorrow and guilt over my own [analogous] decision years earlier in my life. Self-acceptance has been difficult for both of us to achieve, but Tina’s sharing with me, and enabling me to share with her, has helped us both.
Tina, by sharing her love-story, showed me that day the qualities which I admire in her to this day: her courage, compassion, and integrity. I felt the courage that she needed to make the decision to start a new life and to leave behind her little boy, Ted. I knew that leaving him behind, she felt that Ted must feel abandoned. Her compassion for Ted and her desire to show him her love was evident to me. It was not so easy for a young Ted to comprehend, however. I knew that with time and maturity, Ted would understand her decision and grow to know his mother, as I do: as a woman with the courage, compassion and integrity to live that love each day.

In the tragic movie, Sophie’s Choice, that Jewish mother is compelled by the Nazis to choose only one of her two children to be spared the trip to a death camp. Tina’s choice was not so momentous but still was so very difficult.


Probably three years into our marriage, around 1987, we had a serious discussion about whether or not to try to produce a third child, half-sibling to Phil and Ted.

Characteristically, Tina wanted me to have a child “of my own,” as I had not had, nor tried to have, one in my first marriage. Phil was adorable, so another like him would be great, and a little girl like Tina would have been delightful, too.

At 43, Tina was a bit old for this, and the risk of birth defects increases with the parents’ age. At 44, I was not sure I had the energy for a baby. I had been the eldest brother of five and had done my share of “parenting” in that role. I could take it or leave it, much as I had come to love Phil. I feared that Phil and Ted could feel a bit displaced by the presence of a half-sibling, whom they might suspect we favored. We decided not to have more children.

The next question was: tubal ligation for Tina or vasectomy for Doug? True to her generous heart, Tina volunteered for the operation, wanting to leave open the possibility that if anything happened to her or to our marriage, I would not be prevented from having a biological child with a subsequent wife.

So often in the past, Tina put others ahead of herself. Now, Tina comes first, but everybody counts.

A teacher in her high school, Mr. McGhee, recognized how special she was and applied to her the quotation, “All things noble are as difficult as they are rare.” Noble, rare, Tina.

In retrospect, choosing not to have another child seems to have been the right decision. Our health issues have often been very challenging. Still, we can’t know what we have missed.

Soon we would have our hands full with multiple sclerosis and then cancer.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

TING AND I, Our Marriage's Early Years

From TING AND I: A Memoir...


Bedford Mews, in Bedford Hills, NY, had about a hundred one-level units, with sidewalks, a playground, a clubhouse, and a nice swimming pool. It was affordable partly because it abutted a quarry on one side and a women’s prison on the other. It was between rocks and a hard place.

We lived there from 1984 to 1986, with Phil attending nursery school and pre-kindergarten in the Mt. Kisco area. In fact, we had him take a second year of pre-K, not because he was slow, but because we wanted him to be a little older than average in his grade in elementary school rather than a little younger. We had academic achievement less in mind than the advantage of being able to handle any bullying that might result from his being “different.” There was little or none of that, it turned out, but being a half-year older than average rather than a half-year younger probably helped him socially throughout grades K-12.

Tina let me be Phil’s dad, without interference. It was obvious that I was his stepfather, not his biological father, but that made little difference, except making me extra careful not to fulfill the stereotype of a harsh stepfather. I can remember the only time I hit Phil. He was three or so, and we were walking on the sidewalk, alongside the street. He stepped onto the street, and I told him not to do that. He did it immediately again to test me, and I smacked him on the thigh and told him he had to obey me. He cried. We made up. That was that.

The next confrontation, nonphysical, would come seven years later. He had been acting up. I told him, and I meant it, that I could put up with a bit more of that, but not much more, as his mother’s health had become a problem already. If he didn’t shape up, he would be sent to Chicago to live with K and Ted. He shaped up.

We did not limit the visits or interactions with Ted and K and did not quiz Phil or Ted about what was said or done. There was much friction between K and Tina. Ted was understandably upset. Much later, at eighteen, at M.I.T., he became a very serious Christian, forgave Tina, and–I hoped–forgave me.

I do not remember much about those first few years with Phil, except that I quickly came to love him. I remember being on a business trip and seeing someone with a boy Phil’s age, and I missed my Phil sorely. He was an easy child to rear and to love, with a good brain, good looks, good attitude. At 29, he still has all of these traits.

MILLWOOD, NY, 1986–93

Bedford Mews was a half-hour’s drive from the IBM lab. Tina wanted me to be closer, to have less of a commute. She also wanted the Chappaqua school system for Phil, if possible. The condominium complex she found for us, Ledgewood Commons, in Millwood, was ten minutes from my work. The adjacent Westorchard Elementary School was one of the three feeder schools whose students would go on to Chappaqua’s esteemed Horace Greeley High School. The condo’s ten-acre site was safely away from the highway, the half-dozen buildings were duplexes that even had basements, along with a pool, a tennis court with a basketball hoop, and an adjacent nature trail. Our back porch looked out onto a lawn, backed by a forest. Phil had the facilities and the peers to play with and did swimmingly.

