Some FAQs about important and semi-important things.
Why are you interested in Butte, Montana?
It is the hometown of my maternal grandmother, Deborah Rafish Kreis (1900-1997). She left, I believe, in 1917 — the same year of the Speculator Mine underground fire that killed 163 people. It was a coincidence, as far as I know. So much remarkable American history played out in Butte.
What is your favorite novel?
Moby-Dick. It’s hilarious!
Why did you reconfigure your name from Donald M. Kreis to D. Maurice Kreis?
My great uncle Maurice M. Kreis, who died the year before I was born, was a distinguished lawyer and beloved member of my dad’s family. Maurice Kreis and my grandfather, Samuel A. Kreis, were part of am immigrant family that had 8 siblings in it. They reflect what is best about our nation of immigrants and in November 2016 I decided it was time to honor my heritage in that fashion. People still call me Don, though — except for those who are willing to use my nickname of D-Mo.
Why is your license plate N1303K?
I am a militant cystic fibrosis heterozygote, and N1303K is my CF mutation. It’s considered a rare mutation although, like the most common mutation (508Fdelta, which about 70 percent of CF people have at least one copy of), it’s a Class II mutation — which means the CFTR protein isn’t programmed to fold correctly. I am optimistic there will be a fix soon although that’s important to my daugher (who has CF) much more than me (since I do not).
Where were you when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974 — and in the company of which future celebrity were you?
That would be Webber, Kansas — population 45, at least back then — and Howard Stern. Howie, as he was then called, was a counselor on the Camp Wel-Met western trip on which I had embarked along with a busload of fellow teenagers. I recall asking Howie at one point what he planned to do, career-wise, and he replied: “Radio is my chosen field.” I remember thinking: Yeah, right . . . like someone who spends most of his time discussing his own genitalia could ever become a famous radio personality! I guess that makes me the world’s worst predictor of future success.
Who are your heroes?
Sportswriter Frank Deford, pathologist Dorothy Hansine Anderson, geneticist Francis Collins, medical ethicist Rosemary Quigley, pulmonologist Warren Warwick. If you know what these people have in common, you’ve either heard me talk about them or you know something I know.
How can the citizens of New Hampshire, and people who live in other states with restructured electric industries, take full advantage of the end of vertically integrated monopoly electric utilities?
People don’t want to think about their electricity — they just want to turn it on and off and pay as little as possible. They need a trusted agent who can buy wholesale electricity for them, retrofit their homes for energy efficiency, manage their home electricity use to take advantage of time-of-use rates (when they finally happe), advise them on installing solar panels and other distributed generation, and arrange for them to borrow money on reasonable terms. Obviously, that means consumer cooperatives!