When former dean Marsh Tenney died in late October, we changed the Winter issue's feature lineup, adding an article about his careermost notably his "refounding" of DMS in the late 1950s. The same era was the focus of a feature already planned for the issuethe story of a 1959 plane crash that took the lives of two DMS faculty members. Coincidentally, those were the two articles that most impelled readers to reach for their pens.
A class(mate) act
Recognizing that you had to move very quickly, I applaud and thank you for the superb job you did in assembling the tribute to Marsh Tenney ["End of an Era," Winter 2000]. We all acknowledge that the life and ultimate passing of every individual makes a difference to those who were impacted by that life. Yet, among these, some are more special than others. Marsh Tenney was one of those, and I am con- fident that if they could be surveyed, his 21 DMS classmates (I am one of them) would agree.
Thank you for reminding all of us what a difference one individual can make.
Merlin K. DuVal, M.D.
DuVal was the founding dean of the University of Arizona Medical School and assistant secretary for health in the federal government.
A remarkable legacy
Congratulations on the splendid tribute to Marsh Tenney, especially since it was produced with such promptitude. I am additionally grateful for the opportunity to represent DMS '44 in honoring his memory.
I had one twinge of concern,
however, about the "End of an
Era" title. It was certainly appropriate
in the sense that Marsh
was such a rare person that it is
not likely there will be another
to match him for some time to
come. But in another sense, his
death was not the end of an era.
With his brilliant and tireless
pursuit of his ideals and especially
of his larger-than-self goals, he
built an institution that will continue
to thrive. He left a remarkable
legacy, abundantly evidenced
by the thoughts of his
colleagues, which you so skillfully
assembled. Thank you again.
Donald Burnham, M.D.
It actually was the very point Burnham makesthat Tenney left behind a thriving, world-class institution which we had intended to suggest with that title; we apologize if it seemed equivocal. Our thought had been that the death of the institution's "refounding" dean marked the end of an era with a direct connection at the leadership level to those precarious days.
As an addition to the recent expression of sentiment upon the death of Marsh Tenney, I would like to share some remarks made in 1984, when the University of Rochester conferred an honorary degree on Marsh:
"Acknowledged world leader in research on comparative cardiorespiratory physiology, Dr. Tenney is also widely respected as the architect of the four-year medical school at Dartmouth.
"After receiving the M.D. degree from Cornell University in 1946, Dr. Tenney came to Strong Memorial Hospital as a resident and subsequently served as a member of the faculties in medicine and physiology until 1956. Then, at the age of 34, he returned to Dartmouth College, his undergraduate institution, as professor and chairman of physiology and associate dean. He became to Dartmouth what George Hoyt Whipple was to Rochester, each molding his school to high standards of excellence through personal leadership and scholarly example. In both schools, he created an atmosphere of intellectual ferment, finding research opportunities at every turn, and catalyzing ideas for others.
"His driving curiosity has led to imaginative research using manatees, birds, llama, and human beings in order to understand the limits and controls of vertebrate respiration. His rigorous, quantitative approach to comparative physiology is a delight and inspiration to all. His scholarly interests range from mathematics to the history of science, from the Chinese language to the archaeology of Mayan civilization.
"In honoring Dr. Tenney, we salute an exciting medical companion and statesman."
And so do those who were his
colleagues at Dartmouth.
Radford C. Tanzer, M.D.
Tanzer is an emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Dartmouth.
Remembering the revolution
When, in April of 1955, I came from Switzerland to join the old Department of Physiology at DMS under Clarence Campbell, I had no inkling of the glorious revolution to come. For, in 1956, Marsh Tenney arrived to refound Dartmouth Medical School and to rebuild the Department of Physiology. It was an exciting time under his leadership, full of devotion and enthusiasm. Particularly memorable were our high-altitude expeditions to White Mountain, Calif., in 1959 and to Morococha, Peru, in 1961. My Dartmouth years were important for me also as preparation for my professorship at the University of Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, after 1961.
With his last letter to me,
dated May 28, 2000, Marsh sent
two photos "capturing the last
minutes in the life of Medical
North Laboratory"a historic
building that housed the physiology
department in the period
before we all occupied the new
building that opened in 1960. In
this historic building, Marsh and
I met and started working. Marsh
wrote of his fond memories, with
which I can only concur in gratitude
Ferdinand Kreuzer, M.D.
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
These sentiments were intended for inclusion in the feature about Tenney in the Winter issuebut, although Kreuzer air-mailed them from Europe, they took three months to arrive in Hanover. "Marsh has meant so much in my own life that I am extremely anxious to have my contribution included," he wrote. We are happy to share, a bit belatedly, his reflections. One more contribution that arrived too late for the Winter issue from another one of Tenney's European colleaguesfollows.
More on Marsh Tenney
I was touched by the invitation to formally pay tribute to Marsh Tenney; his death indeed marks the loss of an outstanding devotee of Dartmouth.