Tina and I would go on slow walks across the condo grounds and up the steep hill to the entrance, then back down again. She was taking baby steps. It was charming and sad, as she showed a pattern of increasing disability that was likely to lead to the picture I had forced myself to envision before I asked her to marry me: Tina stuck in bed, immobile, with tubes attached. Tragic. Prophetic. The thought of her enduring that had been terrible. To think she would have had to endure it without me had been even worse.

The picture of Tina, Phil, and me that is on my dresser today was taken at Westorchard Elementary. We are clearly happy. There had been some kind of admission testing, to determine which class he should be in, and when it was done, the lady supervising the test said to Tina, “He’s got it. He’s really got it!” Phil has proved her to be correct.

Friday, December 21, 2012

THE SHIELD OF GOLD, Ch. 7, Suicide

Three of my fellow police officers committed suicide during my 21 years on the force. You never get over it.


One of these was a popular and seemingly happy-go-lucky sergeant. One day the station desk received a call from his obviously upset wife, saying that they had been arguing, and that he had gone downstairs into the basement in a very angry state of mind. She hoped one of his buddies would talk with him.


As she was talking to the person on the desk, the sound of a gunshot was heard. The sergeant had put the gun in his mouth and had pulled the trigger. He had done this in the basement while his children were home. Fortunately, at least they were upstairs.


I myself have never felt that kind of depression, that kind of upset, thankfully.


In my years on the force, I’ve noticed two different types of suicide. In one case the act is clearly premeditated. Strangely enough, we would find when we came on the scene that the apartment, for example, had obviously been tidied and cleaned before the individual took his life. Sometimes the victim would be naked or nearly so, and the clothes were neatly folded and put aside. It reminded me a little bit of how my mother would tell us to make sure we had clean underwear on before we went out, just in case we had to go to the hospital. I like to think she was just joking.


In the cases where the suicide was thought out beforehand, I wondered why some of these people chose rather painful methods to end their lives. If you jump from a building to the ground below, you know it’s going to hurt. Some other methods, and I won’t detail them here, are a lot less painful. You would hate to get most of the way down on your fall toward the ground or toward the East River or Hudson River and suddenly have second thoughts. Too late.


Often the suicide is the product of the brain made unclear by drugs or alcohol or clouded by anger.


The correct procedure in suicide cases is for the patrolman to stay, to protect the integrity of the scene, to await the detectives and the medical examiner. This wait might be for many hours, and when I had this duty, I would contemplate what could lead someone to take his life. I know that in the case of our sergeant, I was not the only one who asked himself whether there was something we could have done, something we could’ve said that would’ve helped prevent the tragedy that ensued.


Investigating such a scene is very much like solving a puzzle. Imagine you found someone lying on the sidewalk, clearly having hit the pavement after leaving the window that is wide open several floors above. He could’ve jumped. He could’ve been fixing something and simply fallen. He could’ve been pushed. How do you know?


You try to work things backward and rewind the film of the person’s life. The body’s position may give you a clue as to whether he jumped or fell or was pushed. Going back upstairs into the apartment, you look to see if there is a note, often present in a premeditated suicide. Lacking a note, you look for an address book or phone book that might indicate he had recently called someone, perhaps to announce what he was going to do or perhaps engaging in an argument that led to this desperate move. You look for evidence that someone else may have been present at the time. That person would at least be a valuable witness and might become a person of interest or even a suspect in a killing.


As a detective, you learned to rely on a combination of your own skills and those of the other trained professionals on the force, including the medical examiners. Some of this has been well captured for television by programs like “48 Hours,” ”C.S.I.“ and “Law and Order.”


Excerpt from THE SHIELD OF GOLD, by Lenny Golino and Douglas Winslow Cooper, pubished December 2012 by Outskirts Press and available from OP and from in paperback or ebook.

Monday, December 17, 2012

TING AND I, Second Marriage for Both


When Tina and her husband, K, split up, they divided their assets and they divided the children: Ted (9) stayed with his father; Phil (2) went with his mother. I had expected both boys to come with Tina, but it was felt that Ted was more attached to K and that K would lose too much in losing both sons. There is no good way to break up a family, and Tina and Ted suffered from being apart. Tina was greatly relieved to get out of that marriage and be my wife. Ted was an innocent bystander. I hoped Phil would gain from the change. I felt K had it coming to him for treating Tina poorly.


Tina and Phil spent much of 1983 at the rural home of my mother and sister. It was an hour’s drive from my workplace, IBM’s T. J. Watson, Jr., Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, so I could easily join them every weekend, as I had during that summer, when I traveled the 200 miles from Boston to do so.

