Friday, April 8, 2011
Last Wednesday, we once again went to Superstition Skies in Apache Junction to enjoy Brant and Kerry. One of the songs they regularly play is "Heartbreak Hotel." (Be sure to notice Kerry's upside-down guitar playing.)
This song always brings tears to my eyes, when I remember a certain story I'm about to share.
"Heartbreak Hotel" was co-written by an amazing woman named Mae Axton in 1955. She wrote 200 songs in her lifetime, but "Heartbreak Hotel," written in 20 minutes, was the most famous. It became Elvis' very first #1 hit in early 1956.
Skip forward to 1997. A very special pre-med student wanted to enter the MD-PhD program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Although she had been accepted, all the funded spots were filled.
Ralph, a long-time friend of my father's (shown here on the right at my father's 90th birthday party), had been a sound engineer for many country stars and knew lots of people in Nashville.
He contacted Mae Axton and asked if she would be willing to fund another MD-PhD student.
She said "Sure, I've never done anything like that before!" Can you believe that? Donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit someone she had never met!
Now - here's the bad news - the next day, she passed away suddenly of an apparent heart attack. So sad - she really was an amazing woman.
But here's the good news - someone dropped out of the program and our very special pre-med student ended up with funding anyway!
So who was this very special pre-med student? (Shown here at a much younger age...)
My daughter, (Doctor) Corrie.