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From the Heart
April 6, 2022

My Grandfather’s Blueprint

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Chan Medical School, University of Massachusetts, Worcester
JAMA Cardiol. 2022;7(6):579-580. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2022.0292

The dream began in rural Maine during my first year of college. On a sunrise kayak the day after my general chemistry final examination, I encountered the most magnificent canoe I had ever seen. It was captained by an elderly man robed in flannel, and as it slid from behind a peninsula across the glassy surface of the lake, I gawked. Strips of wood curved from bow to stern, hardwood gunwales ran the lengths of the hull, and a decorative inlay adorned the side. The gentleman responded to my stares with kindness, explaining each stage of the build. As a first-time builder, he had worked for nearly 300 hours over the course of a full year. He beamed with quiet pride.

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3 Comments for this article
Working with wood as a relief from residency
Timothy Sanborn, MD, MS | Medical College of Wisconsin
Keith, Beautifully written story and a beautiful boat. It reminds me of the wooden tables and decoys I made during residency to decorate our first home in Boston many years ago. I still cherish the work to this day.

Tim Sanborn MD, MS
A Thing of Beauty
Terry Glauser, MD, MPH | Medical Director, Medical Education Company
I entitled this to reflect that both your essay and your canoe are things of beauty. Thank you so much for sharing them both with us!
Beautiful canoe and even more so the story behind it
Margarita Brida, Assistant Prof | Royal Brompton Hospital UK
Just a wonderful article, and three generations of doctors in the family.
You should be very proud of your family and your work. Inspirational!