Getting the shot!

So much had already been reported about the feud between cardiologists DeBakey & Cooley. Nevertheless, in 1977, when I relocated to Houston, I wanted to somehow include them in a picture story commissioned by LIFE titled “My Adopted City.”My idea was to photograph each surgeons hands and have them on opposite sides of a 2 page spread. Cooley immediately agreed. DeBakey, however, was adamantly opposed. He didn’t like what the magazine wrote about him in a 1970 cover story photographed by my colleague Ralph Morse. Jamail’s supermarket on Kirby Drive was my next subject. Limousines from River Oaks would arrive & customers would point to a piece of fruit and a clerk would pick & bag it. A lady at the meat counter caught my eye & I began to photograph her. She asked about my project & how it was going. I told her about my disappointment over DeBakey & she said she could help. She was one of the singing trio The McGuire Sisters & friends with Frank Sinatra. She told me Sinatra & DeBakey were great friends & she would call. The very next day De Bakey invited me to make the photos I had requested. The session took several hours. When I was finished he said if I needed more, he’d be available!

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