Memories of Herta Spencer-Laszlo - Theda Kashin
My husband, Philip Kashin, is a physiologist and he met Dr.Spencer at a meeting (FASEB or Amer. Physiol.Soc.) in Albany, NY in thelate 1970s. Thereafter, we met at the yearly Gordon Conferences in NewHampshire where we brought 2 of our children along. She was such aknowledgeable scientist as well as being a beautiful human being whoalways expressed an interest in our children, pre-teens at the time.When our son, Tom, broke his arm, Phil immediately called Dr. Spencer whoadvised a combination of Vitamin C, Zinc, and chicken soup, acombination which healed Tom's arm faster than expected, according tothe orthopedist. When our daughter, Sarah, had her first (and only)asthma attack, Phil was away in Chicago for the year and Dr. Spenceragain diagnosed correctly that "… of course, she misses her Daddy."One summer Phil and I and Sarah, who was then about 11 years old, met Herta at a Gordon Conference. One morning Herta and Sarah metin the washroom, and as they were washing up Herta remarked to Sarahhow she had grown since she last saw her. Herta then asked Sarah if sheeats peanut butter. Sarah replied yes, upon which Herta exclaimed "It'sthe zinc! Good! Good! Good!" These words have since become a mantrain our family, and we all know immediately from whence they come.Phil always contacted her at the Hines V.A. Hospital when he was in Chicago.In our house her name was greatly respected. For me, as a non-scientist, it was Herta's great humanity that was so evident and that struck me most. She was a great lady and theworld is much poorer without her.