Doctor Put a Heart in His Song

--She will get a chance to meet one of her early success stories this week. Dr. Helen Brooke Taussig, 87, the Johns Hopkins University physician who pioneered the "blue baby" procedure in the 1940s, will hear Samuel Sanders perform Tuesday at the university's Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore in a recital in her honor. Although Taussig conducted a 20-year follow-up study of blue babies operated on between 1944 and 1950, this will be the first time she has met Sanders since 1947, when he had the operation at age 9. "I think it will be lovely to see him," Taussig said. In the blue baby syndrome, a child is born with a heart defect that, because too little blood is able to pass to the lungs for oxygenation, results in a bluish skin color and the inability to lead a normal, active life. The operation, first performed by Johns Hopkins Dr. Alfred Blalock, has saved the lives of more than 12,000 children. Sanders, a pianist who has taught at the Juilliard School in New York City for 20 years, took a position at the Peabody last fall. "I wouldn't be performing if it were not for Helen Taussig," Sanders said. "In fact, I wouldn't be here at all. I feel that, in coming back to Peabody and Hopkins, my life has come full circle."

--A mother of five knows the overpowering smell of success after being named Miss Garlic over four other competitors. Patricia Gorrasi was crowned the queen of Garlic Fest II over the weekend with a spray of champagne and a shower of petals honoring the "love bulb." Gorrasi, 49, dazzled a three-judge panel in a Covington, Ky., restaurant with her painted garlic jewelry and pungent answers in the question portion of the contest. Gorrasi received the applause of a packed dining room and a trophy consisting of three garlic bulbs encased in a dome. She deemed the occasion an honor, explaining with a Gorrasi-faces-life shrug, "Hey, I can't be Miss America."

--The "mystery meat" of college mess hall folklore is not on the menu at a University of Illinois dining room in Urbana. Instead, it's likely to be Chateaubriand for two or a Chinese dinner starting with shiu-bow appetizer, or other specialties from other nations' cuisines, all served by candlelight, with fresh flowers on the table and classical music in the background--at least once a week, anyway. Students scramble for a chance to eat at a tiny restaurant in Allen Hall called Reservations Only and experience haute cuisine comestibles. The check: $4.50--plus a punch of the student meal ticket. Reservations Only was created by Maria Ramos, campus director of residence hall food service, who wanted students to experience the best.

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