When you first meet friends and colleagues of Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade, Gator-Go, Hop-n-Gator, the hydraulic football helmet, the irradiated pecan and the hemispherical shoe-polish can, they invariably inform you that he is a genius; in the next breath they inquire if Dr. Cade told you about the time he got arrested for riding his bicycle while intoxicated. Alas, Dr. Cade would just as soon not verify this episode; nor, for that matter, will he mention the occasion when he threw his violin overboard while being shipwrecked. In fact, Dr. Cade will not admit to being shipwrecked. However, he is willing to talk about the time he got stopped for speeding on his bicycle on the campus of the University of Florida, where he is an associate professor of medicine and head of the Renal and Electrolyte Division or, as he calls it, "the wee-wee lab."
Perhaps Dr. Cade feels this incident reveals the intellectual climate or helps describe the field on which he, gently, does daily battle. As his wife Mary says: "He's such a rebel. He's surely an individualist. He's not going to do something the same way because it's always been done that way. He delights in stirring things up."
The way Dr. Cade tells it, he was cycling along Radio Road in Gainesville when a Rambler passed him so closely his clothing was brushed. He set out in pursuit in order to curse the driver. (One of Dr. Cade's sternest imprecations is "foo.") As he was drawing abreast of the car—it was a long, downhill stretch—a squad car came up behind him. "Hey, you, pull over," the policeman in the car said. The Rambler stopped. "Hey, you, pull over," the policeman repeated. Dr. Cade stopped. The policeman asked him what he thought he was doing. Dr. Cade explained that he was trying to catch up to the Rambler so he could curse the driver. The policeman asked him how fast he thought he was going. Dr. Cade said he had no idea. The policeman said he was going 37 mph. "I told him that was impossible as I was old, fat and atherosclerotic," says Dr. Cade. " 'Don't get smart with me,' the policeman said. I said, 'If I was going 37 the Rambler was going 37, too, so why not give him a ticket?' The policeman said, 'It's harder to stop a bicycle going 20 than a car going 40.' I said, 'That's irrelevant. Would you rather be hit by a bicycle going 20 or a car going 40?' " Dr. Cade paid a $15 fine.
Dr. Cade enjoys referring to himself as fat and old—a habit which has been picked up by his family. For instance, his son Michael, who is 13 and the oldest of his six children, did a study on Dr. Cade for seventh grade science entitled The Effect of Conditioning on Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise in a Fat, Old Man. It won third place in the state science fair.
June 30, 1968
In truth, Dr. Cade is 40 years old and, although he stands 5'7" and weighs 184 pounds, he is so sturdily built it would be both unkind and inaccurate to call him fat. Moreover, he is in fairly good shape. Not long ago he stated that he could outrun a 19-year-old end on the University of Florida football team in a 440. Dr. Cade wasn't being boastful; he was merely illustrating his thesis that football players aren't in condition. "It's part of the ritual," he says. "For the first two weeks of practice the coaches work them real hard. Then, as a reward they let them exercise less. If Coach [Ray] Graves would appoint me physical conditioner of the football team I'd conclude each practice with a two-mile run. I'd make them run four or five miles a day. Why, with our excellent coaching and smart players we'd be national champions every year, and we'd cut down on injuries."
This millennium has not yet come to pass. However, by means of one of his inventions, Gatorade, Dr. Cade has substantially improved not only the lot of the Florida football team but that of all sweaty mankind.
Gatorade is a beverage which quenches thirst, replaces the vital substances lost in perspiration—water, sodium, potassium—and is absorbed considerably faster than water. Preliminary observations suggest that Gatorade also reduces the occurrence of heat-related diseases, such as heat prostration and heat stroke; enables an athlete to perform at a higher level for a longer period of time and, as a consequence, is likely to decrease the incidence of injuries brought about by fatigue.
