Doc a Memory
1962 The round table at the Renzi was settled into debate about murder I was sitting next to Jeff Kamen, next to him Shirley Jackson, other side of her, Larry Jannifer other side of would be Chester Anderson, maybe next to him would be Michael the Theodor bear. Then me. Then there was Tom Waters novelist in training, and Randall Gerret, poet .When my friend Meridith Hale and Ron Rosen both very bright children simply sat down and joined us, it was part of democratizing our selves. The young man was a bit of a mystery until Chester told me he was a remarkable person, a red diaper baby raised by Stalinist Chinese American Jews His grandfather was the legendary “Big Minh” an invincible Tai Chi Dragon.
Every one there knew that Chester would bring the conversation to catching another murderer. We had one evening stepped outside the Fat Black Pussy Cat Cafe when a body arrived immediately in front of us on MacDougal Street side walk. Chester's philosophy started with Occum and ended with Husserl.
“White male thirty to thirty five years old a cab driver and... junkie hot shot, died over an hour ago. He was assisted out the window by a person of some strength and we best be moving on he's drawing a a crowd.. When the papers mention his death we will know the nationality of the person littering our streets. There may well be an out break of death. the control of the streets has changed hands. People are writing off bad debts. We'd best be moving on.” Ron and I were suitably impressed.
Move the clock forward seventeen years. I was talking with Laura Goldin and Doc Rosen was mentioned. I do a double take when she explains saying “You remember Meredith's friend.” She explained that Doc was in Guatemala doing free work with the indigenous people. A couple of months later we met up at the old Muddies in the Highlands.
We spent a very pleasant evening catching up. Doc was off organizing the Street Medics program or headed up to Rosebud to treat the People there.. A couple of years later I suffered a catastrophic accident. Head an neck injuries can sideline an arts person. And in the Arts the accompanying depression can kill a person. Doc gave me simple diet and told me to check into Kay Starr's class. I noticed that Doc had recovered from being wounded at the Occupation at Wound Knee where a government sniper had shot him. So I took his advise. “Learn martial arts from a woman they cannot afford to lose a fight.. “Being an action photographer I had seen doc and his teams bringing first aid at demonstrations. I would share pictures.
Doc had inherited his grandfather's Tai Chi Drunken Set. He was a master of a very difficult martial art. Done correctly one is close to invincible.
Doc was interested in the spiritual side of human rights and was offended as a Jew with the Israelis murder of Rachael Cory. Doc's politics were “anarco-Stalinist.”
I married one of his patients and he advised us about the the kids, one of them following him into health care and natural healing another a Medic in Portland. Being healthy is each of our responsibility.. We are responsible for the actions of our government as it spreads disease and death. At our last meeting we laughed and joked knowing we might never see each other on this part of the journey... Thanks Doc.