Dr. Bill Bass brings a different set of bones to each “Dinner with the Bone Doctor.” The fourth such event at Echo Bistro & Wine Bar was held last night. Guests enjoyed sea bass and veal while staring at various bones from the Body Farm. I have had the good fortune to serve as emcee for each of the dinners.
The first bone of the evening was a native American skull that was about 400 years old. Dr. Bass could tell that the person’s skull was flattened by a cradleboard during infancy. As he placed the skull on each table in the restaurant, guests grabbed their cameras and cell phones to take a picture. Melissa Treece posted her photo to Twitter right away.
One of the bones came from the neck of a bison. It had a huge hump spine. Dr. Bass compared it to the same bone from the neck of a human. Before the dinner, Susan Seals of the Bone Zones team said to me, “when Dr. Bass holds up the buffalo bone, be sure to mention that they serve bison steaks here at Echo.” When the time came, I grabbed a menu and read aloud: “Bison Strip Steak ‘Denmark,’ broiled to perfection then topped with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, country ham and blue cheese crumbles.”
In the past, Dr. Bass has shown what remains of an artificial hip from a person who was cremated. Last night he showed an artificial hip from someone who decomposed at the Body Farm. The number 31-05D is visible on the pelvis. According to the Body Farm numbering system, the bones came from the 31st body donated in 2005.
Dr. Bass gave a few hints about the next Jefferson Bass novel, “The Inquisitor’s Key,” which will be released on May 8. It involves the Avignon Papacy, the Shroud of Turin and a mysterious set of bones.