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April 25, 2007

Switching Roles


Stuart Bloom was on the verge of his big break as an actor in New York City. He'd already had his photo in the New York Times, and was slated to tour with a Hal Prince production.

Then he got a phone call from his mother in Minnesota. His father had stomach cancer. Shortly afterwards, Stuart came to a decision about his life.

I said [to my wife]: 'You know what? I think I should be an oncologist.' She said : 'I think you'd be a great oncologist.'
-Dr. Stuart Bloom

So Stuart went to medical school and now treats people who have the disease that took his father's life. He tells Dick that the work is deeply satisfying in ways that surprise even him, and that it's anything but depressing and sad. 

Here's the thing about it, though. It's music. And if you can hear that music, what this work is, the music of this work... there's no other melody in the world like it. And if you can't hear it, then you can't describe it.
-Dr. Stuart Bloom


Richard Bryant is a Methodist missionary who moved to Moscow 13 months ago. When Richard was on The Story, he told Dick how gruff he found Russian people: while taking public transportation, Richard fell and people walked right over him. But last night, Richard went to see the body of Boris Yeltsin lying in state. 

I was moved to tears. There were tears. It was hard not to. I would have had to have been as cold as I perceived the Russians on many days to be, not to be moved to tears... it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
-Richard Bryant

The experience changed the way Richard now sees Russia and her people.

On Monday, Dick asked listeners for any personal recollections they may have about Boris Yeltsin. JoAnne Van Tuyl was one of those who responded. She teaches Russian literature at Duke University, and she tells Dick about the time she was in St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, known then as Leningrad. Churches had previously been shut down or desecrated by the Soviet government. But on the occasion of the re-opening of St. Isaac's, JoAnne was there. So was Boris Yeltsin. 

He was shaking hands, and people were waving to him and saluting him and saying God bless you, and long live Yeltsin... he was clearly making a statement by being there.
-JoAnne Van Tuyl

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