Lillian and New Year's Eve

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 01 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1319
  1. Hector O Ventura, Department of Cardiology
  1. Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, USA

    It was some 20 years ago that I moved to New Orleans to complete my medical training. A fellow at the hospital told me about an old blacksmith's shop that had been converted into a piano bar down in the French Quarter. I was far from home and it was New Year's Eve, so I decided to join my friends and go to listen to this remarkable lady “that plays the piano throughout the night.”

    At about 10 pm, the remarkable lady, called Mrs Lillian, appeared. She was petite with delicate features and hands that seemed to be ageless. She politely said good evening and took her seat at the old piano. It was like a scene from an old Bogart film with clouds of smoke surrounding …

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