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Memorial Service
 
 
         Top left, Joe and George Lewis, New Orleans, 1952.                Joe Bogen in New Orleans, 1952.
                Top right, Joe playing his guitar in 1989.
       Bottom, Joe and the Lee Collins Band, Chicago 1951.
 
          

Joe Bogen’s memorial service was held on August 28, 2005 at the Descanso Gardens, La Canada, CA, at 2 pm. The following is a transcription of the service.

 

Transcription


 

Meriel Bogen Stern

Good afternoon, I’m Meriel and on behalf of my family, I’d like to welcome and thank you for coming here to celebrate the life of my father, Joe Bogen, and to help us continue on to the next chapter in our lives without him. There are those who might be a little surprised by some of today’s readings, you should know that after Dad’s death this past April when we opened the file folder in his office labeled “Joe’s Death” we found, among other things a piece of paper entitled, “Tho’ts on a memorial for Joe.” This gave us an outline for today’s program. For the most part the readings and music were all chosen by Dad himself. I’d like to remind you all that after the program there will be time for refreshments and conversation, and that at 4 pm, when we must leave this room, you are welcome to stay here at Descanso until closing. Now I will ask my Aunt Berva to come up and begin the readings.

 

Berva Smith

Psalm 23: A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my Shepard; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leaves me beside still waters and thus restores my soul. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

And a few selected versus and slightly edited, no doubt, by Joe.

 

Psalm 90: A Prayer of Moses the Man of God.

Lord, thou has provided our dwelling place in all generations. Thou turnest all back to the dust. For thousand years in thy sight are but yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. Thou does sweep all persons away. They are like a dream, like grass which is renewed in the morning. In the morning it flourishes and is renewed, in the evening it fades and withers. The years of our lives are three score and ten. Or even by reason of strength, four score. But their span is but toil and trouble. They are soon gone and we fly away. So teach us to value each of our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

 

David Galin, M.D.

Hi, I’m David Galin. Joe was my best friend for 35 years. I’m proud to testify for him today. He wasn’t always the easiest best friend, I miss him a lot. Sometimes I say Joe was, and sometimes I say Joe is, because it still seems like he’s just away and not gone. As I say, he wasn’t always easy and there are two reasons for that, that I know of. First, he’s a very big man. I always think of him as a little larger then life size. He’s big physically, he’s big mentally, and he’s big in intensity. I mean that in the sense that when he walks in a room, he takes up a lot of the psychological space and he takes up a lot of the psychological air. Glenda once explained it to me this way, our Joe knows everything and then some. The second thing that made Joe a challenge for some of us is that he believes he’s surrounded by fools, naives, and cutpurses of all kinds. And that these evil doers have formed a big organization called Get Bogen Incorporated. We called them the GBI’s. The GBI’s mission was to frustrate him, irritate him, and in general, screw him over. They contacted the natural and unnatural powers to do this. Because of the GBI’s he felt that he had to be ever vigilant and ready to attack back defensively. This made some people think that he was easily offended, but really I think the way to think about it is that he hardly ever really relaxed. It seemed to some people that he viewed all his social relationships as a contact sport, especially professional relations. For example, at a professional meeting at a talk by one of the enemy he might arrange to come in a little late, just after the enemy had started. He would lumber down the aisle to the front of the room; you know how he would do this. He would go all the way down to the front and take a seat in the second row. Not on the aisle but in the middle of the second row. All this time he would be mumbling apologies and grumbling under his voice. The BGI’s had spread a story that he made comments in public meetings that could somehow be heard in the background. I personally never saw him do this. Joe often surprised me but the biggest surprise was that he wrote instructions for the funeral to include biblical and Jewish content. As far as I knew, he was a complete pragmatist. He thought that abstract religious arguments over whether or not this or that existed, or whether this or that had occurred were really useless, because there were no practical consequences from them. He said that he would believe anything if it didn’t matter. Never the less, he wanted these things read at his memorial so we are happy to do it. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever more. The Lord above all nations and the Lords law is above all other laws. The Lord raises the poor and lifts the needy, suckers the sick and accepts the dying. Blessed be the name of the Lord. The Lord brings forth water from the rock and bread from the earth and wine from the vine. Blessed be the name of the Lord who brings knowledge from books and who brings wisdom from trivial and brings light from darkness. Happy is the person who finds this wisdom, even happier those who acquire understanding, for the gain from that is greater then the gain from silver, and its profit is more then that from gold. I think that if you look at the picture of Joe on the cover of the program that really says it all. It’s a very complex expression I think. He seems to be enjoying himself in a leprechaunish sort of way, a large grumbling leprechaun. He looks like he knows something that nobody else knows, I love this picture. Thank you very much.

