Close to being brothers

Norm and I were as close to being brothers as one can imagine for 40 years. We met at scientific meetings, and shared an interest in the human brain and had each performed research on animal brain lipid metabolism, were both gadgeteers, and shared a similar sense of humor. What a stroke of luck that I convinced him to leave Chicago for Ann Arbor in 1960. I have read his autobiography, now on his website, and am probably one of a small number people who will read the 74 pages again and again. I'm calling it The Norm Radin Chronicles. The document comes as close as I can to being with Norm one more time.

In it, he describes meeting in Ann Arbor in 1960, in which I try“selling”him on its charms. I made the error, which he describes in The Chronicles, of offering him a taste of a favorite Michigan soft drink, Vernor's Ginger Ale. This drink can make you sneeze and/or cough, because of a high ginger content, and probably needs to be imprinted at an early age. He hated it. Fortunately, Norm nevertheless decided to move here and in the end, concluded it had been a wise choice (p. 59). It was also a very fortunate decision for all of who knew and worked with him. He enriched our lives.

I am sorry not to have met Hollis, Florence or Jesse, and my wife Ricky and I offer our sincere sympathy, also to you Lon, Laurie and Max.

Norm was one of a kind.

Bernie Agranoff

© HBR 2015