Not Dead Yet

Innovation Life Love
In Innovation, Life and Love: Reflections on Living with Mortality, you will voyage through the mind of Michael Gollin—husband, father, poet, photographer, and international patent attorney—as he crosses the sea of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS. Through poetry, stories, essays, and photographs, you will run across the Brooklyn Bridge, cycle in Switzerland, cross Russia on the Trans-Siberian Express during the cold war, hike up Mt. Fuji (all of which Michael accomplished in his youth), canoe the Everglades, raft the New River, climb to Machu Picchu, canoe the Peruvian Amazon , explore the Galapagos (and rest in a tortoise shell), experience an African wildlife sanctuary, search a Polish cemetery, and race in a wheelchair (most of which Michael accomplished with his wife and three adult children). [He writes one poemNot Dead Yet—with apologies to Monty Python for his black comedy sketch of the same name from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail:” “BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!”] [“Not Dead Yet” in two stanzas]

Michael Gollin

Michael Gollin

Look back, and you will see the international patent attorney, a partner at Venable LLP and chair of their Life Sciences group, an intellectual property expert who has published a well-known text on the subject. He has been adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, has prosecuted patents on enzyme catalysis, recombinant DNA, artificial sweeteners, vaccines . . . , published numerous articles in law journals, founded PIIPA, Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, an international nonprofit organization to provide pro bono IP legal counsel to governments, businesses, indigenous peoples, and public interest organizations in developing countries . . . . What a fascinating life, and one that has touched so many others!

On June 27, 2010, two years before his ALS diagnosis, Michael posted this Amazon review of my novel Well Considered. I liked the review so much that I republished the novel with Michael’s review as the back cover copy:

The past crashes into the future—by Michael Gollin, June 27, 2010″

“This book is a page turner, weaving together the tales of two families, one white, one African-American, as they confront their past and stumble towards their future. The lives of their ancestors collided a century ago, and through a suspenseful plot, they collide again today, in “Patuxent County” outside Washington DC. Morris lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland, one of the most diverse in the country, and locals will recognize this region and its complex history as the basis for his novel. Well Considered CoverThe descendants of slaves and sharecroppers, tobacco farmers and white supremacists live side by side with recent implants. The location is a microcosm for the rest of the nation, and the characters, dialogue, and inter-racial relationships, as well as the action and drama, will hold much interest for all readers. Morris has a wry sense of humor and a deft ear for dialog between characters having many different racial and cultural backgrounds. Also, as we saw in his Vietnam-era novel, Cologne No. 10 for Men, Morris knows how to put together gripping action scenes. And his deep humanity comes across in the way the story resolves. Dick Morris is a clever writer, and this book deserves broad readership and great success.”

During the past year or so, I have had the pleasure of visiting Michael and his wife, children, and care-giver nearly once a week at their home in Bowie, Maryland. This summer and fall, I have sat with him—he in his motorized wheelchair—on his back deck in a lovely wood with birds singing and a woodpecker tapping. We have had many laughs, even though he cannot use his voice now and communicates by typing on a phone-like device that speaks for him. This summer, he returned with his family to the house on Cape Cod where he has vacationed since he was a child. And just a few weeks ago, he published the amazing book that I review above. Believe me, Michael Gollin is a courageous traveler.

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2 Responses to Not Dead Yet

  1. marthafawcett says:

    Hello Dick, I wanted to tell you personally but l don’t have ur phone number. Martha passed away on 22oct. She was proud to know you and loved your books. All the best to you, Bill

    Sent from Bill Vincek iPhone


  2. So sorry to hear about Martha’s passing. Thinking of you in your loss. I enjoyed reading Martha’s books. Here is a review I wrote about Alone:

    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    A Search For Lost Love
    By Richard A. Morris on March 1, 2012
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    Alone by Martha Fawcett takes us into the stars and the distant future–a universe of strange planets, beings, and human-like androids. It’s a love story centered on a beautiful woman–Mellé–and her search for lost love. The stories about androids are reminiscent of our history of slaves and freedmen, and made me think about “human” rights and the rights of nonhuman beings. The book displays Fawcett’s fertile imagination, beautiful writing, and ability to build suspense. The ending signals stories to come, which I look forward to reading in the remaining books of Fawcett’s Janaforma Trilogy.

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