Since 1965, when the Florida football team began drinking Gatorade, it has outscored its opponents in the second half by 379-221; in the first half the totals are 290-204. When Florida beat Georgia Tech 27-12 in the Orange Bowl last year, Coach Bobby Dodd told Graves, "We didn't have Gatorade. That made the difference." Tech now has it, as do 16 AFL and NFL teams, including the respective champions, Oakland and Green Bay. (The Los Angeles Rams drank three cases a game last year—that is, except for the conference title game at Milwaukee when the Gatorade froze solid.) In fact, Gatorade is one of two products Vince Lombardi endorses. Gatorade is also used by nine NBA and ABA teams, among them the World Champion Celtics, five NHL clubs, nine major league baseball teams, the U.S. Davis Cup team and 69 college football teams, including No. 1 USC, Tennessee, Army and Yale. Purdue used Gatorade when it upset Notre Dame last year. Notre Dame ordered 10 cases the following Monday.
Among the greatest admirers of Gatorade are the Los Angeles Lakers, who drink over a quart a man per game. This is not excessive. Says Dr. Cade: "It can be consumed ad libitum in large amounts (up to six quarts during a football or basketball game) without causing any sensation of fullness and without electrolyte abnormalities." Electrolytes, in general, are salt solutions, such as one of potassium chloride.
"I'd like to think Gatorade gives me more stamina and endurance," says Elgin Baylor. "I can't prove it, but as long as I feel it does me some good I'll continue to drink it."
"I drink it like mad during a game," says Jerry West. "Since I've used it I never get that real tired, totally exhausted feeling you get in a pressure game. If I had that much water in me I couldn't walk, let alone run."
Gatorade had a somewhat different benefit for Jerry Mays, the Kansas City Chiefs' All-League defensive end. Before he began drinking it, Mays had a history of heavy weight loss and muscle spasms during hot-weather games. In one exhibition game against the Rams he had cramps in his side as well as in his arms and legs. Mays had to go to the sidelines for saline-solution injections to alleviate the cramps and needed further injections after the game, during which he lost over 20 pounds. (Incidentally, Mays was in the habit of consuming as many as 25 salt tablets a game, which could well have induced his cramps.) After the Chiefs started using Gatorade, Mays's cramps disappeared and he now drops only about seven pounds a game. "On hot days we instruct our players to drink Gatorade instead of water," Coach Hank Stram says. "It has made an amazing difference in the physical capabilities of our squad."
Since the University of Florida has been on Gatorade, there have been no instances of heat prostration or what coaches call "fallout," and Graves has not had to cancel any practices because of excessive heat and humidity.
Gatorade, which was originally called Cade's Cola or Cade's Ade (or Aide) is not alligator juice, as a lady from Kansas assumed; she wanted to know how the fluid was drained from the alligator. Gatorade is derived from Gators, the nickname of the University of Florida teams.
The research that resulted in its formulation was stimulated in 1965, when Dewayne Douglas, an assistant freshman football coach, addressed Dr. Cade in these now historic words: "Why don't football players wee-wee during a game?" (The language has obviously been bowdlerized by Dr. Cade.) "We carefully selected 10 volunteers from the freshman football team for our study," says Dr. Cade. "They were all fine young men, but they drew the line at having their rectal temperatures taken on the field, so we had to delete that." The results of the permissible observations will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology in a paper entitled Changes in Body Fluid Composition and Volume During Vigorous Exercise by Athletes by Cade, H. J. Free, A. M. de Quesada, D. L. Shires and L. Roby. It is summarized below.
Body heat must be lost in the same amount as it is produced for body temperature to remain constant or normal. If not, one becomes ill and, in extreme cases, dies. By and large, the body dissipates heat through conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation—or sweating. When the air temperature is below 82° sweating is of minor importance as a means of dissipating heat. However, as it rises sweating becomes increasingly important, and when the air temperature is above 95° sweating is virtually the only means of heat loss.
The football player's uniform vitiates the loss of heat by radiation, conduction and convection and impedes evaporation. The harder it is for the player to maintain a constant body temperature, or to keep cool, the more he is going to sweat. But when the sweat glands have to work overtime they develop what is known as "sweat-gland fatigue" and stop functioning. Then body temperature shoots up and heat stroke occurs. Five to 10 football players die from heat-related diseases annually, and in 1965, when it was particularly hot and humid, there were twice as many such fatalities.