My sister, Diana, recalls (in “Tributes”):

Tina came to live with us in Rosendale with her two-year-old son, Philip. It was a great time –on weekends Doug would come to see Tina and Phil, and we’d all have a mini-party. Tina was a joy to have around, even though she tried to work too hard–for instance, by taking a toothbrush to the corners of the kitchen floor to clean them. Mom stopped her by crying and explaining that we didn’t need things that clean.
Tina had multiple sclerosis. She was dear to us. My mother said she loved her and couldn’t wait until Doug and Tina married

Mom’s home was definitely country, twenty-plus acres of land, a barn, a pond, one or two St. Bernards, some cats. Phil thrived. I can picture him in their glassed-in room, the “greenhouse,” scooting around the dining table, riding a little ice cream truck while we cheered him on and timed his laps. Tina bonded with Mom and Diana. It was a very good situation in some ways.

Unfortunately, Papa, Michael J. Cooper, had committed suicide two years earlier by hanging himself in the basement. Even though Tina’s coming to live with them helped a lot, the memories of his suicide made the Rosendale home unpleasant for Mom and Diana, and in 1984 they moved to Tucson, to be near my brother Nick and his wife.

When my mother’s house was sold, Tina moved to Bedford Hills, renting a room in a neighbor’s apartment above mine. Heavenly.

The neighbor was going through her own divorce and had two children, one younger than Phil and one older. Phil got along well with both.


On June 2, 1984, a month after her divorce became final, and 20 years after we had so sadly separated at Cornell, Tina and I were married by a Justice of the Peace in the living room of my Bedford Mews condominium. Her friends from Cornell, Judy and Deanne, were there with their husbands, Matt and Jerry, her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Su, attended, as did my mother and Tina’s brother, Gene, and his wife Christy. A photograph on our wall shows Tina and me and our parents smiling happily. The parents had come to approve of this marriage. Her father said, “Love conquers all.” Quite apt.

At the wedding, Tina and I each read a poem to the other. Tina read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem that starts, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” It continues to a climactic ending:

…. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears of all my life! and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death

I read to her John Donne’s “Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” the final lines of which are

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end where I begun.

We were joyous about being married, serious about what it implied. That day, one of Tina’s friends asked about Ted, which made Tina cry.

This time, she got a honeymoon, slightly delayed. I had a weeklong technical conference scheduled for Paris toward the end of the summer. We made it our honeymoon and enjoyed it immensely. During our absence, Diana cared for Phil, a real blessing.

Our wedding rings are inscribed, “A dream come true.”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

THE SHIELD OF GOLD: Ch. 5, "'Street Eyes' and 'Street-wise'"

Early in my rookie year, around 1986, I learned the importance of developing what we called “street eyes.“


It’s the ability to look out at a group of people who are walking along and to detect which among them might present a problem. Sometimes it’s the way they walk, their gait. Sometimes they are touching themselves in a somewhat unusual way, perhaps adjusting a gun in a shoulder holster or at their hip or behind their back. Perhaps they’re hitching up their belts in an unusual fashion. Maybe they’re leaning a little towards one side or another due to the weight of a gun.


Whatever these telltale signs are, one has to learn to read them correctly, one has to develop “street eyes,” as part of being alert in the urban environment, being “street-wise.”


In my rookie year I had a field training officer (FTO) who was a veteran cop, a big six-foot-two-inch Irishman. His first name was Al, and, instead of a nightstick, he carried a long ax handle [without the head, of course]. He was so large that the ax handle in his hands looked like the nightstick in my own.


It takes awhile to get used to the lingo, the jargon, of your fellow police officers. In the patrol car, you are listening to the police radio and perhaps to another radio as well, maybe a baseball game. If your windows are open, you’re also getting some of the babble from the street. Perhaps you have to develop “street ears” as well.


My field training officer and I were driving along the street, which was fairly crowded, and suddenly my FTO tells me to stop. He jumps out grabs a man from the crowd, pushing him against a building wall, frisks him and---sure enough---finds a pistol.


Very few people in New York City have the legal right to carry a concealed weapon, due to the strict gun-control laws sometimes called “the Sullivan laws.” This perpetrator was no exception. He was not legally entitled to carry. Naturally, we arrested him, without further incident.


I wondered that day whether I would ever develop street eyes, this ability to pick out quickly something that might be crucial to my own survival and to the survival of the people who depend on me.


It was perhaps five years later, when I was the trainer, the “dinosaur,” and I was training a rookie. Similarly, as we were driving along, I told the rookie to stop the patrol car, and I jumped out. I frisked the man after I had put him up against the wall, and I found a gun. As my trainer had told me, so I told my rookie, that in time he, too, would develop street eyes. I could have added that they might save his life.


You need that street-wise sense indoors as well as on the street. My partner and I were called to a domestic violence situation. These situations are among the most dangerous for police to handle. Too often, a woman will complain, rightly so, about abuse that she is getting from her man, and yet when you come and try to arrest him, suddenly she is giving you a hard time, perhaps even physically, perhaps dangerously.