 

Judy Bogen Gilbert

Joe told me; when you told a story don’t ruin it with extra words. So here are a few scraps of memories. He was seven years older then me but in a way I knew him from before I was born because every time there was a family gathering we saw the same old home movies. So I grew up seeing Joe about two years old, naked, and literally up a tree. It was meant to be artistic. He had beautiful blonde curls and his mother kept coaxing him to smile for the camera by offering him things to eat, but nothing worked. He wouldn’t smile. When ever we saw this scene mom would explain that they didn’t realize he had just eaten some sand, and just after the filming he threw up. She told it as a joke on herself not to guess why he wasn’t grinning for the camera. A lifetime later there was another little boy, Glenda’s son, Glen David. I saw him last at the City of Hope; he had the same beautiful blonde curls. Glenda managed that tragedy as she has managed so many trials, with grace and courage. Joe graduated from high school when he was just 16. WWII was on and he talked his way into the naval officers training program at Cal Tec. It wasn’t surprising he got in, he was a persuasive talker. Those of you who knew him won’t be surprised to hear that he didn’t take well to discipline. So he was kicked out for misbehavior and he didn’t get back to Cal Tec until decades later as a distinguished teacher. But meanwhile, he went off to war as a seaman with his white cap squared off and tilted. With Joe gone Bob was the big brother. Being the little sister, I tagged along with Bobs scout team, pulling a wagon around the neighborhood as they collected paper for the war effort. They also collected scrap metal. If we had chewing gum we would very carefully peal off the foil lining of the wrappers to turn in for scrap. Bob made sure I took the war seriously as we had a brother out there. Another favorite family film showed Joes triumphant return from the navy in his uniform with duffle bags slung over his shoulder, swinging open the garden gate grinning. Actually, he came through the gate three times just to get the picture right. Of course, to me he was a war hero but in fact he hadn’t actually made it to war for a rather eccentric reason. He was scheduled to be shipped out to the Pacific, but one evening he was bar hopping with a couple of buddies and a car full of girls raced by. They whistled at the sailor boys and Joe took it as a challenge to jump up on the running board of the car as it careened around the corner. Here’s a footnote for you younger people, pre war cars had running boards as a step up into the car. As this particular car was a rare, newer one, it didn’t have a running board. Joe noticed this too late and so he was flung off and broke his thumb. He therefore needed a cast up to his elbow and because of it, missed his ship. By the time he got to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the news came that the war was over. But he did have a war of his own. He was still wearing the cast when he went into a bar with a black sailor buddy. A guy at the bar said something derogatory about bringing a negro in. the black buddy thought they better just leave but Joe said to the guy at the bar , “Well now, you wouldn’t find a man handicapped by a cast would you?” and slammed the full plaster weight into the side of the guys head. Joe always laughed his great laugh when he told this story. Who could know he would later be an authority on brain injury. Then I grew up. I was asked to write and article about somebody’s work outside the teaching profession to provide insights for education. Since Joes work had such a profound effect on my own work, he seemed a good subject. I assumed it would be a snap. He would write the stuff about his work and I would write about how it affected my work. I knew he was terrific at explaining to an audience, but Joe had a different plan. Instead of his writing the neurology part, he set me the task of learning. He gave me articles to read which I had to explain back to him. Then he would correct my misunderstanding and sent me to read some more. I whined a lot and he said, “You want it to be good, don’t you?” Of course I did, so he said, “Well it can’t be good unless you know what you’re writing about.” He was hard on himself and on anybody who chose him as a teacher. That could be the theme of his life’s work. Keep studying, accomplish something. I’ll sure miss him.

 

Unknown

Joe never said a great deal about his work, although it was not possible to avoid fascination with his left versus right brain studies and cerebral function. But others here can speak more deeply and clearly on those matters. I hope that his latest unfinished writings, on the location of human consciousness, will be considered further. As the older remaining sibling and the Bogen’s extended family historian, I can add a couple of minutes on our nuclear and extended family as a background for Joe’s life. I trust that others will speak on Joe’s amazing wife and admirable daughters that I’ve only admired mostly from to far away from over 50 years in Philadelphia and New York. Joe’s greatest loss, was as Judy mentioned, no doubt the early death of his only son. Joe and I did share a long appreciation and amateur participation in New Orleans traditional jazz. Big brother Joe was surely the most accomplished of our generation of 16 cousins, although our sister Judy is possibly better known internationally as a result of her standard textbooks for the Cambridge University press as well as her elated lectures around the globe. My own work has been more modest as a city and regional planning consultant through dozens of communities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, and in charge of long range planning for the New York metropolitan region. And for the United Nations development program for Pakistan. I’m still working on non violent prevention of terrorism as well as environmental restoration particularly in China, the World Trade Center rebuilding, and an international mayor’s conference in China on the sustainable urbanization around the Pacific Rim in September. It should be noted that Joe’s brilliant work had antecedents, the striking accomplishments of our mother and father. I recall Joe saying, about sixty years ago, that it was unlikely that either of the three of us could ever expect to reach the level of accomplishments of our parents. Our dad and his work as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and what was probably his preeminent role in the defense of objectors to military service, particularly during the Vietnam War. He lead a dozen cases to be decided in the United States Supreme Court including his successful solo argument in the landmark case Welsh v. United States, which established for the fist time that the constitution must be understood to hold that an objector to war need not have any religion or religious belief but need only be based on sincere established philosophical position. Joe’s mother was internationally known for her integrative broadly creative work as a psychiatrist and as a psychoanalyst, as well as her published lab research following her PhD in biochemistry. She also had early developed talents in oil painting and at the piano. Her father was celebrated for his relief work leadership of the joint distribution committee, both during and after the First World War, and was said to have saved hundreds of thousands of lives as the largest humanitarian effort in history, at least up until that era. To go back further, there’s the tantalizing and widespread legend of the Bogen who was king for a day in Poland in the 16th century.  I believe Joe agreed that such a family background is not a basis for pride as we can only be truly proud of our own accomplishments and perhaps those we have facilitated in our children, and possibly others in whose life we have had a major role. Still, Joe’s life and the life of our antecedents remain as an inspiration and even as a challenge.

