7-6-2011 – Dr. Hildy and Dr. Rock Brynner
1st Hour: “Dark Remedy: The Impact of Thalidomide and Its Revival as a Vital Medicine” by Dr. Rock Brynner
2nd Hour: “Empire & Odyssey: The Brynners in Far East Russia and Beyond” by Dr. Rock Brynner
HOUR 1 AUDIO: Dr. Rock Brynner – The Impact of Thalidomide and Its Revival as a Vital Medicine – Hr 1
HOUR 2 AUDIO: Dr. Rock Brynner -Empire _ Odyssey_ The Brynners in Far East Russia and Beyond – Hr 2
On July 6, 2011, Dr. Staninger welcomed guest Dr. Rock Brynner. Diversity is Dr. Brynner’s middle name. His occupations have run the gamut from street clown and farmer to prolific author, and even though he’s an adjunct Professor of History at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., with a Masters Degree in philosophy and a PhD in history, he’s no stuffy professor. He’s given to using words like “groovy”.
Brynner’s birth name is actually Yul Brynner Jr., son of the late actor Yul Brynner. Nonetheless, he has made his own way in the world without trading in on his father’s fame. And along the way as a kid of six, he adopted the “Rock” moniker from prizefighter Rocky Graziano.
Brynner, who has fancied Borsalino style hats since his late teens, is a true Renaissance man. “I’ve loved everything I’ve done. I started a little hamburger stand called The Hard Rock Café and a Malibu sushi restaurant called Something’s Fishy. It’s still there.”
Brynner has also been a pilot, a Broadway actor, road manager for Bob Dylan and the Band, and he spent four years as Muhammad Ali’s bodyguard. “I promoted a fight of his in Dublin,” said Brynner. “I had to be fast on my feet and quick with my hands. I did not need to be brutish.”
A number of years ago, Brynner hosted a Saturday radio show, “Rock Brynner’s Intellectual Free Circus and Free Kissing Lessons”. “It was a big hit in Hudson Valley (N.Y.) and with Vassar College. In ’83, I was asked to give a sermon. I said, ‘My only qualification is that I’m a sinner. That’s how my karma ran over my dogma.’”
Brynner, who walks six miles a day, five days a week, gives no hint that he once considered taking his life because of a serious autoimmune disorder, pyoderma gangrenosum, which caused deep lesions on his body. “It was caused by intestinal collapse,” he says. “The problem was resolved when one foot of my intestines was removed 12 years ago.”
Much earlier, before surgery, Brynner had obtained remission by turning to thalidomide, the very same drug that deformed so many babies decades ago. It has also been used to create total remission in 99% of thousands of lepers in 52 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
Brynner, who has written six books, is on track and looking forward to his next “transformation”. “I am driven by curiosity – for better and for worse.”