Our own practice in these domestic dispute situations was to separate the two parties into two different rooms. In the case I’m going to describe, my partner took the husband into the bedroom, and I moved the wife from the kitchen into the adjoining living room. Kitchens are sometimes dangerous for police, because there are items there that can be used as weapons: knives, the occasional rolling pin, hot water, so we generally try to get the people involved out of the kitchen where these weapons of opportunity are too readily available.


I was questioning the woman in her living room while my partner questioned her husband in the bedroom, and the woman started shouting at her husband that he was lying about what had gone on. She became more and more angry. She got up and moved toward the couch from the chair that she was in, and I just got the feeling that she was going to do something that could be dangerous. I beat her to the couch and pulled the cushions aside, and sure enough there was a loaded gun. My street eyes quite possibly prevented a tragedy.


I thought to myself: I moved her from the kitchen to a “safer” room only to put her even closer to a hidden handgun. Well done, Golino, well done.


For these domestic calls you are often called on to be a psychologist, a lawyer or a doctor, perhaps a priest. They are among the most challenging of a policeman’s duties and they occur frequently.

THE SHIELD OF GOLD, by Lenny Golino and Douglas Winslow Cooper, was published in November 2012 by Outskirts Press, and is available from OP and from L.G. is the head of Gold Shield Elite Investigations, Inc., Newburgh, NY.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

TING AND I, Reunited After 19 Years Apart

From TING AND I: A Memoir...


We make a living by what we get, but we make a life from what we give.

—Sir Winston Churchill


I had been in love with Tina since February 1963. Naturally, within the first few years after we separated in June 1964, I thought of her often. Once she became engaged, and certainly after she married, I assumed we could never be together.

Almost anything would be a bittersweet reminder of her: an Asian woman, news about China or Cornell, tales of separated lovers, certain songs.

The memory was happy and sad, something wonderful, something lost,

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

That I scorn to change my state with kings.
—Shakespeare, Sonnet XXIX

Some nights I would look at the moon and think that it was shining on both of us, joining us in that way, at least.

After my marriage broke up, in late 1980, I wrote to Tina. Her careful, more-than-polite response made me think that some day we might be together, but that it was a long shot. I adopted my “actuarial strategy,” to outlive that marriage.

In 1982, alone after my first date with Gail, to whom I eventually became engaged, I sobbed. This was so much less than what I had with Tina. In time, I came to think it would be enough or at least the best likely to be available. We became engaged. When I realized my fiancée felt she, too, was settling for second-best, I broke off the engagement. She deserved better? I deserved better.


Twenty years after we had fallen in love, I called Tina as I was passing through Chicago. Her response to my short and semi-formal letter back in January 1981, which had told her of my separation from C, had been carefully worded; but that letter did allow the interpretation that her marriage was not going well.

My February 1983 call came little over a month after I had broken off my engagement to Gail, ten years younger than I and more of a feminist than I could abide. I needed to know whether my hope of marrying Tina some day was realistic. As we spoke, it was so comfortable, you would have thought we had spoken the week before. I told her truthfully that I had not stopped loving her during the 19 years we were apart. I told her that what I needed to know was: If she were free to do so, would she marry me? “In an instant,” she replied. Did she love me? “Nothing has changed in that regard in the last twenty years.” Wow!

Many calls and letters followed. We saw each other that spring, each pleased with the other. Lawyers and negotiations followed to settle the divorce from K. All very messy. All worth it, for us. Tina and young Phil went to her parent’s home for a month, then to the Rosendale, NY, home of my mother and sister. We were careful not to give K any ammunition for the divorce and so did not live together.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


“Strike two. You’re out!” I may have to say that to one of our favorite nurses whom I caught sleeping on duty. She has been with us for almost a half-dozen years. In baseball, you get three strikes. Sentries caught sleeping in wartime did not get a second snooze. Should a nurse found sleeping on duty get a second chance?

We have around-the-clock nursing for my wife, Tina Su Cooper, now quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent due to multiple sclerosis (MS). Almost hourly during the day and every few hours at night, Tina gets the scheduled feedings, medications, and treatments that have kept her alive far past the few months of life expectancy they gave her when she was released from the Critical Care Unit. It was home or the hospice after a one-hundred day battle with pneumonia and systemic infections during the spring of 2004. Our lightest nursing shift is the overnight shift, from 10 P.M. to 8 A.M., but it is the one that has cost several nurses their jobs here, as falling asleep on the shift is terminal. They used to shoot sentries who fell asleep on duty. We don’t shoot sleeping nurses, but we do fire them. They are our lifeguards, our sentries, as well as our skilled medical professionals.

“Drowsy” started her shift at 10 P.M. She gave Tina a change of disposable diaper, a local washing, along with a feeding and some medications. She took Tina’s vital signs. She entered the information into our records, “charting” them, in jargon of the profession. Tina was not ready to sleep, so the lights were turned down, some soothing music chosen, and Drowsy sat down in the soft chair by Tina’s bed. This is the chair that got one of my first overnight nurses fired, when I found her asleep in it, five years ago. Two or three other overnight nurses were also fired for sleeping on duty. “Hard, but fair” might be my motto, especially for these situations.