It has been accepted practice to give football players salt tablets to compensate for the loss of sodium, but to restrict water intake for fear of nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps and also to prevent the players from becoming waterlogged and sluggish. But despite massive sodium losses, the players lose far more water (an average of 2.5 quarts, or 7½ pounds, per two-hour practice), and there is a marked decrease in extracellular fluid and plasma volumes, so that the concentration of sodium rises. Taking salt tablets without great quantities of water actually aggravates the physiological imbalance and could contribute to heat stroke. In fact, to maintain the proper balance two cups of water would have to be drunk with each salt tablet.
The problem is that water is absorbed at a fairly slow rate. However, if sodium and potassium salts are added the absorption rate is enhanced. The addition of glucose further speeds up absorption.
Fortuitously, the substances that hasten absorption—sodium, potassium and glucose—are the same ones which an athlete loses either by sweating or through metabolic processes and needs to replenish. Therefore, an ideal replacement fluid is one made up of these plus water—namely, Gatorade, whose active ingredients are glucose, sodium bicarbonate, sodium orthophosphate, potassium orthophosphate and potassium chloride.
P.S. Football players don't wee-wee, because they are volume depleted and the kidney is conserving water and salt in a battle to maintain blood volume.
Gatorade is constituted to be drunk over ice; the prohibition against drinking something cold when overheated is, as Dr. Cade says, "Nonsense. It stands to reason that if you want to cool off you don't drink something warm."
However, Gatorade won't work unless the athletes are willing to drink it, and unflavored Gatorade tastes like salt water. Indeed, when it was first served in a game (Florida vs. LSU in 1965), Guard Larry Gagner said, memorably, "This water tastes like————," and poured it over his head.
Gatorade can be made with any flavor and degree of sweetening. Originally, Dr. Cade et al. used Sweeta and fresh lemons, which they squeezed by hand until they developed what Dr. Cade calls "lemon-squeezers' cramp." Worse yet were their attempts to dissolve glucose. "We poured water on it and it turned into rock," he recalls. To alleviate lemon-squeezers' cramp they switched to Rea-Lemon, but that made the stuff taste like turpentine. Lemons have a high concentration of terpenes (a major component of turpentine), which became oxidized. Dr. Cade learned that a professor at the University of Bologna had a terpene-free lemon extract, which he was selling for $25 a gallon, and Dr. Cade had visions of cornering the world's market. In due course, he discovered that the professor was buying his extract for $10 a gallon from Frostproof, Fla., which is 120 miles south of Gainesville.
Last fall Dr. Cade sold Gatorade on a royalty basis to Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. of Indianapolis, which cans Van Camp's Pork and Beans, the largest selling bean in the world. After dreaming up 40 names, including Thirst-Aide, Super-Star and Quench, Stokely decided to retain Gatorade. "It's a very unique name," explains E. J. (Jack) Mooney, Stokely's new-products manager. However, Stokely changed the flavor and appearance. Says Mooney, "When the product came to us it had a relatively flat taste, for the art of flavor had not come to the docs." Gatorade now has a distinct lemon-lime taste and is considerably sweeter than Dr. Cade's home brew. It is also greenish yellow and opaque, whereas the original Gatorade was clear and colorless.
"That's what you call 'cloud,' in there," Mooney said the other day, holding a glassful of Gatorade up to the light. "It's an ingredient added to a product to give it a depth of color. A product has to have a reasonably attractive color, and a cloudy product is more popular than a clear one—it connotes substance to a drink. We tried grape, orange and cranberry flavors, but from an emotional point of view we look to lemon-lime as a clean, fresh flavor. This is a pretty serious thing. We don't play with flavors.
"This isn't a quick cure. It won't help you avoid cavities or run the 100 in 4.9, and there hasn't been a pro athlete who hasn't asked whether Gatorade will help his sex life. [It doesn't.] We address ourselves solely to the problem of thirst. We hang with the word thirst. We call it The Superb Thirst Quencher."
