Alamos seemed perfect. Home of the Manhattan
Project in World War II—still a national laboratory for
critical research. Tom started the Orthopedic Group
and Holly managed it. He proposed and she disposed.
Or was it the other way around? It’s hard to tell with
these two who are so intertwined in many ways.
Suddenly their fortune, so lucky for so long, lurched
into reverse. Tom came down with an autoimmune
disease that affected his eyes, making it impossible
to do surgery. Unsinkable, he got an appointment
at UT Southwestern in Dallas to do research on
back pain for a grant from the National Institutes
of Health. The proposal came in second, but out of
the effort also came the Productive Rehabilitation
in tow, they also trooped through India and Nepal
and spent a few weeks in Afghanistan, before it was
invaded by the Soviets. They were “barefoot doctors,”
she giving birth-control injections to women who
wanted them, he pursuing orthopedic surgery.
“It was a tough life,” Holly recalls. “[Now] we’re
spoiled, so entitled. [But then] we were young and
foolish, with no money, and only a book called How to
Travel Without Being Rich.” They did it, on trains, buses,
boats, and what they found, she remembers, “were
After a bracing adventure, nothing pedestrian
would do. They were ready for a settled life in a small
community, but not just any small community. Los
Dale Chihuly, Tortoise Shell Venetian with Pink Lilies, 1990, 26 1/2 x 9 in.