Last night I noted that Drowsy was in with Tina at 11:55 P.M., not the usual pattern. I looked in. Tina was awake, saying something to Drowsy, who had propped her own head on something comfortable and was asleep in the chair. I spoke Drowsy’s name loudly twice to no avail. I shook her by one of her legs, and she awoke abruptly, acknowledging that she had been asleep.

Last night I lay awake contemplating the firing of Drowsy, balancing the importance of not having nurses fall asleep against possible unfairness to one of our best veterans, along with the inconvenience of replacing her.

My old rule on such infractions was “one strike [sleeping] and you’re out.” New York State allows either employer or employee to terminate employment “at will,” for any reason. For a somewhat different case of my having fired a nurse, however, an Administrative Law Judge in New York ruled that a written prior warning was needed and, usually, a second infraction, too, if I wanted to prevent a veteran, full-time employee from collecting unemployment benefits, part of which are paid by the employer. They can be fired, but it may cost you, if you do not follow these extra rules..

To make sure I had “documentation” in case I needed it, I told Drowsy this morning that, reluctantly, I needed for her to write a letter acknowledging both the infraction and that the next one would cause termination. I gave her the alternative that I would write the letter and she would sign it as “read and understood.” She preferred to write the letter herself, and I will keep it in her file. The letter is due from her at the start of her shift this evening. We’ll see what she does.


Drowsy wrote the letter, a detailed explanation of how it happened, chock full of mitigating elements, but ending with an admission she was asleep, an apology, and an acknowledgment that a second such incident would be grounds for dismissal. Fair enough.

Strike one.


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., is a freelance writer and retired physicist, author of Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion, available from Outskirts Press and elsewhere in September of 2011. His email address is . This piece was written in August 2011.

Monday, December 10, 2012

TING AND I: Tina in Chicago, 1967-83

From TING AND I: A Memoir...
Meanwhile, all was not going smoothly for Tina in Chicago. The night before her June wedding, Tina had cried. Too late to change plans. There was a Hawaiian honeymoon trip after their ceremony. As soon as they got to their apartment in Chicago, K commanded her to clean the floors, indicating that kneeling was the appropriate position for doing this. The courtship phase was over. Time had come to make sure Tina knew who would be the boss.

Tina was expected to be a dutiful, traditional Chinese wife, not a modern American woman. Chinese women have often been second-class citizens. Besides her career, she was to handle all household matters, help write his technical papers, and prepare ostentatious banquets for his colleagues. She was working at the University of Chicago library that is dedicated to matters Chinese. As he demanded, she went with him to Taiwan to aid his parents. She taught English there for nine months. After they returned to the United States, she moved on to become an editor at the Encyclopedia Britannica.

While they were still childless, they vacationed in Europe. At least, Tina got to see Paris.

Tina also got to know more about blue-green algae than most of us want to. She did much editing and re-writing of her husband’s papers on the topic, often after getting home from her day job.

They lived in the academic enclave Hyde Park, close to the University of Chicago, where her husband pursued his career. Her husband maintained from the beginning a pattern of sleeping during the day, then going to the university lab to work at night.

First son, Ted, was born in December 1973. Tina’s career paused. Because of the father’s odd sleeping schedule, Ted was repeatedly hushed so that his father could sleep during the day. Ted was shy, introverted, and obviously very smart.

Tina’s marriage was not going well, at least for her. I have a copy of her letter to a friend, apologizing for “mysteriously” breaking down and crying when they had gotten together in 1980, ten years before this letter was written. She characterizes her husband, K, as “a demonic slave-driver whose primary expectations for me were the amount of earnings I could contribute to the marriage or the sum total of productive work I could accomplish for the household. Any thought of continuing my studies was discouraged decisively. I had become a mere shell of what I used to be, with little or no salvageable self-esteem.”

Ah, memories are made of this. Tina has never regretted leaving K.

One of Tina’s friends told me that when she and her husband rode with Tina and K from Chicago to New York, they were appalled that K required Tina to feed him grapes as he drove, grapes which she was required to peel for him before he would eat them. I thought “peel me a grape” was a joke. It makes me mad just to think of it.

In 1981, Phil was born, another normal birth, a healthy, robust son. Tina developed a temporary partial paralysis soon after, which was eventually diagnosed as due to multiple sclerosis. Also in 1981, her husband had a heart attack and ended up getting a triple bypass. Difficult times for all.

In February of 1983, I called Tina again. Their lives, and mine, changed radically


Sunday, December 9, 2012

THE SHIELD OF GOLD, Ch. 3, From Kid to Cop

Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a cop. Growing up in the Bronx, I loved to play “cops and robbers.” We played in and around the tenements, the alleys, the backyards, and we knew all the shortcuts and hiding places.