Says Dr. Cade, "Thirst is a funny thing. I don't really know what it means. If I quickly drain a quart of blood out of you, you'll be thirsty. Gatorade is a thirst quencher only in a specific sense. Generally speaking, water is far and away the best thirst quencher."
When Dr. Cade first tasted Stokely's Gatorade he said, "Foo." His reaction was echoed by the Florida football players. "They're all saying fooey," says Dr. Cade. Indeed, team consumption is down 30% since the changeover. The main complaints are that it is too sweet and has a pronounced aftertaste. "If you're thirsty you don't drink peach juice," says Dr. Cade. "This is physiologically ridiculous." In fairness to Stokely's product, it is sweet only in comparison to the original formula. It is not, for instance, as sweet as most soft drinks.
This month Stokely began test-marketing Gatorade in Jacksonville, Fla. supermarkets at 39¢ a quart. Heretofore it had been sold exclusively to teams. "We can live with the team business," says Mooney, "but Gatorade's so good we want it in every home. We want to see what your wife says, your mother, as opposed to the 280-pound tackle." Stokely is also negotiating with Royal Crown, which is interested in putting out a carbonated version.
Outside of the Jacksonville area, about the only way to buy Gatorade is by writing or calling Stokely in Indianapolis, and the smallest order is a 12-bottle case. In Gainesville, physicians are prescribing Gatorade for infant diarrhea; it has also proved useful for severe burns where there is a fluid loss, and for colds and upset stomachs. Of course, it would be of great value to soldiers in tropical climates, such as Vietnam, as well as to those who work in engine or furnace rooms.
This by no means exhausts its applications. Wilton R. Miller, the chief counsel for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Dr. Cade's attorney, is toying with the idea of giving Gatorade to harness horses that have to race in a number of heats in a single day. (Dr. Cade believes that one reason racehorses stop may be on account of potassium and sodium deficiencies.) The University of Florida Choir drank Gatorade on an eight-day, 19-performance tour in 11 cities and sang its praises. Aram Khatchaturian was introduced to Gatorade when he was a guest conductor in Indianapolis last February and is now a confirmed user.
Gatorade is also good mixed with vodka or gin, particularly vodka; and, Dr. Cade claims, because it is rapidly absorbed you get intoxicated faster, and since you don't have to drink as much alcohol to reach that state you get sober faster, too. Moreover, he believes that Gatorade may help relieve hangovers, because, by and large, alcohol dehydrates and Gatorade replenishes. "Every heavy drinker in Indianapolis has a glass or two before going to bed and upon arising," says Claude Spilman, a prominent Indianapolis attorney. "Alcohol causes blood-volume depletion, salt depletion, mineral depletion and potassium depletion," says Dr. Cade. "I don't know what a hangover is or why you get one. I haven't conducted enough experiments, and I don't get drunk enough to have hangovers. But for some reason Gatorade seems to work."
The above attributes led to the invention of Hop-n-Gator, which is a mixture of beer and a fluid similar to Gatorade. At present Dr. Cade is making Hop-n-Gator in three strengths—3.2% alcohol, the same as green beer; 1.5% and .99%. The 1.5 tastes something like a mixture of beer and lemonade, but is far more appetizing.
According to Dr. Cade, since Hop-n-Gator is rapidly absorbed you get about the same concentration of blood alcohol as you would drinking beer, but in half the time, i.e., you get high twice as fast. Again, he says, because the burn-off rate is constant you also get sober sooner. Furthermore, those who have tried Hop-n-Gator report that there is no hangover (the beverage was originally called No-Hang), no fatigue, no upset stomach and none of the full feeling that comes from having a quart of beer in your gut.
Moreover, .99 and 1.5 Hop-n Gator would be much cheaper than beer, as about 20% of the price of beer is alcohol tax. The .99 Hop-n-Gator would actually be considered a nonalcoholic beverage in many states since it is less than 1% alcohol. As such, it wouldn't be subject to state regulation and could be sold anywhere—even in vending machines. Finally, Hop-n-Gator has half as many calories as beer; incidentally, a glass of Gatorade has 50 calories, compared to 107 for Coca-Cola.
