From January 2000 until October 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity to videotape or witness in action the renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks when he spoke to public audiences about a book he had written and to private audiences about research he had conducted. All in New York City, the venues were Rockefeller University (sponsored by the 92nd St. Y), the Barnes & Noble bookstore at Union Square and various locations at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
As an event-specific autograph collector, at each occasion I always look for event materials (programs, fliers, cards and other handouts) for each participant to sign. At times I will also bring my own printed materials to be signed, especially if I feel I may not be able to obtain any.The reasons: They run out, the sponsor never produces any, only paid guests get official programs, etc. And as you will be able to tell by looking over this archive of mine, it is sometimes easier to obtain event ephemera at private occasions than it is at public affairs.
It was a pleasure seeing Oliver Sacks as many times as I did. And most of the time I was paid to be there - as a lone videographer or on a C-SPAN video crew.
I hope you enjoy looking over my collection.
I am proud of my results.
Do tell others about it.
October 4, 2000, marks the first time I met and obtained the autograph of the renowned author, researcher and professor, Oliver Sacks. I secured his signature with others on an event handout. (Shown here.)
It was when he appeared with other science writers, Natalie Angier, Jonathan Weiner and James Gleick in a discussion about a publication they contributed to, The Best American Science Writing 2000.
The next time I helped cover Oliver Sacks was on November 29, 2001, at the Union Square Barnes & Noble book store, and secured his autograph on another event handout. (Above and below.)
On January 15, 2004, I helped videotape Dr. Sacks again at the Union Square B&N. In front of another huge crowd, this time he was there to discuss his book titled, Vintage Sacks.
What I got Sacks to autograph were a few items I brought with me, two printouts of the covers of his books, Vintage Sacks and Uncle Tungsten, Memories of a Chemical Boyhood. (Two above items.) I'm glad I did because I never found an event calendar.
His later talks...
Beginning on February 11, 2004, my autograph acquisitions of Sacks got a little easier. How so? Because on that date he gave a talk at my primary work place, Columbia University Medical Center, then a few years later came to work there.
Before his talk about Parkinsonism and Tourette's Syndrome, I reintroduced myself to Dr. Sacks as the C-SPAN crew member and autograph collector, got two more signatures and even took pictures. It was fun.
Here is a photo I took of Dr. Sacks signing for an intern. Below, one with me and Dr. Sacks.
This is a copy of an article printout which announced that Dr. Sacks was coming to Columbia University as a professor and its first Columbia artist.
On October 6, 2007, Dr. Sacks appeared at the Alley Citigroup Theater to speak about his new book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, this time as a featured speaker in the October 5/6/7 2007 The New Yorker Festival.
I got him to sign two of the colorful Festival programs.
And still more talks...
On December 12, 2007, I again covered Dr. Sacks at a talk of his at Columbia University Medical Center.
This time he was a professor of Clinical Neurology and Clinical Psychiatry there. (See above two pieces.)
On April 8, 2008, I covered Oliver Sacks when he spoke about Musicophilia, again.
An unsigned flier from his April event.
A month later, Sacks gave the same talk, this time to a large audience of Columbia University alumni during its annual Alumni Weekend of activities.
To mark this talk of his, I asked Dr. Sacks to sign two fliers and a card. (See above and below.)
On January 13, 2009, Sacks presented to Columbia doctors and students of Opthalmology. I also gathered an unsigned flier.
On June 3, 2009, Sacks spoke about Hallucinations. (Here and below.)
It was sponsored by the Narrative Medicine program at the College of Physicians & Surgeons. Check out his cute autograph on this piece.
On June 9, 2009, I found Dr. Sacks in the audience of an event I was assigned to simply set up. And so what did I do? The same as any other autograph collector would: I grabbed two official programs and got him to sign them. (Above and below.)
This and the above autograph are the last few I would get of Dr. Sacks at Columbia. Why? Because the huge AV operation at CUMC was being dismantled, and myself and the other remaining staff were laid off on June 30, 2009.
The last time I got Oliver Sacks autograph was at yet another talk of his at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, this time on October 27, 2010, at a talk about his current book, The Minds Eye.
In attendance as an audience member, I stood in line after his talk and got his signature on an official B&N event flier. (See above.)
I want to publicly thank Kate Edgar, his longtime personal assistant and editor, for her help whenever I needed to secure an autograph, especially this last time. Thank you, Kate.