 

Jerome Gilbert

My name’s Jerome Gilbert, Judy’s husband, Joe’s brother in law. I thought David’s comments spoke a lot for me in describing Joe, that was so thoughtful. I was trying to think of a phrase to express our relationship and it occurred to me that the one that’s commonly used to describe the relationship between America and Britain was the one that is a special relationship. I want to give you three examples of that special relationship. First, by yards, miles, the most important was that Joe was responsible for the love of my life, Judy. We roomed together in Cincinnati and I would never have gone out with my roommate’s sister, let alone someone only 16 years old. But in those days things were different and we got married, and have had a great life, and am still doing lots of great things. Second, Joe was a scientist in many ways. One of his scientific achievements was a bit militaristic.  We were in this fraternity house and the freshmen had kicked out everyone in the house but the two of us. We were holed up in our room and they came pounding at the door. We looked around for something to defend ourselves with and the only things that looked possible to Joe were the two tennis rackets in the corner. You might think, knowing today’s tennis rackets, that wasn’t much of a weapon but in those days they were heavy and they came equipped with a wooden press with metal prongs. When threatened with assault with these weapons the freshmen retreated and we stayed in the fraternity house. The third thing I’m thankful for, and there were many, but the third was jazz, not any jazz, but the real jazz. Thank you.

 

Jim Cribbs

I’m Jim Cribbs and I didn’t get to know Joe until the late 50s. That’s when his dad got around to marrying my mom. That’s doesn’t make me what your thinking. That made me Joe’s stepbrother. There’re certain times when a very small thing can be very important, at least to other people. This is a story of such a thing that Joe probably never remembered in his life but was very important to me. When I would talk with Joe, like David said, he would tend to take up the air space and I was fascinated. I learned all about the split brain, left brain and right brain being two separate brains. I could take all of that but I had difficulty when he told me the story of Major Grey. Major Grey, most of you probably know, was Joe’s cat that had half a brain. Joe had removed one of the halves but he claimed that the cat was a perfectly normal cat that most people, not including Joe, would never realize had half a brain. Joe said, “Why don’t you come down and watch me do the operation on the next one?” So I did. The trouble was that when I got down there and I had my nose a foot from the cat and Joe made that first incision and there was that little bead of blood, I became really woozy. Joe looked over at me and said, “Jim, go over there, sit down, and put your head between your knees.” So I dutifully did that. I got to watch the intricacies of the operation by studying the intricacies of my shoelaces. But it was ok with Joe and we had many great times after that. I was a good listener and I learned a lot. I will miss him, my family will miss him, and especially my daughter. He was a great inspiration for her. She performed her first hemispheroctomy when she was only in junior high school, on the head of cauliflower. She’s kept the interest in neuroscience and psychology as we speak at Stanford. She’ll miss him, we’ll all miss him. Thank you.

 

Gabriele Rico, PhD

I’m Gabriele Rico and I did not know Joe as long as most of the people here who have spoken today. In 1973 as a doctoral student at Stanford I came across an article on creativity and the appositional mind and I was electrified. I had been working on metaphor as a way of knowing, with no language with which to articulate what I was trying to get at, as opposed to linear logical knowing. But I sort of knew something like that existed. This article by Joe and Glenda simply wired me as though I were on speed. I saw that he was going to be at Berkeley speaking and I had clinical panic attacks at the time, I was going to school with three children and so it was pretty hairy. So I went to Berkeley by myself and sat in the third row. I remember Joe came out under the stage and he looked around and said, “I don’t know why so many of you want to know stuff about the brain.” Then he gave his speech, and Bob gave his speech, and afterwards I wanted to ask him to be on my doctoral committee except that I was from the humanities. I stood there for half an hour while he was entertaining people after the speech and finally he turn to me so I said, “I would like to talk to you about being on my committee.” He said, “We’ll I’ll talk to you.” To make a long story short, my interaction with him all these years literally changed my professional life and my personal life. There is a piece of Joe that many of you probably don’t know, he loved metaphors. I have to be grateful to him because he was so patient with me in my doctoral work to learn the language of the brain, particularly the left and right hemispheres. Writing the Natural Way is still in print in its 23rd year. Here is a Bogen metaphor that has made a big impression on me. Bogen writes, “Lesson one. Everything in the cerebrum is double. Is it duplicate like the runners on a sleigh? Or is it like a team of horses pulling the sleigh? Take one runner off the slay and it wont go. Take one horse away and the other horse can still pull the sleigh. Not as fast, not as far, but adequately. Lesson two. The function of the brain is double. Like a team of horses. Not like runners on a sleigh.” That’s my tribute to Joe. I miss him, I miss his vast knowledge, and I even miss his grumpiness. Thank you.

