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Serious Pranks, Serious Work: A Family Heirloom

Dr. Richard Collins grew up in a small upstate New York town, where his father practiced medicine. But as Collins told his grandson Sean -- a medical student himself -- that didn't keep him from orchestrating pranks when he was a student.

Their conversation took place when Sean Collins brought his 81-year-old grandfather to the StoryCorps booth at Grand Central Terminal. There, Dr. Collins described two pranks he played while a student. The first takes place at St. Agnus Parochial School in Avon, N.Y.; the second took place while he was a medical student at the University of Rochester, in Strong Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Collins still sits on the board of Strong Memorial Hospital. He retired in 1994, at the age of 70. Two of his sons became doctors, and he currently has two grandchildren -- cousins Sean and Sarah -- studying at Cornell.

Each Friday, 'Morning Edition' airs a story from StoryCorps, the oral history project that's traveling the country, giving people the chance to learn about one another's lives. Copies are archived at the Library of Congress.

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