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So Dennis reviewed all of that, and you were present. What did you
say to the staff?
Well, I merely said that I appreciated his remarks and I was
there just to speak about the union and where we are now.
This might be a good time, because you've begun to tell about that
heart attack in 1992, to just briefly summarize what you've dealt with
physically in the years since.
I didn't have a heart attack in '92, but I had developed -- there
had been signs of arrhythmia in my heart, uneven -- the heart was
functioning not normally. After that, my condition deteriorated much
more, became much more serious in 1997, when I reached a point
where my condition was such that we couldn't live in Flushing because
it would mean clearing the snow, doing physical activities which I had
great difficulty doing. So we moved into New York about three years
Just about the time of our arrival, I was stricken by a major health
problem. Up to that for a short while I was going to work, but I would
have trouble and sometimes fall. One day, it was before Thanksgiving,
I fell in the house and they couldn't pick me up, and they had to call
downstairs to get me up and in a chair, and then called my cardiologist
who said I had to be hospitalized.
So I went to the hospital for three and a half months. The cause then
was infection all over my body. For three and a half months I was at
New York Hospital and then at Rusk and Tisch. My condition was very,
very serious, so much so that my doctor, who is still my doctor, was
there then, told me when I left that when I came in, all the doctors
said that I would never leave.
But somehow I survived, I came out. I was confined to home. I tried
to gain strength through exercising more. But throughout this period,
daily I was in touch with the union, with Esther on Bread and Roses.
She would come to visit me; Ossie and Ruby would call, and we would
talk about Bread and Roses when I reached the point where I could
talk. That took place for a long time.
More recently I suffered, this past summer, a fall and created a very,
very serious wound in my leg that takes a long time to heal, to get the
skin back, to avoid a skin graft. So I've been functioning by phone
from here. I occasionally can go into the office, very occasionally, but
I'm still in touch with everything and more.
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