As an adult, when I returned to my old neighborhood, as a policeman, I was struck by how small it all looked: the hill in the park that seemed so steep to us as children seemed surprisingly small, a shallow slope. The buildings looked much smaller than I remembered them to be.


I graduated from Lehman High School in the Bronx, in the academic program, and I was particularly interested in photography, an interest which my dear dad helped to foster.


Shortly after high school, I went to Bronx Community College, got my Associate’s degree, then went on to work for the John Hancock Insurance Company. I liked working at Hancock. I especially liked taking the various training programs that they offered, and eventually progressed to the “series 6” license, an advanced certification. I also became a Certified Financial Planner. I was promoted from sales to management at a relatively young age and enjoyed training and recruiting new personnel. Still, in my heart, I wanted to be a policeman.


Working at Hancock, often 60-hour weeks, yielded a good paycheck, especially for someone as young as I was. On weekends, my friends and I would often go to a bar that specialized in Golden Oldies music. I like the owner and he liked me, and when he needed temporary help, I agreed. I enjoyed bartending, being rather outgoing myself, and this is where I met a woman who became my wife, as she had come to listen to Golden Oldies with her mom.


Meanwhile, I had taken the civil service test to qualify for the New York Police Department. One day I got called in by the NYPD, along with a large number of other potential candidates who had passed the civil service exam. It turned out there had been a bureaucratic foul-up, however, and a number of us were told we would have to wait and take the exam over again.


I took a second exam set, and passed with high grades again. I waited almost a year, then those of us who had passed were called in for interviews.


They had so many candidates that they were looking for easy ways to disqualify applicants. Initially, my borderline blood pressure problem gave them the excuse they were looking for, and they disqualified me. I appealed. I got a detailed letter from my own doctor and presented it to the appeals board. One of the members of the board said, about my doctor, “I went to school with him.” Apparently, that was all that was necessary. I was accepted for the next step.



The next step: physical exams --- agility, strength, and endurance. I passed them all rather easily. That was followed by the psychological testing. The testing took almost all day; there was a written portion with hundreds of questions, and an oral exam, as well. I remember one of the tasks was for us to draw a picture of ourselves. The examiners then asked why we had included certain details in the picture. They wanted me to explain why I included a watch. I told him that I like to be punctual. They asked what would I do if I were in a movie theater and a fire broke out. I said I certainly wouldn’t shout “fire!” Instead, I would look for the exit and perhaps help shepherd people out.


Those who passed the civil service exam, the physical test, and the psychological test then had to make it through a background check. At this time the investigation was quite rigorous, and absolutely no criminal history of any type would be allowed. [I understand that today, with recruitment levels down, in some cases it is acceptable to have had a misdemeanor conviction.]

Then came waiting, and as you might imagine I was delighted when I got called to attend the Police Academy, the subject of an earlier chapter in this book.

Chapter 3 from The Shield of Gold: A Candid Memoir...  by Lenny Golino and Douglas Winslow Cooper published November 2012 by Outskirts Press and available in paperback and ebook formats from OP and and elsewhere.


Thursday, December 6, 2012


From TING AND I:  A Memoir...

C and I had eight years of a very pleasant marriage. We got along very well. We were friends with a number of like-minded people, including several I knew from radio work. In the summer of 1980, we were taking flying lessons, which was very exhilarating. Indeed, C took some more lessons on her own, getting a bit better dressed for them than seemed necessary. She even bought new underwear. For flying?

In September of 1980, I got a call at work from a marriage counselor, with C there beside him, who told me that C wanted me to join her for counseling, because she was distraught over the recent break-up of her romance with her flying instructor. I told them she had a bigger problem than that: I was not likely to continue the marriage.

I called the flight school and left them a message, too.

The meetings we had with the marriage counselor did not reveal significant interpersonal problems, except a lackluster sex life. Besides having these discussions with him, we each took the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), which has hundreds of questions. Once those results came in, C was told to return twice a week for help. I was judged to need no such counseling. She took two weeks away on an Outward Bound excursion to “find herself.” When she returned, I told her it was over. She begged me not to break up.

C and her family thought everyone related to them in terms of their money: if you were nice to them, they thought it was because you wanted their money. If you didn’t like them, it was because you were envious. I was not going to get credit for forgiving her. I could never trust her again. I resented her ingratitude toward someone who had loved her deeply and unselfishly. She wept.

My family had gone from loving C to feeling estranged by her. My friends Phil and Ginny Nodhturft reminded me recently that they had heard my mother say that a person who, like C, decorated her home with white carpets did not seem to invite company. She continued by saying that a divorce was for the best, considering how C had turned out to be.

C and I separated the week after her return. She was very remorseful. She agreed I should stay at and keep the condo. I was terribly sad. Nineteen eighty-one was a long, long year. I had to re-evaluate the previous nine years of our relationship and concluded that much of it was in my imagination. C probably did love me at first, but her parents undercut this. They saw me as a Republican Woody Allen, a characterization that neither I nor any members of my family accepted. Yet it seemed possible that I might be able to marry Tina someday, I thought. Soon after, I wrote to Cornell to get Tina’s address and wrote her a note to tell her of the break-up. She wrote a sympathetic response. It would be another two years before I contacted her again.

