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  Written by
  Sharla A. Stewart


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Pinned and proud

A three-hour drive across the Great Plains from Kansas City International Airport and 13 miles south of the Nebraska border is Marysville, Kansas. A couple points of interest: the Pony Express Barn and, not to be missed, the waiting room of the Community Physicians Clinic on May Street. There, Fernando Ugarte, MD'65, keeps most of his collection of 4,000 lapel pins, matted and framed, for patients to admire.

PHOTO:  Fernando Ugarte's subcollections include lapel pin sets from the Olympics (here, the 1992 summer and winter games in Barcelona and Albertville, France).  He's three cities (Atlanta, Chicago, and Key West) into a Hard Rock Cafe set.

And augment. Many of Ugarte's pins are gifts from patients and friends; his most treasured piece is a golden spike Union Pacific pin given to him by a patient who retired from the railroad. "I refused to accept it, but he had two of them," Ugarte explains in a rich Peruvian accent. "The patient died later. His warmth touched my heart." Other pins bear logos of the U.S. Navy, Coca-Cola, Nabisco, McDonald's, and NASCAR. Pins from Europe include a rare set he found in Madrid commemorating the parachute squadrons. His first pin, which he acquired 20 years ago at the Taste of Chicago, bears a tiny knife and fork and reads, "We're havin' an eatwave."

Does Ugarte wear his prizes? Of course. "I have pins in all my hats," he declares-about 40 chapeaux, one of which he sports each day. But his heart belongs on May Street. "I keep quite busy with my practice and patients. This is my important job."





  OCTOBER 2001

  > > Volume 94, Number 1


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