Hynda at Work
Revised July 6, 2004
This is Hynda arriving for her first day of work.
Anniversary Parties for ISS
The last week of June was the 70th anniversary of the institute where Hynda is working on sabbatical. They had some celebrations which included Nobel Prize winners giving lectures and two dinners. We were invited to the two dinners - that is Dr. Kleinman and a guest was invited.
The first dinner was on the roof of the Victor Emmanuelle building. This is the building that you see from almost everywhere in Rome. For example, the picture below was taken from the top of one of the hills of Rome and the building is the one that stands out… the big white one.
I tried to take some pictures of the view after dark but they did not come out. This picture is one of Barbara Ensoli who is the boss of the lab where Hynda is working. If you look over Barbara's left shoulder you can see a horizontal row of lights - that is the Coliseum!!!
The next night we went to a smaller dinner, maybe 40 people, in an apartment that has been owned by one family for 450 years. The apartment was on the top floor of an apartment building right near the Spanish steps. It was on two levels and then you went out on this terrace with a view even better than the night before. The balcony sat 40 people very comfortably. This is a picture of Hynda and I at this dinner. The horizontal lights to the left of us in the picture is St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Notice that I am wearing a new Italian shirt and a new Italian silk tie.
We talked with one of the Nobel Prize winners. Nice guy and has an incredible story besides being an obviously gifted scientist. His parents were Jewish... but his mother died at childbirth. His father remarried right away but the woman was not Jewish and I gather she insisted that he be raised christian and not be made aware of - or have any contact with his Jewish family. It wasn't until much later in his life that he learned of his mother and Jewish family. He has now met them all.
The other Nobel Prize winner was 94 and Hynda said she gave her lecture without notes and was great - she is pretty much blind now but still has a lab and still goes to work. She did not come to dinner either night but Hynda had a long talk with her in the afternoon... her story is also incredible.. Grew up in Italy... Parents did not want her to be scientist... she went to school anyway but then racial laws in Italy were passed in 30s which did not allow Jews to be in school or teach non-Jews or have labs or be in most professions so she had her lab in her garage in her house and then they had to move because of the Nazis and she moved her whole lab. They were hidden for the entire war and she always managed to have a lab of some sort in wherever they were living... not sure what she got her Nobel prize for but she is the only Italian female to win a Nobel prize.
We also met someone named Mark Stern (in his 90's)… the head of the Zachary Fisher foundation... the Fishers were from NYC and are builders..... They are the ones that bought the aircraft carrier Intrepid and made it a museum in NYC. They have built the Fisher houses at military bases for the families who need to be near wounded /sick soldiers. Some staff was with him and they were talking about flying here and there on Air Force One. They are opening up Pompeii for them on Monday for a special tour. It is always closed on Mondays... they have also given a lot of money for Alzheimer and Parkinson research and have given money to Hynda's lab here in Italy for the Aids stuff they are doing... He lived in Italy for many years after the war and speaks fluent Italian. They have quietly given every family of a US soldier killed in Iraq $10,000. Incredible people.