It was hard to believe that there were 43 of us. With a smattering of phone calls and emails, Arun Singh had done it again.
He had gathered our RODEO (Retired Old Doctors Eating Out) group at Spirito’ s Restaurant for lunch.
I was one of the early arrivals, so had a chance to observe as the doctors strolled in. As physicians, they certainly did not lack confidence, but not having seen friends and colleagues they had worked with for years, they seemed a little tentative. Who would they remember? Who would they not recognize? What to say?
“We should have had name tags,” I heard someone say. But it was not at all necessary. As soon as they got comfortable (minutes), they knew. They knew their colleagues and were happy to see them … happiness that bordered on giddiness.
I might be a bit presumptuous in saying that there was a palpable atmosphere of love; love of their professions, love of their contributions, love of their calling … sure… but I don’t think so. It was more.
They loved each other. When they came together, I saw hugs and laughter and smiles and emotion. And pride.
When they saw the esteemed senior physicians, I observed even more. It was a deference to their teachers, who then became their colleagues, working side by side with them in years of sharing and caring for patients and for each other. There was a singular sense of success. They were pleased, now flattered, to be a member of this group and proud of each other.
What a tremendous impact they have had on the citizens of Rhode Island and southern New England. That’s not what they were thinking of this day. They had done their jobs. Today they were just members of a fun club with the feeling of being in a secret society.
And who were the revered? An all-star cast … Merlino, Georas, Nanian, Thayer (my Chief) Dowling, Soderberg, to name the most senior.
It was a day to remember, to cherish, to record.