You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Reply #399: Robert Nelson McClelland [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » September 11 Donate to DU
Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-10 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #139
399. Robert Nelson McClelland

The Day Kennedy Died

BLOOD TIES: Dr. McClelland cleaned the suit he wore when he helped try to revive JFK, but the blood-stained shirt he left unwashed.

In crumpled white coats filled with folded papers and stethoscopes and the various tools of the third-year medical student, they file into a cramped office. The walls are lined with books. Andrew Jennings and Jeff Konnert sit at opposite ends of the leather couch while Scott Paulson takes the leather chair. They face a 79-year-old man in a crisp, bright white jacket. Dr. Robert Nelson McClelland, not a large man, has thick glasses and tufts of white hair that match his coat.

This is the students second meeting with the old doctor. He offers them soda and coffee. They are scheduled to talk about pancreatic surgery. Instead they will receive a lesson in living history. When they leave, one student will refer to this hour as the most fascinating conversation of his life.

As they get settled, ready to hear about surgical manipulation of the biliary tract, Jennings notices a magazine on the coffee table. From the cover, it appears the entire magazine is dedicated to conspiracy theories revolving around the John F. Kennedy assassination. Six floors and 44 years separate the place where they are sitting from that moment in November 1963 when the president of the United States was carted into the emergency room in a condition witnesses would later describe as moribund.

Andrew points to the magazine. Were you here when they brought him in? Yeah, I helped put in the trache, McClelland says matter-of-factly. The students gasp, as if the old East Texas doctor had put an ice-cold stethoscope to their chests. With no hesitation, McClelland continues, So youre here to talk about the pancreas

Whoa! Whoa! one of the three students interrupts.

Is there any way you could tell us what happened? asks another.

We can read a book about pancreatic surgery, but this

Well, I feel like a broken record, McClelland says. Ive probably told this story 8,000 times.

They plead with him.

He leans back in his chair, behind a desk covered with stacks of paper. He nods slowly. His eyes close for a moment as he transports himself back to that fall afternoon, just two days after his 34th birthday. The day that JFK died.

It was a little after noontime, he tells them. Everyone knew the president was in town that day. McClelland was in a second-floor conference room at Parkland Memorial Hospital, showing a film of an operation for a hiatal hernia to some of the residents and students.

He begins the narrative hes told so many times. I heard a little knock on the door, McClelland says. At the door was Dr. Charles Crenshaw. He asked McClelland to step into the hall for a moment. When he returned, McClelland turned off the projector and left the students. The two doctors moved immediately to the elevator.

Great DU thread on the subject
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » September 11 Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC