Необъяснимая доброта американского Мавроди

автор: Денис Песков

В англоязычном мире финансовые пирамиды называют Ponzi Scheme, или схема Понзи. Однако, я наткнулся на необычный и необъяснимый случай сокрушительной доброты Чарльза Понзи, который резко отделил его в моих глазах от нашего С. Мавроди. Интересно, что Википедии ничего о нём не сообщают.

Понзи приблизительно в 1910

“…in 1912, [he was] working part-time at an Appalachian mining company as a nurse, another position for which he had no qualifications. But although his bankroll remained stagnant, his humanity, barely revealed at all in the past, displayed itself in a manner so courageous and startling as to suggest an incident from a totally different man’s biography. In a life remarkable for a variety of reasons, this was to be the most atypical, and heroic, occurrence of all—excessive in its kindness, almost unendurable in its pain. And impossible to figure out.”

A woman named Pearl Gossett, a full-time nurse for the miners, was cooking dinner one night in 1912 when the gas stove on which she was working unexpectedly blew up, leaving her with serious burns on the left side of her torso: arm, shoulder, and breast. A few days later, Ponzi heard about the mishap and asked a Dr. Thomas, who was treating Gossett, about her condition. Thomas told him she was near death; traces of gangrene had begun to appear on the burns, and these would almost certainly prove fatal. Ponzi asked whether anything could be done. The only possibility, Thomas said, was a skin graft, but Thomas had asked almost everyone who worked in both the hospital and the mining company to donate skin, and no one was willing. The doctor was saddened, even angry. If only everyone to whom he had spoken would have parted with one inch, just one tiny square inch of epidermis, Pearl Gossett would survive.

Ponzi wanted to know how much skin she needed altogether. Forty or fifty inches, Thomas said, a substantial amount, which would require numerous donors. Except in this case. Ponzi told Thomas that he would provide all the required skin himself. Thomas was stunned. Is she a friend of yours? he asked after a few seconds to regain his composure.

Ponzi said he didn’t know her, had never met her. She wasn’t even a paisan (It's a word that's used with Italians or Italian Americans when informally, but friendly, adressing one another. It means "brother" or "fellow countryman"). But that wasn’t the issue. How quickly, he wanted to know, did she need the skin?
The doctor tried to talk Ponzi out of a procedure that would be so painful to him, but could not. Ponzi demanded an answer to his question. She needs the skin as soon as possible, Dr. Thomas finally conceded.
The donor said he was ready.
One more time: Didn’t he want to think about it some more? the doctor asked. It was such a drastic measure for one man to provide so much skin.
Was there anyone he wanted to notify, any next of kin, close friend?

No one who could possibly come to his side, he said, thinking of his mother.
The doctor nodded, then began striding toward the operating room, telling Ponzi to follow him. Both men cleaned up, prepared for the ordeal ahead of them, and, as soon as he gave one final go-ahead, Ponzi was anesthetized. From [his biographer] Dunn again:

That night, doctors removed seventy-two square inches of skin from his thighs. Ponzi spent the next few weeks in the hospital, bandaged from hip to knee. When he had nearly recuperated, Ponzi got another visit from Dr. Thomas. The nurse needed more skin.
“Go as far as you like,” Ponzi answered.
On November 5, another fifty square inches were taken from his back. He spent most of the next three months in the hospital, battling pain and pleurisy. The donations would leave him with broad white patches of scar tissue on his back and legs.
Gossett remained scarred as well, but she recovered.

At the hospital, Ponzi was a savior. Several people there brought him to the attention of various award committees, including the Carnegie Hero Fund, which had been established eight years earlier to honor precisely the kind of civilian valor that Ponzi had just performed. But the fund did not even reply. Neither did other organizations with medals or plaques to present in cases like this. With the exception of a single newspaper article, Ponzi’s remarkable display of selflessness went unacknowledged. It is not known whether Charles sent the article back to Italy.

Others at the hospital were happy to care for Ponzi as he slowly recovered, both at the institution and in their homes, and he was grateful for their kindness. They brought him food, flowers, tiny gifts of all sorts. But kindness is not riches. When he finally healed, at least enough to be on his feet and on the go again, he was back to his old priorities. Perhaps he thought that, after what he had gone through in almost complete anonymity, society finally owed him something, and Ponzi was determined to collect. Regardless, the heroic phase of his life, as brief and inexplicable as it had been, was over.”

Excerpt From: Eric Burns. “1920.”

Понзи в 1920