Recently, In a moment of serendipity, a voice and memory from Gino’s distant past became reality for me.
During a short weekend seminar in Chicago a few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to meet Yehezkiel Caine, MD, like my husband, Gino Narboni, a physician-pilot. Dt. Caine is an Israeli citizen and a former Surgeon-General of the Israel Air Force. For the past 20 years he has been the director of the Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem. He was in Chicago for meetings with sponsors and donors.
This was an unusual encounter because Dr. Caine’s involvement with my late husband had occurred in 1979 and I had never heard his name mentioned in all those years. At the time, Dr. Caine was a young Israeli captain on temporary assignment in the US to attend classes in aviation medicine at several USAF bases.
While in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Captain Caine visited the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD facility. This is an underground facility buried deep in the Colorado mountains where the North American Air Defense Command in partnership with Canada, monitors and if necessary, launches the US response to air attacks from enemies.
To his surprise, Captain Caine was introduced to Gino, a Colonel in the USAF Medical Corps and at the time, ADCOM (Air Defense Command Surgeon) Note: the word surgeon does not apply to a medical specialty; it’s a title for physicians serving in certain capacities.)
This is just the background for the blog post I’m writing today. I first learned of Dr. Caine’s existence (I knew nothing of their encounter in a Colorado mountain so many years ago) until the day of Gino’s funeral when Rabbi Scheinberg told the story about the two men meeting. Learning of yet another facet of Gino’s personality even as he was laid to rest gave our family a special memory so since Dr. Caine and I found ourselves in the same city at the same time, it seemed serendipitous that we meet.
We spent about an hour together as Yehezkel Caine told me all that he remembered about the encounter. Can you imagine the impression Gino had on this young captain that he remembered his name and the meeting? Dr. Caine has kindly written his remembrances about meeting Gino which I have included in the Third Edition of When I Grow Up, I Want To Be . . .
His story was a lovely memory that we had as we laid Gino to rest. . . especially memorable today, Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2017.