Dr. Cade is a great believer in the virtues of ethanol, which is the variety of alcohol we drink. "Of all the tranquilizers ever invented, ethanol's the best," he said the other day. "It's far superior to phenobarbital, and used properly it is probably safer than aspirin. People who have trouble sleeping should take a glass of wine or beer on retiring. All the other preparations pose a real danger. Beer is one of the main reasons man became civilized. He couldn't make beer without barley and hops, so he became a farmer."
Dr. Cade laughed. "It almost sounds reasonable," he added.
Dr. Cade is also tinkering with pre-mixed bottled drinks, in particular whiskey sours and mint juleps. He has planted a half-acre of peppermint, spearmint and orange mint behind his house, which he uses in concocting better juleps. Dr. Cade is convinced he makes a great julep and sour. Not only are they better, they're cheaper, for by using an electrolyte solution he needs only half as much whiskey. For his julep. Dr. Cade prepares a simple syrup of sucrose and water in which he soaks a lightly crushed mint leaf, and he wipes the chilled glass with another leaf.
Dr. Cade has no intention of tinkering with such drinks as Scotch. "I'm not interested in doing something someone can do better," he says. "But every once in a while something becomes apparent that you ought to do something about. It's easy to do things that have been done before. It's hard to give yourself a jolt. I don't mind being the only person in the world thinking what I think. When I'm the only one I'm right about half the time. I'm probably regarded as a nut, but I don't really care what other people think if I think I'm right. And I don't accept anything when people say this is the way it is. When I read a scientific paper I look at the data, not the conclusion."
Concern that his mint patch might be ruined by a sudden frost started Dr. Cade thinking about yet another problem: how to protect crops from frost. His solution is to spray them with an organic foam that would have great insulating properties as well as acting as a fertilizer. Dr. Cade's test batch was made out of human blood, animal fat and soybeans.
In another experiment he is X-raying pecans that Florida Trainer Brady Great-house brings him. Dr. Cade hopes he can prolong their shelf life by knocking out the enzyme or bacteria that cause decay. He is also interested in reviving the canned mullet industry, for he feels mullet is a far more delectable fish than either tuna or salmon; and he has designed a hemispherical shoe-polish can. Dr. Cade doesn't see any reason why it should be so difficult to get the last bits of polish out of the can. So far, he hasn't patented his can. "If someone else invents it," he says, "I won't have to."
In addition. Dr. Cade has dreamed up two other products for athletes—Gator-Go and the hydraulic football helmet. Gator-Go is a high-protein, very high-carbohydrate food supplement similar to Nutrament and Carnation Instant Breakfast, but it does not have any aftertaste. It is composed of dry skim milk, whole milk, sucrose and glucose. "I put vitamins in as a sop," Dr. Cade says. "Vitamins are the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public. Iron's in there, too. Adult men don't need iron, but women and young children do." Gator-Go comes in six flavors—chocolate, vanilla and rum maple, plus all three in malt, and there are 600 calories per glass.
The Florida football team and several high school teams in the Gainesville area have been drinking Go both as a supplement and as a pregame meal; one high school team even drinks it at half time. "I never had anyone get sick on it," says Greathouse. Says Dr. Cade, "It's been widely stated that you shouldn't drink milk before a game because it curdles on the stomach and you'll vomit. Of course, milk curdles. That's what it's supposed to do. But you don't throw up."
Gator-Go is high in carbohydrates, because they provide energy more quickly than proteins. Therefore, the traditional pregame steak is not as beneficial as a stack of hot cakes or a bowl of spaghetti. Indeed, last year a dozen Florida football players regularly ate hot cakes before a game.
The statistic that prompted Dr. Cade to invent the hydraulic helmet is that of the 23 major injuries suffered by the Florida football team last season. 10 involved the head or neck.
"The main fault with the suspension-type helmet now in use," he says, "is that energy is transmitted through it rather than being absorbed by it. Another fault is that the hard back edge of the helmet causes a lot of neck injuries. The helmet is stone hard. It serves as a form of projectile. It is not adequately designed to protect the wearer, and because it is so rigid it is dangerous to the opposing player."
The design of the hydraulic helmet was inspired by the human skull. The skull is composed of three shells, the outermost of hard bone, the middle of a spongy layer of bone, and the inner again of hard bone; beneath these is a hydraulic layer. When you fracture the outer shell, the fracture itself dissipates energy, which is not transmitted to the brain.
For his helmet, Dr. Cade uses an outer covering of 3/16" polyethylene, which gives way but pops back into shape, dissipating energy. Inside the shell is a series of bags made out of 16/1,000" polyethylene, each of which is connected to its neighbors by little tubes. The bags are partly filled with olive oil. When the helmet is struck the oil squishes out through the tubes into the adjoining bags. It is a controlled collapse, regulated by the speed at which oil flows. Moreover, the bags themselves stretch, dispersing energy. Beneath the bags, and in contact with the head, is a layer of a closed-cell, spongelike material, which has a 50% collapse. In the future Dr. Cade intends to replace the olive oil with a compressible liquid plastic that further absorbs energy.
Three Florida players used the helmet—which weighs only an ounce or two more than the traditional model—in this year's spring game and enthusiastically endorsed it. Brady Greathouse envisions hydraulic pads, too. The only difficulty with these is that coaches may not be able to hear "that popping out there," which gives them so much satisfaction.
To test the helmet Dr. Cade allowed himself to be hit over the head with a heavy club used to kill laboratory rabbits. (Yet another of Dr. Cade's projects is a cookbook—Rabbit Recipes for Bunsen Burners. One proven recipe is fried rabbit marinated in Gatorade.) The club was wielded by the engineer who helped build the first helmet and who Dr. Cade insists is named Pete Rabbit. "Scout's honor," he says. Kathleen Card, Dr. Cade's secretary, was hit over the head by Dr. Cade. She says, "The greatest thing about the helmet is it doesn't mess your hair."
Dr. Cade was also hit over the head while wearing a suspension helmet. "I was really knocked silly," he says. "I saw stars, bright lights." Dr. Cade is obviously a firm believer in the empirical method. During the Gatorade tests he jogged seven miles with a catheter in his arm, so he could take periodic blood samples, and when he was working on Hop-n-Gator he performed the crucial chug-a-lug test on himself. After downing a quart Dr. Cade announced, "My nose is numb."
James Robert Cade (the James has been dropped) was born in San Antonio, Texas, where his father is a lawyer and his mother a schoolteacher. "I come," he says, "from a long line of revolutionaries, musicians, lawyers and schoolteachers." His most famous ancestor is Jack Cade, who in 1450 defeated the army of King Henry VI in what is known as Cade's Rebellion. Dr. Cade's mother is a Schuetze, and one of her ancestors is Heinrich Sch√ºtz, the pre-Bach court composer now enjoying a revival.
Dr. Cade did not graduate from San Antonio's Brackenridge High, having failed to write a paper for a senior history course. "I sent Miss Stratton the first medical paper I published and she changed my grade," he said recently.
Dr. Cade had a D- average in high school. "It took very careful titration to get it," he says. "I don't think grades reflect anything worthwhile. Teachers make up a bunch of stuff for tests that isn't pertinent. Anyway, I was interested in violin and track." Dr. Cade ran the 880 in 2:01 at Brackenridge—creditable time for his era. He still plays the violin, as well as the viola, and is a member of the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Cade is also renowned for his poetry recitations, notably of Tennyson and Wordsworth, who frequently move him to tears. "I used to be able to recite for hours," he says. "The Revenge, The Charge of the Light Brigade, almost the whole of The Rubàiyàt. When I was in high school, one of the things I did was memorize poetry—100 lines a night."
Dr. Cade is celebrated, too, for his repertoire of songs. These are mostly Flanders and Swann numbers, such as A Gnu and Madeira, M'Dear and selections from operas and operettas.
"He used to woo me by singing outside my window," says Mary Cade.
"Titwillow," says Dr. Cade.