 

Eran Zaidel, PhD

Good afternoon, I’m Eran Zaidel. I came here to say goodbye to a teacher, a colleague, and mostly to a friend, really a father figure. So it is with a lot of mixed feelings that I am talking here. I will try to be objective but I doubt I will succeed. When I joined Roger Sperry’s lab there were two people who ran the lab or whom we had to emulate, us graduate students. There was Roger Sperry and there was Joe Bogen. Roger Sperry was this reticent figure, it was hard to talk to him, he was thinking alone. Joe Bogen was this flamboyant American gun slinger for me, who shoots from the hip, likes to talk, likes to argue, and that’s just what I needed. So we struck a very close friendship. I remember the first lab meeting we had in Sperry’s lab some point arose and I started arguing with Joe. We argued quit violently and intensely and enjoyed every minute of it. I heard another graduate student say to somebody else, “I couldn’t believe what was happening. These two people where fighting with each other and in the end one of them said, ‘Lets go have dinner together.’” What Joe was preoccupied with, so was I, so were all of us, is really with immortality. How do you leave your mark on the world? He taught me it’s not the goal but the trip itself that counts. He would swing himself completely into one intense occupation after another. He was an expert in jazz, an expert guitar player, I was there when he was interested in opera, when he was interested in cooking and wine, and I learned some of that from him. I enjoyed it. But mostly I enjoyed thinking with him together. We had very different styles, complementary in some ways. He thought I was perverse. I was working on topics that had nothing to do with the important things, right hemisphere language, I thought he was a fanatic. We represented slightly different approaches to science. Namely the approach where you subject everything to critical assessment and the commitment, the belief, the implicit knowledge. Of course Joe had both. I was the cognitive psychologist, he was the neuroscientist. He was very aware of the differences between data and theory. What’s the difference between data and theory among scientists? Theory is what no body believes except the guy that invented it. Data is what everybody believes except the guy that collected it. So it was very important for me to share, to discuss data with Joe and to subject my ideas and findings to his insight. He believed in duality, he believed in twos. He also represented a mix of clinician, scientist, and even an artist. His writing was unique, his style was really beautiful. We wrote some things together, notably a review chapter for a clinical neuropsychology textbook. Mostly we thought together, we argued together, and I thought we loved each other. Did Joe achieve immortality? Certainly. How? By his influence on his family, on his colleagues, on his teacher, on his students, and on the world at large by imparting beauty and knowledge. So it is with mixed feelings that I am saying goodbye to Joe. On the one hand I am angry. I’m angry that he left me, I am sad that I will not have his stories, his jokes. I can hear the same story again and again and I always get a different angle out of it. But I’m thankful. I’m thankful for the great times, for the immense knowledge that I got, and for the opportunity to meet his family and his knowledge. I would like to say God bless his memory.

 

Jim Bogen

I’m Joe’s cousin, Jim Bogen. As these talks should have convinced you, the best way to think about difficult things is by examples. My first example a formal student of Joe’s who now teaches psychology. I once heard her begin a course by saying the students shouldn’t worry that it’s a hard time of day to stay awake during lectures because she could help them concentrate. “I studied with Joe Bogen” she said. “He terrorized me and now I’m going to terrorize you.” I wouldn’t say terrorize but I would say Joe was formidable. My second example is a student, whose name I can’t remember, who asked me if I was related to Meriel and I said I was, and he said Meriel had invited him to dinner one night. I thought, oh good, I’ll get to find out what it’s like to have a date with Meriel. But I didn’t, he said, “We sat down to dinner and Meriel’s father started talking. He talked for an hour, it was wonderful. I wish he’d talk longer.” Joe was such a persuasive talker that if he hadn’t been a kindly and generous person he would have been a menace. Fortunately, he wasn’t. He knew enormous amounts, some of which he discovered himself and some of which he had learned, about the brain, about the history of neuroscience, about music, about cooking, and he was convinced that it was very bad for people not to know everything he knew. As a result, he would spend enormous amounts of energy and time explaining things to anyone who was willing to listen. My third example is myself. I got to know Joe at family Thanksgivings at his mother’s house where I would be thrown into the midst of aunts, uncles, and older cousins who were such incredible talkers and were so cleaver. Who knew so many things I had never heard of that I realized that even if I had the nerve to try to say anything I wouldn’t be able to get a word in edgewise. But one afternoon, despite my efforts to fade into the woodwork, Joe came up to me and said “I hear you’re interested in music. I have some music that people should listen to if they’re interested in music.” He took me up to his shed where he had an enormous collection of records. He played me a record of the Pineapple Rag. That was part of the beginning of what has been a lifelong pleasure for me, my interest in jazz. In addition to sharing knowledge, Joe did favors and kindnesses for people that I’m sure everybody here knows examples of. Mine is the fact that I’m speaking to you now as a retired professor of philosophy rather then a retired postman. At one point I had decided that I should quit graduate school and get a job at the post office. Everybody tried to talk me out of it and failed. Finally, somebody said I should go ask Joe for his opinion. So I explained what I was going to do, and Joe said, “For one thing, that’s the stupidest thing I have heard in months. For another thing, anybody who is stupid enough to want to do that should go ahead and do it.” Joe lived during what I think is one of the dreariest periods of the history of this country. He lived through the Second World War, the Korean War, one and a half Gulf Wars, and the Vietnamese War. He lived to see what I think is the near total deterioration of American politics and civil life. Throughout it all, against the most dismal background imaginable, he kept working on the brain, he kept teaching people, he kept educating people. He and Glenda kept having wonderful food and wine events. He did so with such energy and gusto and on such a grand scale that I think he fit Aristotle’s description of greatness of soul. I wish Joe were here to terrorize me again. I would appreciate it as much now as I always have.