Eventually, C and I “lawyered up” and spent well over a year in legal limbo, finally divorcing in 1982 on the same terms we had initially agreed to. My famous Boston lawyer had painted visions of a very lucrative settlement, but produced nothing. He had the gall to tell me that I would probably have wasted it, anyway, as most newly rich, newly divorced folk often do. Fortunately, I was not that interested in her family’s dough. No wonder divorce lawyers have a bad reputation. It’s dirty work, but someone has to do it, and get paid lavishly for it.

Around that time, C’s precious dog, George, developed a serious illness. She dropped him off at her parents’ house. Would she have stuck by an ailing spouse?

Two years after that, when I was at Bedford Mews, C called me to see if I wanted to “get together” to see her. She would be “passing through” nearby. I gave her a quick update and told her that Tina and I were a month away from being married. She had known of my love for Tina and wished us well. I wish her well, too.

I assume that C felt she had made a mistake in being unfaithful to me. I knew she had much insecurity from her parent’s lack of faith in her and from her own sense of inferiority–nothing she did or possessed met her hopes or expectations, the basis of her need for counseling. She had a physical deformity, scoliosis (a curvature of the spine), which may have made her feel unworthy, though it simply engendered added empathy in me, when we were still close. It was one of the reasons we chose not to have children, wisely.

What did I learn from this?

You rarely know people as well as you think you do.

Self-made men overestimate the quality of their construction.

Some rich people define themselves by their money.

Parents ought to be careful about how they treat their children’s beloveds.

Promises are only as good as the person who has made the promises.

Have a back-up plan in case things don’t work out as expected.

All’s well that ends well, as will be shown.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Our sons, my step-sons actually, visited us at Thanksgiving, Ted Chiang from California and Phil Chiang by a much shorter trip from New York City. We had a happy dinner, with others of our family present, and with Tina briefly out of bed after we all had eaten. Tina is my beloved wife, quadriplegic, ventilator-dependent, fed only through a gastric tube, and we do not eat in her presence, so she joined us afterward. She has been quadriplegic the last eight years of our twenty-eight-year marriage.

The visits are bittersweet, as our sons feel deeply their mother’s loss of ability to move, sometimes of ability to converse. Their visits are welcome by both Tina and me, looked forward to, enjoyed in retrospect.

Ted, in particular, was most hurt by the break-up of his mom’s first marriage and her subsequent marriage to me, her former college sweetheart. In time, he has reconciled with both of us.

Ted’s latest visit lasted almost a week, and he was the perfect guest/family member: helpful, generous, thoughtful, warm. His birthday was a couple of weeks away, and I knew we would send a card and a check, but I wanted to express our love and appreciation more appropriately.

“Ted, if there is something I can do for you that would make your life better, please tell me.”

“You are already doing it…taking such good care of my mother.”

When I told her about it, Tina was touched…as I had been.






Monday, December 3, 2012

THE SHIELD OF GOLD, Ch. 1, Gratitude and Attitude

I’m Lenny Golino, and these are my stories, gleaned from twenty-one years on arguably the best police force in the nation, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and a few from my post-retirement private investigator practice.


My first story captures the flavor of police work in New York City:

Another first-year cop and I were in our RMP (Radio Motor Patrol), “police car” to civilians. Patrolling our NSU (Neighborhood Stabilization Unit, someone higher-up loves these abbreviations), we were getting 30 to 40 calls each night, usually family disputes, sometimes accidents and calls for help, or the frightening “shots fired.”


A call came in, an emergency call--- a child, about eight months old, had stopped breathing. We called for “a bus” (an ambulance) to assist us and raced to the home of the child. The baby boy had turned blue by the time we arrived, and his mother was understandably in a panic. We put her in the back seat, put the little one between my partner and me, and I drove like mad, one-handed, to the nearest hospital, while pumping the kid’s chest with my free hand as my partner gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.


The Emergency Room erupted into a frenzy of activity, and the baby disappeared behind the automated doors.


We waited, with the mother. We waited some more.


A doctor emerged and asked, “Who brought this child here?” We acknowledged we had, and we awaited a lecture, some criticism of what we had done.


The doctor reached out his hand, shook each of ours, smiled and said, “Congratulations, officers, you just saved one life.”


We beamed.


The boy’s mother had a different approach, “You’re lucky. If you hadn’t saved him, I’d have sued your asses.”


Welcome to policing in the Big Apple.


From THE SHIELD OF GOLD A Candid Memoir by a Former NYPD Detective, by Lenny Golino and Douglas Winslow Cooper, published in November 2012 by Outskirts Press and available from OP and from

Sunday, December 2, 2012


From TING AND I: A Memoir...


