This week’s Perspectives essay is from another husband and wife duo. Brad Scheuch and Lisa LaFranco are living in Pennsylvania now – busily raising a family and doing very different things professionally. Their son, Charlie, must be about the luckiest kid alive to have such parents and such a life.
I knew them both well, but maybe especially Brad. He was a member of my second class (the Class of 1993) and so classmates with two previous Perspective essayists, Drs. Kevin Malakooti and Sherrie Crow. Brad and Kevin together with John Harris (Deer Park, WA) and Craig Davidson (New London Township, PA) formed an extraordinary group of best friends that when extended included Sherrie and several others. This small group helped create many of my best early memories on the Palouse and made it start to feel like home. They were seemingly EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING, but more importantly they were absolutely hilarious – especially when together. The four guys were looking for work one summer and offered to put a new roof on my 60+ year old barn. I would go out to watch them work as often as I could because it was the funniest thing I had ever witnessed. Picture the cast of Saturday Night Live or maybe the Daily Show coming to your house every day. They were clearly figuring it out as they went and there was therefore some danger involved, but they were also taking the responsibility seriously. That roof is effectively shedding rain and snow to this day; and when it’s long since blown away, I suspect the memories will remain. More to the point, that roof project captured these guys perfectly. Whatever Brad and his compadres did, they made it fun - but they also took their responsibilities seriously. It was important to them that every job was done well. I doubt this has changed for any of them.
After several years in private practice, Brad returned to academia at UC-Davis for a surgery residency and is now an equine surgeon. That had been his dream for many years; he just took a somewhat circuitous route. Along the way he was also certified by American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP), a very significant achievement for any general practitioner. I always thought Brad was born to teach and I figure he does a lot of that now in his own unique way.
Lisa was two years behind, a member of the Class of 1995. As I remember it, once Brad and Lisa came together they were pretty much inseparable. Pullman was more of a challenge for Lisa but she too found some good friends to share the road. Lisa fell in love with pathology early and so quickly set her sights on advanced training. Still, she decided to practice for a while after graduation. When the time came to follow her professional dream more fully, I remember writing her letters of recommendation. We were all pleased when she was accepted into the residency program at UCD and, as we predicted, she went on to make us proud.
Brad and Lisa’s Perspectives essays were written during a lull brought on by one of this winter’s big snowstorms along the Eastern seaboard. Brad’s captures a bit of his remarkable sense of humor. I believe both essays contain useful and important insights and hope you enjoy them. Please note that although I’ve chosen to post the essays separately, they are intended as a paired piece. Part 1: Brad's Perspective / Part2: Lisa's Perspective