 

 

Marty Weiss

I’d like to thank Glenda and Meriel for asking me to represent the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. In particular, the department of Neurological Surgery at the School of Medicine. We live in an era of hyperbole, when historically average performances are described as superstars and with great hyperbole. He was a man who could modestly describe to you the vineyard from which the wine, that he was poring for you at dinner, grew. He could also describe the journal, the date, that Brenda described the fact that actually taking off the right temporal lobe in man did result in some neurological deficit. He was a scientist as well as a clinician and we all treasured that. In 2000 I was in Geneva and introduced to the chairmen of neurology at the University of Geneva, who’s one of the world’s great epileptologist. Having been told that I was from Southern California he said, “Oh, do you know Joe Bogen?” Of course that would have been the immediate response because in his mind the surgeon who had probably contributed most certainly in California, and perhaps in the United States, to the surgical understanding of epilepsy and its convoluted variables was Joe Bogen. We spent a delightful evening talking about this. I think with all due respect to professor Sperry and for many of the brilliant people in this room, some of whom should certainly be Nobel laureates, it took a modest but brilliant neurosurgeon to understand that a technique for the treatment of epilepsy could be applied to humans from which Dr Sperry could gather information resulting in the Nobel Prize. Joe modestly always referred to Sperry but never took adequate credit for all that he did in the understanding. He was also a great teacher. He shared in our grand rounds and I can tell you we missed him for the past two years since he’s been unable to be with us. He delighted in returning to his alma mater, the educational base he took from it as a student. He shared with the residents exuberance about the practice of neurosurgery, always reminding us although medicine is an art it should be an art based upon science. It is the science about which we all must thrive. For Hanukah in 1996, Joe gave me a book by Calvin Trillion about his father, not Joe’s father, Calvin Trillions father. The last page in the book is a picture of Mr. Trillion. Underneath it says, “You ought to be a mensch.” Joe Bogen was every bit of what a mensch is meant to be. I suspect no matter what your persuasion, everyone in this room knows what that means. He suffered fools lightly; we’ve heard that from a few people. But he treasured integrity and sincerity. My wife reminded me that my kids enjoyed Joe Bogen calling. He would call the house over many years and he would always take the time to ask each of the children, “What are you doing? How are things going with you?” He always seemed to be genuinely and sincerely interested in them and they understood that. He was interested in everyone with whom he came into contact. I join with those who will miss him, will miss much of what he had to add to our lives. We want to wish from our department, from me personally, from Debbie and me, to Glenda. You should just treasure the wonderful memories that he means to everyone in this room and to the rest of the world and to have joy in treasuring those memories for many years.

 

