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Alexander Wolcott. She was married to Nat Brooks at that time, who was from the student movement. It was like the same group, and we live at 299 East 11th Street, and they take the place together because everybody is away. So I come back, I'm there, so I can come home several nights a week. At that time, Third Avenue L, you take the ferry, and you get to the Third Avenue L, and at 11th Street, and twelve, thirteen minutes, I'm home. So I'm back, and we get the bedroom. I come back three times a week, that kind of thing. So I spend the entire war there.


On Governor's Island.


On Governor's Island, until one day I'm on the post basketball team and I'm playing a basketball game, and I go to bed at night, and in the middle of the night I wake up with a fantastic pain in my neck, going down my arm. I didn't know what it was. It was just terrible pain. The morning comes around. It was a Friday night, I remember. The morning is inspection, I just can't stand and I'm looking like that, and I can't wait until sick call comes. I go to the post sick hall thing, the hospital there, and so for the next nine months, I moved around from place to place being diagnosed as acute neuritis, cause unknown. I'm losing feeling in this hand, and atrophy, and I can't sleep, I'm living on codeine, and I'm seeing doctor after doctor, and nobody knows what -- I remember I come home and people look at me, and they get sick, and they're worried and everything. Finally, I'm sent to Staten Island to a hospital called Halloran General Hospital, which existed on Staten Island. It was a converted thing for kids, because I remember we used to bend to the drinking facilities--and I'm examined by a neurosurgeon, his name is Sidney Gross, and asked me to come in, he has all my X-rays, etc., and I go through the whole routine with him. And he says, “Bend down and lace your shoes.”

I said, “Are you kidding?” And I can't.

He described things, what's happening. He says, “Look, I think I know what you got. You have a cervical disk. What I want to do, it's far advanced now, we have a whole ward here of disk cases, and what I'd like to immediately schedule a mylogram for you. If the mylogram shows what I think it is, I think you should have it operated and remove it. Otherwise you're going to have a lot of trouble.”

I tell Anne about it, and we decide that we're going to go ahead. I can't do anything else. The mylogram shows exactly. I remember they're looking at the mylogram, he said, “See it? See the curve?” You know what it means. And they said, “Okay, we're going to operate on you in two days.”

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