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A Letter from Vivian Thomas

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Dr. J. Alex Haller Jr.
Baltimore, Md.

Dear Dr. Haller –

RE: Article. Johns Hopkins Med. Journal July ‘75

            Being the sole survivor of the [Troika] of “Anna, Vivien & The King of [Cyanfonis]” I have the feeling that is incumbent upon me that I should at least acknowledge our appreciation to you for shedding some light on the three of us for the historians to pick up when all three of us are gone.

            Anna, dear soul, became the mascot of the lab after her contribution. Pop, her caretaker, saw to it that each morning she was let from her cage and allowed to come upstairs in the Surgical Hunterian Lab, where she would mingle with the personnel until her mealtime about 1:00 o’clock P.M. Everyone in the lab knew her and was fond of her. Altho her age as you stated was not known it was obvious that she reached ripe old age as over the years she slowed her pass up & down the corridor & stairway and spent more of her time sleeping in a corner that she had chosen for that purpose.

            The King himself although not too much physically involved (except for his almost daily trips to the lab) was surely furnishing the brain power in this as in all the other projects (research) which were going on and that followed. He always enjoyed saying to me “why don’t you try it my way sometime” when something I was doing wasn’t going just right. It was so very unfortunate that his time was cut off right at the end of his administrative responsibilities. Even coming up to the end of his administrative duties his mind was still as keen on research that one can only guess what would have happened with his full time & thoughts devoted to research.

            As for me, I just work here – I much prefer to leave it all to be expressed by you and others with whom I’ve worked. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the role I have played and only tried to be me.

Thanks for everything.



Vivien T. Thomas