David Omar White
Tuesday, February 7, 2013
I am so glad that there is this thing in our modern world called X-rays.
X-rays are underappreciated. If you remember, in 1901 William McKinley, who was president of the US at the time, was shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. (Please, Dear Reader, forgive yourself if you don't remember; it was a long time ago.) One of the bullets that entered McKinley could not be found; the doctors failed to avail themselves of the new invention, an X-ray machine, that was being demonstrated at the fair. Subsequently, infection developed around the unlocated bullet and killed the President, who was succeeded by Teddy Roosevelt, who, as President, compelled college presidents to make football at their schools safe enough that the sport continued to flourish and to expand. Football, when Teddy was sworn in, had been regularly fatal to alarming numbers of fine students at great universities. Without Teddy's intervention, I might not be wasting hundreds of hours each year following NFL football. That wastage could have been prevented by proper appreciation and utilization of the X-ray machine.
The foregoing explains the first of the two reasons for my affinity for the X-ray machine. The second follows.
A long time ago, though not as long ago as the Buffalo Exposition, artist David Omar White and I were contemporaneously habitues of The Plough, a bar wherein hung one of his pieces of artwork and wherein hung out many of the intelligentsia (hard "g" please!) of Cambridge, along with some simpler folk like me, who painted walls, not pictures. A few years later when I ran into Omar, on Brattle Street in the Square doing caricatures for a measly $2, I could hardly pass him by without asking for a representation of YHS. (If you remember McKinley's assassination, you will remember that "YHS" denotes "Your Humble Scribe.")
These many years since, I have wondered what happened to that cursorily created comic of me. Today I was doing some housecleaning and came upon an old and large envelope containing radiographs of my fifth lumbar or some such foolishness. Therein I found Omar's work. Without that envelope, originally intended to hold solely my X-rays, my keepsake might have been lost. Thank God for X-rays.