Page 127 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneInnocent VictimsI have chosen this title because people have suffered and even died because of the actions of others. It was a matter of happen chance that their lives eventually touched mine. As fate would have it, I was employed at the university that was located near the neighborhood where I grew up. One of the jobs that I had was as a Radioactive Protection Technician. This brought me into contact with some rather unique and at the same time sad and disturbing experiences. One of these experiences had to do with a friend of my mother who had a son by the name of Al.Al was leaving work one day and someone dropped an ink well out the window of a high rise office building Which hit him on the head. Al spent 11 years of his life in a coma before he finally died. The irony is that the person who dropped the ink well probably never knew the damage that they inflicted upon Al. While he laid in a coma for so many years, the person who hit Al probably went on to live a happy and productive life. One day as I was making my rounds through the laboratories, I happened upon a large jar containing a preservative liquid and a human brain. Written on the jar was Al’s name. When I mentioned to the neurologist that my mother knew Al’s mother he stated, “That was an interesting case.”One day when I was making my rounds with a Geiger Counter in order to check for extraneous sources of radioactive material, I opened the door to a laboratory and went in and immediately received a reaction from my counter that something was over the limit. I opened the door to a refrigerator and observed a number of tinfoil wrapped objects. When I inquired as to who managed the laboratory, I was directed to a doctor’s office, After speaking with him, he informed me that the packages were the wrapped bones of radium dial painters who had died very painful and prolonged deaths. I had stumbled across women who, in their prime of life, had been poisoned by an unseen and deadly substance while simply trying to earn a living. I could only imagine how many years they must have suffered and the many questions that might have had as to how or why this had happened to them.127

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