"And other things I didn't understand," says Mary.
"M'appari from Martha," says Dr. Cade.
After serving in the Navy, Dr. Cade went to the University of Texas, intending to major in history. However, when his roommate bet him he couldn't get into medical school, Dr. Cade took him up and won. The roommate was a herpetologist, and Dr. Cade and he lived largely on rattlesnake meat, pinto beans and cheese.
"My roommate had a Mexican water moccasin that was a beautiful thing," Dr. Cade recalls. "He had a boa constrictor that slept behind the door, 60 copperheads, 20 or 30 coral snakes and a number of rattlers and nonpoisonous snakes. My roommate became a chemist and is now collecting cacti."
Dr. Cade went to Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, interned at St. Louis City Hospital, did his residency at Parkland Memorial in Dallas and was a fellow in renal physiology under the famed Dr. Robert Pitts at Cornell. In 1961 he came to Gainesville, where he started the kidney transplant program.
Dr. Cade met his wife, the former Mary Strasburger, over a fractured liver when she was a nurse at Texas Children's Hospital in Dallas. While he was a medical student Dr. Cade did special-duty nursing there at night. One of his professors, a Dr. Smith, once asked how he was able to stay up all night nursing. "Dr. Smith," said Dr. Cade, "I sleep through your classes."
Dr. Cade interned in St. Louis solely because he was (and is) a Cardinal fan. "Johnny Beazley's brother lived three doors up our street," he says. "When Michael was 3 weeks old we took him to his first game. He slept until the seventh inning, when Musial hit a line drive to right, on which a fantastic catch was made. Then he started to cry."
In addition to Michael, the Cade children are Martha, 12, Celia, 10, Stephen, 8, Emily, 6, and Phoebe, 4. "Actually I tried to name every one of my children Phoebe," Dr. Cade says. "When I was taking Mary to the hospital to have our second baby, it was snowing in Dallas, which is quite rare. We had to stop at a railroad crossing because a freight was going by. The train came to a halt, and on the car directly in front of us was written The Route of PHOEBE SNOW. I told Mary that it was an omen, and we had to name this one Phoebe. Mary said, 'Over my dead body.'
"After the sixth baby was born, I said, 'Let's put some names in a hat, and you pull one out, and we'll name her whatever it is.' She pulled out Phoebe. Mary said, 'Two out of three.' She pulled out Phoebe again. Mary said, 'Four out of seven.' The baby was 4 months old and she still didn't have a name. We took her to be baptized [the Cades are Lutheran] and the preacher asked what her name was. Mary kicked me and whispered, 'If you want to name her that, you tell him.' My wife doesn't know this, but of the nine slips. I put in the hat seven had Phoebe written on them."
The Cades live outside Gainesville in a ranch-type house within a fragrant grove of slash pines. There Dr. Cade grows his roses. These arc mostly white, as a gesture to Jack Cade, a partisan of the House of York whose symbol was the white rose. Among Dr. Cade's other plantings is an Aloe vera plant. "It's also called the burn plant," Dr. Cade explains, ""since it is used for sunburn. It really works. I'm going to grow a bunch and see what's in it."
The Cades have a horse—rather Michael has. He tends the mint patch to pay for its feed. They also have two rabbits, six cats and a collie named Alpha Omega. "I named her Alpha, for she was our first collie," says Dr. Cade. "Mary named her Omega because she is our last." The Cades have two noteworthy cars—a '51 Studebaker called Old Spot for obvious reasons and a '64 Studebaker station wagon called Bullet, because. Dr. Cade says, "It needed a name." Dr. Cade is greatly attached to Old Spot. When he bought her for $10 she had gone 96,000 miles; now she has 212,000—at an additional cost of $336. "Old Spot's sort of a conversation piece," he says. On stormy nights Dr. Cade enjoys piling the family into Bullet and driving down spooky lanes bordered by live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, where he usually gets stuck in the mud or the muffler falls off.
