In the face of many pessimistic forecasts I bent to the unrelenting advice of David Lim and decided as president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology to sponsor the first midwinter meeting in 1978. There were fears, literally, that nobody would show up in that unheard of place with the funny name. As the critics would say, who needs another meeting to talk pseudoscience, as if we didn't have enough of them already!! Fortunately for otolaryngology, communicative sciences and biology, there were a number of people who thought differently, that the meeting was a necessary activity to increase interaction among scientists in these various fields. This was the major goal of the meeting and one that proved successful, because of the various mini-symposia we initiated, and that continues to be the landmark of the annual meetings of the Association.
Thinking of that very first meeting brings fond memories of a friendly gathering in the small Happy Dolphin Inn that George Singleton, our Florida cover agent, found for us. The preferred music of the time I don't remember, but the dress code was the Spanish tuxedo. We had a great time. All the administrative chores, including mailing, were financed from the contributions of a few people. Registration for the meeting and all the other activities went without a hitch, thanks to some dedicated women (Kay Adamson, Marilyn, (Jo's secretary) and the invaluable help of some Jack-of-all-trade members (Joe Miller, Barbara Bohne, Maxwell Abramson, Ralph Naunton, Owen Black, Glenn Cohen, Bill
Perhaps the most important factor in determining the success of the meeting was the support of NIH, especially the Office of the Communicative Disorders Program. This happened in two ways. First, by supporting the concept and the travel expenses of invited speakers, they made possible this interdisciplinary meeting of minds. Second, many years of their generous research support had resulted in the establishment of a group of new, young and creative investigators who were ready to take their first step in the community of scientists. To the leaders of NIH and especially to the people of the Program, we owe a good measure of gratitude.
In the years to come it is my sincere wish that the spirit of the meetings remains lofty and at the same time enjoyable, the contributions scholarly, and the attitude informal, with the preferred dress code still the Spanish tuxedo.
Vicente Honrubia, M.D.