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“If a circus clown is a 10,and a birthday clown an eight,we would be considered a two,”Mason remarked.Caring Clowns work underspecic guidelines. They visita given patient just once, andwith permission, observe strictrules of condentiality, and aretrained to “be in the moment,”according to the needs of theindividual patient. “Sometimeswe just sit and listen,” Masonpointed out.The whole purpose is tohave a positive inuence on thepatients, their families and thecare-givers and to enhance thehealing process.“Studies have shown thepositive effect that humor andlaughter have”, Mason com-mented, and he shared one en-counter that helps prove thepoint and signies what hisclown activity means to himself and the patients.“There was a lady who wasquite ill,” Mason said. “Shelooked me right in the eye andsaid ‘Dr. Geezer, thank you verymuch for making me laugh.’He didn’t let the patient see hismoistening eyes. “Somethinglike that is worth more than amillion dollars. They can‘t payyou for that,” he added.Mason, perhaps puttinghis executive search skills towork, has succeeded in recruit-ing recruiting three other Car-ing Clowns at Roper St. FrancisHospital, a Dr. Jollybones, Dr.Dizzy Daisy and Dr. O’ Smiley.So-called head-hunting hasbeen Bob Mason’s other life formany years. A native of Euclid,Ohio, he graduated from OhioState University and also com-pleted graduate work in psy-chology at Temple University.He established his owncompany, Mason and Associ-ates, in 1987 in Menlo Park, Ca-lif., where he and his wife livedfor 25 years before moving toMaryland. His clients include anumber of major corporations.“The economy being whatit is, recruitment is slow at pres-ent. There are lots of excellentcandidates, but very few jobs,“Mason stated simply.Before going into executiverecruitment, Mason did cor-porate personnel work, whichhelped him develop the skillneeded for his present profes-sion. ”I used to be on the otherside of the fence, “ he said. Lat-er he was employed in an execu-tive search capacity with othercompanies and was a partnerin one before starting his ownbusiness.Mason gives no indicationof discontinuing either his busi-ness or his clowning activities.He and his wife Sherrie, whowent to high school togetherin Euclid, take time to enjoylife as avid golfers and as sh-ing enthusiasts. He pointed outthat Sherrie caught a 250-pointmarlin, by herself, off the low-er coast of Baja in Mexico notlong ago. Mrs. Mason, a retiredschool teacher, also does volun-teer work at the Medical FreeClinic in Charleston.In the meantime, Mason’seducation as a Caring Clown isnot yet complete. He plans toreturn to Mooseburger Camp inBuffalo, Minn. this summer foranother week, accompanied byDr. Dizzy Daisy. It will be histhird time there. “I tell everyoneI’m going back for my Ph.D.,”Mason quipped.It is obvious that Bob Masonis into his “Dr. Geezer” role ina big way. And whatever Sher-rie Mason thought her husbandneeded back in 2002, clownschool seemingly provided it,and then some.
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Sheie lands a 250-point malin off the coast of Baja.The Mason’s bike the lovely Fench countyside.
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