November 21, 2018
Here are some highlights from a life bubbling over the brim:
- In the 1940s his father, a Baptist minister, invited Martin Luther King Jr., then a Pennsylvania seminarian, to preach at his church and eat with his family.
- At Ursinus he lived in Stein Hall, with George Aucott, future president of Firestone, and Don Parlee, future Ursinus trustee and namesake of the college’s Center for Science and the Common Good. Their other Stein roommates included a crow and a flying squirrel.
- He earned college money by busing tables at a Yosemite hotel, where his customers included Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, who were filming Forever, Darling in the national park.
- At Ursinus he was nicknamed “The Little Atom” for pinning more than 80 percent of his 125-pound opponents. “I had this crazy need to do more than a takedown or a move to get away.”
- He credits part of his success as a hand surgeon to his wrestling weapons: long arms, an iron-like grip and an exceptionally intimate knowledge of injuries to upper extremities.
- He taught hand surgeons in South Africa and Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- He met Clint Eastwood through their dentist.
- He won the Masters World Freestyle Wrestling Championship at 143 pounds at ages 60 and 61.
- He taught legendary golfer Sam Snead how to improve his putting by concentrating on wrist movement, a move he teaches older amateurs with weak shoulders. As he points out, wrist putters perform better because the area in the brain that controls the hands is much larger than the cerebral command center for the shoulders.
- He says his tombstone will be inscribed, “Reconciled what he did with who he was.”