Medicine: The Lost Chords

The toastmaster began the evening with a typical toastmaster's gag: "Before I cut my throat . . ." Not one of the 200 special guests interrupted him with a laugh. Not one of them could. Actor William Gargan was playing toastmaster in Memphis for the International Association of Laryngectomees—people who have lost their larynges to cancer. Their laughter was muted to a barely audible chuckle.

Toastmaster Gargan was particularly sensitive to their plight. His own voice had been his livelihood in a career devoted to the stage, movies and TV. Then, while touring with the road company of The Best Man...

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