My wife, Marie, and I were fortunate to spend part of the autumn of 1974 as members of your tight-knit, friendly community. We were impressed by Marsh's stature (au figure) at our first encounter and remained under the spellwhich helped us to understand why his peers and his young colleagues alike revered him. His prestige probably stemmed to a significant extent from his keen interest in Far Eastern cultures. Being guests of his one evening during our stay provided us with the opportunity to enjoy his and Mrs. Tenney's hospitality, while appreciating the refined atmosphere of their home and getting a glimpse of their impressive library.
I envy you, dear Dartmouth
friends, for having been in a po-
sition to benefit from Marsh's
wisdom, his thoughts, and his
advice over the years. His legacy
is already sizable; no doubt it will
continue to develop over the
years, because Marsh was un
sage, as we say in French.
Jean Crabbe, M.D.
We're always glad to hear from readers whether it's a letter from a longtime subscriber who's weighing in with an opinion, or a note from someone who would like to become a longtime subscriber. In fact, we are happy to send Dartmouth Medicineon a complimentary basisto anyone who is interested in the subjects that are covered in the magazine. We regret, however, that the complimentary subscription offer can be extended only to addresses in North America. Both subscription requests and letters to the editor may be sent to: Editor, Dartmouth Medicine, One Medical Center Drive (HB 7070), Lebanon, NH 03756, or via e-mail to: email@example.com. Letters for publication may be edited for clarity or length.
My wife and I read with great interest the article titled "Unforgiving Forests" in the Winter 2000 issue. Drs. Miller and Nice were very involved in teaching us pathology and parasitology in our second year at DMS, and at our senior picnic, held along the banks of the Connecticut River, took us for seaplane rides over the Upper Valley. In addition, Dr. Quinn was my senior resident in 1954 at the VA Hospital, and I have fond memories of his tutelage and friendship. We also lived for a while near his young family in Sachem Village, the College's housing complex for married students and residents. On the day of the crash, my wife and I were downhill skiing at Suicide Six and well remember the high wind and sudden squalls that struck us, severely limiting our visibility for a period of time.
Several points that came through the hospital grapevine at that time (so the reliability of this information is definitely in question) have stuck with me to this day. There is no question that Dr. Miller was an experienced and cautious pilot and outdoorsman, but my understanding was that this was a new plane, and he had not yet had a chance to transfer his survival equipment to the new plane at the time of the fatal flight. It was also suspected that one factor in- fluencing his decision to "make a run for it" was that the new plane was faster than his previous one. Furthermore, the reason I heard for Dr. Miller's having not refiled a flight plan was that he had a habit of taking off for a first-hand look at a reported weather front before deciding whether to proceed.
Finally, I also recall a bit of information whose veracity is not in any question. My best friend in residency (and thereafter) was Dr. Harry C. McDade, who had practiced in Lincoln, N.H., before service in the Navy during the Korean conflict. On his discharge, he returned to Hanover for a full surgical residency, then set up private practice in Littleton, N.H. A worldclass mountain-climber and outdoorsman, he knew the Pemi Wilderness as well as or better than any native of the area and often led parties to rescue stranded hikers or climbers. He told me that from his porch, high on Broomstick Hill in Littleton, he could have seen a signal fire at the crash site on the day the plane was downed, especially if one of the tires had been incorporated in the fire to enhance smoke production. But he did not see any fire.
I should like to compliment
John Morton on a very wellwritten
and -researched article.
The fact that discovering the
Learjet remains took so long is a
testament to how near the wilderness
is to civilization in our
state and how easily it can swallow
evidence even as large as a
Paul J. Lena, M.D.
One piece of Lena's "grapevine" information appears not to be correct. Ralph Miller, Jr., the pilot's son and a second-year student at DMS at the time of the crash, says that his father's plane was not newthat he'd had it for three or four years. And the survival kit, he adds, was simply a rucksack with some basic suppliessuch as food, candles, a hatchet, and a flashlightthat his father used primarily for his trips to the Arctic. Miller, Jr., suspects it didn't get put it in the plane for the trip to Berlin, N.H., because it probably seemed like a short hop in comparison to the northern expeditions that his father made.
These two articlesabout a former dean of DMS and a 1959 plane crash that took the lives of two members of the faculty came in for considerable comment.
That was an excellent article by John Morton. I still remember the kindness of Betty and Ralph Miller opening their home to some of us medical students. I went there several times with my classmate Ed Matthews.
Ralph D. Brackett, M.D.
South Dartmouth, Mass.
A friend indeed
When I read "Unforgiving Forests," about the lonely deaths of Drs. Miller and Quinn and the notes that they wrote in the cold while waiting for a rescue that never came, the story brought tears to my eyes anew.
It seems unlikely, but could it
be possible that the date of
Quinn's arrival at Dartmouth-
Hitchcock (given in the article
as 1956) was wrong? The thing
is, I thought I knew Bob Quinn,
but this would have been possible
only if he were around from
1952 to 1954the dates of my
affiliation with DHMC. I'm getting
old, and maybe the force of
the tragedy made me imagine
that we were friends.