Unknown

I knew a different Joe Bogen then most of you. Sure I knew the dinner time Joe, the wine lover Joe, I knew the neuroscientist, and I knew the neurosurgeon Joe. For a moment now just come with me to a court room in the old Santa Barbara mission revival courthouse. In this court room a trial is going on, a case about a woman who’s making a claim that she sustained permanent disabling brain injury in an accident. There’s a distinguished judge, a jury of ordinary people, and on the witness stand is Joseph E. Bogen, neurosurgeon, and neuroscientist. Dr. Bogen has already expressed, on behalf of the defense who called him, the opinion that his women did not sustain any permanent disabling brain injury as she claimed. He’s now being cross examined by an aggressive lawyer questioning his credentials of all things and questioning his integrity of all things. During the cross examination one of the subjects comes up and says Dr. Bogen is not from Santa Barbara, he’s from out of town. When he did the examination of this women before trial he prevailed upon a friend of his, Dr. A, to use Dr. A’s office for the examination. The lawyer in questioning Dr. Bogen on the witness stand said, “You did the exam in Dr. A’s office, couldn’t Dr. A have come in here and testified to this if this is so clear? Do you know why the defense didn’t call Dr. A to come in here since he’s local and would have obviously been able to say the same thing?” Joe, of course, did not question the credentials at all. What he said was, “Well some doctors don’t like to come into court and be cross examined like this.” The jury smiled a little bit at that and the lawyers eyes brightened because he saw a spot to further his argument that this was a hired guy brought to say whatever the defense wanted, from out of town. He says, “Well yes Dr. Bogen, you don’t mind being cross examined do you?” and smiled at the jury like he had made a point. Joe just quietly said “My father was a lawyer and I’ve been cross examined my whole life.” The jury had a similar reaction and their verdict showed that they agreed with him on his view of the case. I tell you that not because of Joes work as a court room witness but because that tells us something about a trait of his that is the center not only of his work in court but of his other work as well. That is his eagerness to challenge and be challenged on anything. Any subject, any topic, any issue, he was unhesitantly open to and eager himself to challenge, debate, and argue. That is, as I see it, as important to his role as a scientist as it was to his work in the courtroom. It was important to his role as a scientist because in both arenas the ability to challenge, to question assumptions, to argue, to debate, maybe have biases, maybe have views that not everyone aggress with, but to be able to do all that and to do it eagerly and with a smile and with charm. That was what Joe Bogen was to me.

 

Claudiu Simion, PhD

Hello everyone. My name is Claudiu Simion. Most of you in this room don’t know me. Joe Bogen was my teacher for one course for three months in 1998. Of course, that has started a friendship that lasted from that day to Joe Bogen’s last day on this earth. What I want to point out today is that everything in my relationship with Joe was timing. I was fresh to this country, in a new school, in a new life, and wanting to learn. I wanted to make my way in life. Dr. Bogen, I actually seldom, if ever, called him Joe. He was in his last years of life and I have heard from many people the farther they were from him the more against him they were. They called him unforgiving, wild, mean sometimes. I’ve heard all these from all these people and the only conclusion I could draw is that maybe it was these were the later days in his life and he was too tired to fight anymore. He was never mean to me, he was never unforgiving. He was wild but this wildness that he had I treasured because it enhanced my self proclaimed ability to think out of the box in everything from cognitive science, neuroscience, to stock market, or jazz, or wine. I still miss, if anything, I still miss his wonderful dinners and good wine. The timing was everything in our relationship. The second point that I want to make today is that I asked a member of my lab that has had very little contact with Joe Bogen, “What do you think about Joe Bogen?” He said, “Well, the thing about him is his honesty. He has honesty about everything.” It dawned on upon me that this is probably his most defining character trait. He was so honest about everything he said that he didn’t feel the need to conceal it in anyway. That’s why he was mean to some people, he was unforgiving to others. Let’s face it; we all conceal stuff we don’t want to offend other people. So I will always treasure his honesty and I can tell you all this now, besides my parents, Joe Bogen is the most influential person in my life. I will miss him just like everyone else in this room. Thank you.

 

Meriel

There’re three people who really very much wanted to be here today but were unable to and they have asked me to read messages.

 

Diana van Lancker Sidtis, PhD

Thank you for allowing me to participate by proxy in this memorial service for Joe. I am consoled by preparing these comments to be read at the service. I would have loved to participate and personally honor the memory of Joe. Joe was a mentor, friend, and colleague to me since the early 1970s when I was a graduate student at the UCLA laboratory. He was always the most patient of anyone I knew with listening to my ideas, however unformed, about brain and behavior. However odd my question might be he not only understood it better then I, he also took the topic to another level and guided me along. Throughout these decades Joe offered me papers, tests, ideas, disagreements, challenges, books, journal articles, and patients to study. Most wonderful of all, brand new perspectives on every idea imaginable. He provided guidance at key points. Several times he suggested to me, “Why don’t you write that up?” and I did. These interactions continued when I moved from California to Minnesota in 1998. Joe knew about my long time interest in the neurology of swearing so he suggested we set up a telephone call on this topic. We spent several hours on a Sunday evening long distance on the phone discussing the basil ganglia. It was wonderful. Joe’s interests in the neurology of consciousness lead him in many directions. He requested a meeting with a catholic priest friend of mine and with my mediation teacher to ask some questions about the spirit. These meetings were, of course, carried out over very good meals in nice restaurants and accompanied by intensely stimulating conversation. I have enjoyed an amazing range of activities with Joe and Glenda and the Bogen family. Home cooked dinners, coral singing, beautiful lawn parties including our wedding reception, the opera in San Diego, intellectual discussions, and joint participation at scientific conferences. My extreme gratitude for the kindness, brilliance, generosity, and friendship of      Joe during these many years just barely exceeds my grief at his passing. I have so much to remember him by.

