W. Patrick Mazier

1992 to 1993

Twenty-three years ago, Dr. James Ferguson stood where I stand now and spoke to you as your president. He had a message for us when we called ourselves the American Proctologic Society. I was a part of the audience then, young, and full of ambition. I listened carefully; I was proud of our President, "my boss," and I was proud to be a "proctologist." In 1973 we had a name change; we became the "American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons." I felt a sense of increasing pride then as I do now. Today, I stand here as your president, a dream come true; proud to be here and very thankful to you and to many others for this, all of this. I am especially grateful and hopeful that this will be my chance, my opportunity, to bring you a message and to ask for your help. I will ask you to do something for me and for your society, and ultimately for yourself. I will not speak for long, I will tell you a few stories, give you some examples, tweak your imagination a little, and maybe, just maybe, make you feel a little bit guilty.

Please regard the title of this address carefully, and take it very seriously, because this is my message and my heartfelt wish that "together we will do it."

The obvious first question one might ask is "how?" Let me tell you about a man I knew as a child. I was four or five years old. His shop was next to my father's store; we were separated by an empty lot through which a little stream ran. In the mornings I would sit on our back porch watching for the smoke from his chimney. As soon as I would see it I would go running across the lot, jump the stream, and invariably soil my pajama bottoms in the mud. I spent most of the first hour of the day marveling at Mr. Walker.