Jerome Nolan, M.D.
Nolan's recollection of knowing Quinn at Hitchcock from 1952 to 1954 is indeed correctbut so, too, is 1956 as the date of Quinn's appointment to the faculty. A fact that did not make its way into the article is that Quinn also did his residency at Hitchcock from 1951 to 1954, after completing his M.D. at Yale and doing a year of internship at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He then did research at Harvard for a couple of years before returning to Dartmouth in 1956 as a member of the faculty.
Your recent article about Ralph Miller's crash was most interesting. I was a resident in pathology at Dartmouth from 1949 to 1952, after nine years in general practice in Lincoln, N.H., and I lived with the Millers for six months while we built a house on Rip Road. I am now back in Rochester after 24 years of living in Colorado.
I thought you might be interested in my recollections of that time. The evening of the crash, my wife and I started off to see a movie in Rochester, N.H. It was so windy and snowy, however, that we went only 100 yards and turned back home.
When we heard of the crash the next day, an acquaintance in Hanoveran aviator, though I can't remember his nametold us that if the storm had hit Ralph, it would have blown him right into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. I considered skiing up Franconia Brook along 13 Falls Trail, but it seemed too uncertain. There were so many questionable sightings. Actually, he was found a few miles north, on Jumping Brook where it enters Shoal Creek. I had fished there. And I knew the Forest Service cabin that he and Bob Quinn almost reached. In fact, on a fishing outing once, we broke into the hut through a high window because the black flies were so wicked. Ralph Miller and Bob Quinn went down a spur of the railroad. The bridge across Shoal Creek was long gone, though, so he never got to its east side. Tragic.
After the plane was found, a girl who had babysat for us in my Lincoln days told me that on the late afternoon of the day of the crash, she went to pick up her brothers, who were skiing at Cannon Mountain, and she saw a low-flying small plane come through the notch and turn back. She reported it to an official, who never passed on the information. How unfortunate!
I was a resident with Phil Nice, who was quoted and pictured in the article, and I knew all the Millers. In addition, Tim Burdicka current third-year DMS student, who is mentioned in the article as the volunteer medical officer for the Upper Valley Wilderness Rescue Team is my grandson.
Anyway, I thought you might
be interested in these recollections.
The story still brings tears
to my eyes.
Allan Handy, M.D.
Be sure to tell us when you move! If your address changes and you want to continue to receive the magazine, just tear off the back cover of the most recent issue, write your new address next to your old one, and mail it to: Dartmouth Medicine, One Medical Center Drive (HB 7070), Lebanon, NH 03756. It helps us greatlysince our mailing list is drawn from eight separate databasesif you send the actual cover (or a photocopy), rather than just your new address. Note, too, that if you receive more than one copy of the magazine, it's because of those eight databases. We're happy to eliminate duplications, but once again it's a great help if we have the address panel from the cover of all the copies you receive, not just the one(s) you'd like deleted.
Your Winter 2000 issue knocked my socks off!
First, Bob Quinn was a classmate of mine in high school, and the events of February 1959 have remained seared in my brain.
Second, Heinz Valtin was my roommate when we were interns at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, before he was recruited by Marsh Tenney as part of the 1956 transfusion of talent that gave new life to Dartmouth Medical School.
This was a great issue, of
much importance to me. Would
you kindly send me three copies
to share with colleagues from my
time at Rochester who are not
blessed with a Dartmouth connection,
as am I?
Benjamin Wright, M.D.
Whenever we have extra copies of back issues (which is usually the case), we're glad to share them with readers. If your interest is piqued by a mention of a previous issue, just write us and ask if we have a copy.
I appreciate the quarterly arrival of Dartmouth Medicine in my mailbox. In the Winter 2000 issue, I was most impressed by the article by Patsy Garlan, "A link to the living." It's a gruesome subject to the uninitiated learning anatomy on a cadaver but her article was quite moving nonetheless. Her description of the body's "neatly organized" interior arrangement was fascinating. Thank you.
Thank you so much for sending me Dartmouth Medicine magazine. I read it cover to cover and enjoy it so very much.
As a result of the recent article on donating one's body to a medical school, I have the papers on my desk to donate mine to the University of Washington Medical School. I thought that I would mention this in the hope that it might encourage other readers of the magazine to extend their "life of giving" by donating their body to a medical school near them.
I pass my copy of the magazine on to my granddaughter, who is a medical student at UW Medical School. She, too, reads it and enjoys it. However, since she lives in Seattle, it's quite a while before I can get it to her. Would you be so kind as to add her to your mailing list?
You do an excellent job with
the magazine. Thanks again for
sending it to me.
East Wenatchee, Wash.
I have long enjoyed reading Dartmouth Medicine magazine whenever I have cause to go to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I especially enjoy the articles about and by the doctors whom I have met while coming to DHMC from Gifford Hospital in Randolph, Vt. However, there is much time between my visits, so I miss many issues.
Would you place my name on
your subscription list, please?
Margaret S. Steele
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