In 1975 I answered an ad in a scientific publication for the position of assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. The ad almost seemed written for me. Each of the requirements I met or exceeded, so I applied. I interviewed. I waited. I was not chosen. Rather, a graduate student, Dave, already in the Department, who was just finishing his Sc.D. there, was chosen instead.

Dave’s credentials were solid, but not as good as mine. Something was fishy. This came to the attention of one of the professors who had served on my Ph.D. dissertation committee, and he raised enough of a stink that I was offered a similar position, created out of the blue. Not an optimal situation for me; but it was Harvard, we could live in downtown Boston, money was not in short supply, and it might work out. I started in early 1976 with a standard five-year appointment. A decision on tenure would have been due in 1985-86.

Lessons: “It’s not what you know, but whom you know … and who knows you.”

In early 1980 a committee was convened to consider my promotion to associate professor and the granting of another five-year term. I was in good shape: I had published a lot, taught a lot, brought in a grant or two, ran an environmental health management program with the department chairman. One member of the committee, despite my having submitted reams of supporting materials, wanted more. I told the committee they had gotten all I was going to provide. I prevailed. In July 1980 I was re-appointed for another five-year term, promoted to associate professor.

After I had joined the department, I found a group of generally nice people who were not, however, near the tops of their professions, despite the Harvard connection. It would be unkind of me to elaborate further.

Unkind, perhaps, but it is too tempting not to do a bit of commenting. We’ll skip over the married faculty members who had affairs with their students. We’ll mention only in passing that the faculty member I thought least worthy of it was eventually given a tenured full professorship, on the basis of his ability to raise money from Washington, D. C., for research projects in line with the political goals of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was said to spend more time away from Harvard than back at school, no doubt an overstatement suggested by the truth. Two more-talented faculty members were denied tenure and moved on. For myself, I saw the handwriting on the wall: fat chance.

I had no love for the Environmental Protection Agency, and that came to be reciprocated. Funded by an EPA project grant, my doctoral student, John Evans, studied the sources of airborne dust throughout the U.S. and found that open sources, such as roads (especially unpaved ones), quarries and the like, emitted much more dust than did the smokestack industries that were EPA’s preferred targets. They did not want to hear it.

On a second project of mine funded by the EPA (my division at the School of Public Health was the Department of Environmental Health Sciences), I received a call near the end of our work telling me that I was to make a co-author out of my “project officer,” who, as was customary, contributed nearly nothing to the scientific value of the project. The word had come down from the caller’s boss that the EPA was to burnish its “scientific reputation,” for many of them a contradiction in terms. The simple way to raise their stature was to tell their grantees to add some EPA names to their papers as authors. I told him that authorship indicated and required scientific, not financial, contribution to the work and that I would not do it. He replied that this would be the last such grant I would get from the EPA. We hung up. Down the hall, a senior professor, full, tenured, the whole works, gave in to a similar call. Not impressive.

“Who pays the piper calls the tune,” but we don’t all march to it.

Boston’s Back Bay

Partly because the issue of compulsory school busing for racial integration was roiling Boston, C and I got a bargain on a floor-through apartment on Marlborough Street in the Back Bay, a mile away from the School of Public Health, to which I walked most days. Because of C’s trust fund money, we were able to pay for the condo in cash. The other floors were occupied by substantially older folk, who had earned their money, rather than inheriting it; but we all got along, and I was chosen and served on the condo board for some time.

C and I could walk almost anywhere in Boston, and we ate out almost every night. Nothing fancy, perhaps Chinese or Mexican or standard American food, but pleasant, and a time to chat and to walk. The grassy mall along “Mass. Ave.,” the Esplanade along the Charles River, the park and the swan boats in Boston Common, the European look and feel of Beacon Hill–all were very nice.

Since we had no children, we did not have to worry about how to find schools for them. Finding parking was biggest challenge. We had one space, for the BMW, behind our condominium building. The other car, the Buick, had to be parked on the street. Knowing the timing of the parking regulations and utilizing their alternate-side-of-the-street nature, we were able to surmount this obstacle. No need, as the wit said, to buy an “already parked” car. Once one unparked, one did have to cope with Boston drivers, who rarely met a traffic rule they respected.

The Back Bay adjoins the Charles River, where I took up sailing with the Harvard / M.I.T. Yacht Club. The “yachts” were actually tiny sailboats, lots of fun. I enjoyed sailing until I nearly got killed, which cured me: The wind shifted. The boat tipped over. I was thrown into the water. The boom came crashing down close to my head. If it had hit me, I might have been killed by concussion or by drowning. Enough sailing. Flying was next. What could happen to you flying?

I started to learn how to fly a single-engine Cessna 172, as did C. It was very exciting to be high in the air and know you could come plummeting down if you screwed up, though the instructor would probably prevent that. Some beautiful views were viewed, and the whole process was not as hard as I feared. C’s affair with the flying instructor and our subsequent separation brought flying to an end for me. Exciting, expensive, and a bit scary.