Portrait Gallery

Darn it all Lenore...

The Washington Post, Feb. 8, 1998.

… Outlook offers the following inspiration, excerpted from "Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary Letters," edited by Andrew Carroll (Kodansha).

As a young man, Charles R. Drew confessed his ambitions in letters to his fiancee Lenore Robbins. "For years I have done little but work, plan and dream of making myself a good doctor, an able surgeon and in my wildest moments perhaps also playing some part in establishing a real school of thought among Negro physicians," wrote Drew, who became a renowned physician at Freedman Hospital in Washington, D.C. But as the following letter shows, he was also plagued by a strange malady.

Sunday Afternoon

Darn it all Lenore,

I'm supposed to be here working, but work is the farthest thing from my mind. I'm simply no good at it. It's terribly disturbing, disorganizing, inefficient, demoralizing, upsetting, frustrating, understandable-delightful.The sap has gone crazy, grins at himself, preens, struts, blushes, smiles, laughs, whistles, sings and then just sits in a daze.Got heartburn, palpitation, indigestion, anorexia, psychasthenia, euphoria and delusions of grandeur. Hallucinations by day and insomnia by night. Got misery and ecstasy. Dear Dr. Robbins what is my trouble? Only you can tell me.

Please answer soon.

I'm in bad shape.


I am Still Fond of You, but…, The Washington Post, Feb. 8, 1998, C3. (PDF)

Dr. Charles Drew to Lenore Robbins, Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters edited by Andrew Carroll, Dec 31, 1998, Page 307.