One of Dr. Cade's more recent interests is public-school education, and this fall he is running for the Gainesville school board. During the recent Florida teachers strike Dr. Cade took two weeks vacation to teach fifth grade in the Myra Terwilliger School, drawing the censure of a number of his colleagues. "I was in complete agreement with what the teachers wanted," he says, "but not with the way they went about it. A bunch of my friends said that if this were 1776 I'd be fighting for the British. I'm a conservative in the sense that it means keep-ping that which is good. I don't think all change is progress. If a liberal is someone who is tolerant, then I'm a liberal, but I don't think there's any sense in tearing down just to build."
Last month the medical school seniors voted Dr. Cade one of their outstanding teachers, an honor he also won in 1965. "Dr. Cade's less pompous and more low pressure than the other professors," says one of his interns. "In fact, he's lovably eccentric. But his overall medical knowledge is as good as anyone's. He has a lot of different and unusual ideas, and his approaches are outstandingly different."
"He's very understanding, kind and appreciative," says Kathleen Card. "He can communicate with anyone on any level—from one year old up. I don't think there are many doctors who have an interest in patients beyond the door. Our patients are like our family, and Dr. Cade's moods depend on how they are doing. He feels things very deeply. When he's sad, he's really sad. When he's happy, he's really happy. Lots of times he bursts into the lab skipping and singing."
Indeed, Dr. Cade literally skips down the corridors of the J. Hillis Miller Health Center when he makes rounds with his students. "I do things a lot because they're fun," he says. "I teach because I enjoy it. Playing the violin is fun. Learning is fun. Most of my students on my service think renal medicine is a lot of fun."
Of course, Dr. Cade's main concern is renal medicine—kidney transplants and dialysis, which is the function of artificial kidneys. His laboratory is in the basement of the health center adjacent to the boiler room and is not notably neat. "Bob says that if you keep your stuff overorderly, you can't keep your mind free," says Mary Cade. "His mother says that's just an excuse."
The most prominent decoration in the lab is a large cartoon Dr. Cade drew, which depicts a religious fanatic lying in the gutter with Xs for eyes and a lump on his forehead. A stone is in the gutter alongside him, as well as the sign he was carrying, which reads: LET HIM WHO Is WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.
Dr. Cade's staff includes two physicians, Drs. Alex de Quesada and Michael Pickering, who has raced in the Daytona 500 and the Sebring 12-hour endurance race; five technicians, and two nurses and a nurse's aide for the dialysis unit, which is equipped with three machines. "We can dialyze only four people at any one time," says Dr. Cade. "The nurses aren't allowed to work overtime, and I don't have the money to hire any more. Sometimes I go and dialyze patients at night rather than let them die."
Between 28,000 and 40,000 people die from kidney diseases each year, 7,000 of whom would be good candidates for dialysis or transplants. However, because of lack of funds only 450 of these can be dialyzed and 450 transplanted annually. Dr. Cade turns down seven applicants a week, and his most awesome responsibility is deciding whom he should accept.
"I say to myself, 'What are their responsibilities? What are they going to contribute?' " he said the other day. "I saw a man this morning, a Negro, a schoolteacher. He's a good transplant candidate. He's been fighting odds all of his life. I'll help him fight some.
"Gatorade started out to be fun. a joke. It's no longer a joke. There's a lot of money involved. One of the problems in renal medicine is the cost to the patient. It's very distressing. There are patients who are sick and waiting for a transplant and once a month they get letters from the hospital asking, 'Why don't you pay your bill?' If I had income from Gatorade, I'd pay their bills. The medical profession talks a lot about the Hippocratic Oath. To me, the Prayer of Maimonides is a whole lot more meaningful: 'Once more I begin my daily rounds. Be thou with me, O Father of mercy...."
"If Gatorade makes a little money, I'd like to hire two more nurses so we could dialyze eight more patients. If it makes a lot of money I'd hire another guy in renal medicine, and if it made a whole lot of money maybe we could build a new wing. Of course, I wouldn't spend all of it on medicine. My wife wants a couch and I'd like to have another violin and I'd love to get a Porsche 911 for Mike Pickering to race. He's wanted to try Gatorade during a race, but he's always conked out before he had a chance."