Brass What? – Lessons Learned in the Air

A fascinating combination of words uttered over a thought-provoking discussion with a stranger on a one hour flight to Minneapolis.

At the very last moment, I changed seats and sat in 1D beside the man I would come to know as Peter.  A handsome and well- kempt man on the better side of 60, a man with a passion so strong it oozed from his pores, a man that had so much more to say than a one hour dialogue would allow.

Born in a refugee camp in Poland, son of German immigrants, husband, father and business owner, Peter is a man who knows where he stands, stands up for what he believes in and lets no reasonable obstacle stand in his way.

Peter called me ‘chicken sh#%,’ in our first (and only)hour of conversation, after I lamented about an issue.  He calls’em like he sees’em and makes no apology, I am not offended as he clearly has the best interests at heart and is not afraid to ruffle some feathers to get his message across.

Peter’s mission revolves around integrating Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and his passions stems from the fact that he lost his 16 year old daughter to a severe allergic reaction on a trip to Hawaii.  Her medical records took four days to arrive and she died on day 3. EMR could have saved her life.  Instead of succumbing to this horrific loss, Peter stood up to make a difference .

On our short flight Peter and I shared a snapshot of our lives and businesses and passed the time in a wink.

He talked about his wife and how, pre-marriage, they were on a committee together and he had done something bold and she commented how it was possible to do something like that because he had (excuse me) brass balls.

He told her in no uncertain terms she could either develop brass ovaries or else complain about not having brass balls.  I don’t know his wife, but I suspect she developed brass ovaries long ago.

Of all the things we talked about in the fast flight, I cannot get those 2 words out of my mind.

Brass Ovaries.

I cannot help but think of all the woman in the world who have knowingly or not used this ‘tool’ to make life better for them selves and/or  for other people, who stood up for what they believed in and/or for a cause they were passionate about: social justice, political cause, overcoming seemingly insurmountable mountains.

These  women who may not have been born with this ‘appendage,’  but developed them through trail and error, strengthening their courage muscles, or maybe even as a last resort.

As I ponder these women, I wonder how may people they influenced on a journey of their own. I wonder how many more people they have the capacity to impact if more women know about them and their stories.

I wonder what I would do if I had the metaphorical Brass Ovaries?

I wonder what you  would do?

Brass Ovaries.  Two words that could change everything.

All this from a fortuitous airplane partner and from being interested enough in life to strike up a conversation with a stranger.


Thank you Peter!

Steph 🙂


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