 

Fredric Stern

There is little that I can say about Joe Bogen. I’m sure that most, or all, of you knew him better then I did. To me, for most of the time he was my brother’s father in law. However, my sense was that from the beginning he kind of took a bit of a shine to me. He always       treated me politely, with respect, and he acted as though he was interested in what I had to say. I will let you in on a secret about that, in his case I usually only spoke when spoken to. So that what I had to say was often a response to his own questions. I knew enough that when you spoke to Joe you better have your stuff together. If I could remember that philosophy more often I’d probably be farther ahead. However, later on Meriel asked me to initiate conversation with Joe. She did it sort of backwards. I wrote her to tell her what was going on over here in Karachi and she told me that her dad found my missives interesting. An ego with a captive audience that was all I needed. So for about six months or so I sent a weekly email about my work in Karachi, who I was meeting and what I was doing. Occasionally, I sent photos or links of places that we visited and Joe read the darn things. He would write back and ask questions and make comments. I’m only sorry I won’t be able to come back and tell him the stories behind the scenes of what I wrote. Now I write my missive for about a dozen people. I’m not sure if the writing got any better but it has made me buckle down and do what I have to do. And for that, to Joe, I’m grateful. And one more thing, those damned carpets. After a while, Joe asked me to look into getting him a couple of carpets. I took some photos and Joe and I exchanged a few emails. Woe to he who corresponds with someone with time on his hands. Joe checked out more websites and asked me more questions then I knew what to do with. It was a great forced learning experience for me. Lucky, we got the carpets to him just in time and he had a chance to enjoy them. Like most of us, I am a smarter more experienced person for having known Joe.

 

Christof Koch, PhD

Dear friends, like many scientists I am not much prone to introspection and to convoluted talk about feelings. Suffice to say that Joe Bogen was for many years, more then a dozen, my good friend. I consider myself fortunate to have known him. I spent many hours in his and Glenda’s living room enjoying succulent sweet wine. The common theme that brought us together again and again was the exploration of consciousness and its brain basis. As a brain scientist Joe proposed, and vigorously defended, three ideas. Some of which have roots going back two centuries which he helped to unearth. Whatever the mechanisms of consciousness are, they must be duplicated in the left and right hemispheres. That with the existence of nausea, sweetness, shortness of breath, and other qualia, require little if any cognition and may not depend on an intact cerebral cortex at all and the importance of midline thalamic structures, in particular intra-laminar nuclei that are essential for consciousness. Joe had a gift for the right word and what a master of language. He greatly improved a draft of my book which he criticized for clarity, sometimes line by line. I am immensely grateful to him for this service. I could not reciprocate the favor, as he did not fulfill his dream of writing a monograph on his personal experiences with consciousness and its pathologies based on his own experimentation and clinical anecdotes. Let me finish by asking Meriel to recite Mary Frye’s famous verse.

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.

 

Meriel

I also wrote something to share with you about dad. I’d like to talk about growing up being Joe Bogen’s daughter. It was not always easy living with dad, lets be honest. The speakers before me have talked about his strong personality and attention to detail. You can imagine that sometimes as a young person there were times when we wished to have a regular dad. Like so many we had rough times, during my young adulthood in particular. When I was in college in New York I spend a fair amount of time making fun of dad. When my college roommate Beth came out for her first visit we were at the dinner table for a while and her mouth began to hang open and her eyes widened a bit and when we went into the other room a bit later she turned to me and said, “All that time I thought you were exaggerating.” I’ve been thinking about some of the things that made dad a unique kind of father and I’m going to share a few of those with you and tell you about some of the things that I really miss now that he’s gone. Instead of reading bedtime stories, dad would bring his guitar and his footstool into each of our rooms and play folksongs. He also dabbled at song writing. Instead of just going on vacation or seeing a play or something every outing became an opportunity for study. I remember if we were going to go see a play he bought each of us a copy of the script and we had to sit around in the living room and read it out loud several times before we got to go. Before a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon I was quizzed on geology. Before we visited England when I was about nine we spend every evening for weeks it seemed with dad and the 3x5 cards listening to him read aloud the encyclopedia entries for each of the kings of England and illustrating on the 3x5 cards an entire deck of cards for a game he called English Monarch Rummy. Playing with this deck you could match up names like two Elizabeths and three Henrys and get a full house. Or you get a straight with say consecutive dates of the reigns. We also did this for our trip to Italy when we played Roman Ruler Rummy. One time we were on this train in northern Italy playing and this huge crowd of Italians gathered around us, they were wondering what we were doing with their ancestors on these 3x5 cards. Here’s another one, instead of giving us some money when we went out, dad glued a dime on the underside of our watches so we could always call home if we needed to. So after living for years with a dime shape impression on our arms the one time my sister actually needed the dime she practically had to break the watch to get it off. And another thing, trees. He couldn’t just take up a hobby for himself; we all got sucked into it. We were up early on Saturday watering seedling pine trees that he planted all over the neighborhood, many of which are now 50 or 60 feet high, collecting pinecones and seeds to categorize, watering the bonsai, and even going to class with him so as he said we would know how to take care of them when he was gone. Now that I’m the subject of bonsai let me just say that I’m very glad for the last two years of taking him to the class, for receiving instruction and critique, and just sitting in companionable silence in my car on the trips home. I like those trees. Here’s a final thing that I’ve been missing a lot lately. You all know how dad didn’t really go in for chit chat, especially in the later years when his hearing was so bad any phone call or message was so brief, even curt. For a while I saved a message on my answering machine that went something like this, “Hi there, it’s your dad.” Long pauses on every message as if he had forgotten why he called. “Bonsai class on Saturday, are we going? Let me know.” Here’s another one, “Hi it’s your dad. Just looking for your mom, got any idea where she is?” and then just as quickly his tone of voice would change and really sweet and tender he would say, “Goodbye.” Many of you recognize that sound and I will continue to hear it in my head for a long time. So I say goodbye now dad.

 

This poem is called we remember them. We remember with sorrow those whose death had taken from our mist during the past year. Taking these dear ones into our hearts with all of our beloved we recall them now with reverence.

 

In rising of the sun and it’s going down,

We remember them.

 

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them.

 

In the opening buds and in the rebirth of spring,

We remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of the summer,

We remember them.

 

In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn,

We remember them.

 

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,

We will remember.

 

When we are weary and in need of strength,

We will remember them.

 

When we are lost and sick of heart,

We remember them.

 

When we have joys and we yearn to share,

We remember them.

 

So long as we live, they too shall live,

For they are now part of us, as we remember them.

 

 

Notes


 

 

One of Dad’s last gifts to us was this playlist, music to be played at his own memorial. Due to the length of the list, we have chosen to play a few selections at the service and make copies of his complete list for you to play yourself, (preferably in your car, that is where Dad always listened to his favorite songs!)

 

Dad first became interested in Jazz as a teenager in the US Navy. He visited clubs in New Orleans, (where he met George Lewis, Paul Barbarin, and many other “Old Timers”), Chicago, Cincinnati, New York and San Francisco in addition to many trips to numerous clubs in Los Angeles, (including The Beverly Caverns where Joe and Glenda saw Kid Ory among others). At 35, he took up the guitar, and began an interest in classical guitar music and Mexican music. Mom and Dad shared the daily habit of classical music, and in later years enjoyed the Opera, especially Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Nozze de Figaro and Don G.

 

Ferdinand (Jelly Roll) Morton was undoubtedly Dad’s favorite composer and Jazz musician. The “Crave” and “Creepy Feeling,” were chosen because of the “Spanish Tinge” which according to Jelly was one of the necessary ingredients in the formation of New Orleans style Jazz. The other Morton pieces are favorites that Dad would play over and over again. The Joplin Rags are included to give some historical context to the Morton pieces, and because both Morton and Joplin were classically trained pianists, you can hear the influence of the European composers.

 

 

Joe Bogen’s Memorial Mix: 1926-2005


 

 

Dead Man Blues 3:28 (Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers Vol. 4, JSP records: Morton,

Johnny St Cyr speaking, Chicago, 1926)

The Crave 4:39 (Jelly Roll Morton, Winin’ Boy Blues; Jelly Roll Morton/Roy J Carew,

1944)

Creepy Feeling, Begun 3:18 (Jelly Roll Morton, Winin’ Boy Blues; Jelly Roll

Morton/Roy J Carew, 1944)

Creepy Feeling, Concluded 4:30 (Jelly Roll Morton, Winin’ Boy Blues; Jelly Roll

Morton/Roy J Carew, 1944)

Vedrai, Carino (Zerlina) 4:30 (Mozart, Don Giovanni: Highlights, Helen Donath with the

English Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim conducting. EMI Records, 1975)

Symphony No. 15 in G KV 124 3:17 (Academy of St Martin in the Fields,

Symphony No. 15 in G KV 124 3:35 Neville Marriner conducting,

Symphony No. 15 in G KV 124 3:06 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,

Symphony No. 15 in G KV 124 2:36 Joseph Krips, Philips, 1989.)

Lontano, Lontano. 2:51 (Boito’s Mefisofele Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti with the

National Philharmonic Orchestra, Decca Records 1984)

Palm Leaf Rag – a slow drag, 4:40 (Scott Joplin, arranged and played by Morton Gunnar

Larsen, Herman Records, 1989.)

Indian Summer 3:07 (Sydney Bechet, Dear Old Southland: 1923-1949. Played Feb 5th,

1940, Jazz Legends)

The Pearls 3:31 (Jelly Roll Morton, “The Pearls”, Library of Congress, Vol 3 Alan

Lomax Recorded 1938)

Grandpa’s Spells 3:01 (Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers Vol. 4, JSP records:

Chicago, 1926)

Indiana 2:59 (Papa Mutt Carey, Portrait of a New Orleans Master with his New Yorkers,

NYC 1947, Upbeat Jazz Recordings)

Just a Little While to Stay Here 3:39 MX 115 (George Lewis and His New Orleans

Stompers, Vol. 2 AMR, recorded in the Gypsy Tea Room, May 16, 1943)

Magnetic Rag 5:01 (Joplin, played by Joshua Rifkin. EMI Angel 1985)