My Grandmother Is Donating Her Brain to Science

I remember the bag from my childhood. Transparent and oblong, just large enough to fit a handful of papers, a few essentials, and a plastic brain.

My 93-year-old grandmother, Marjorie Pearlson, once loved this bag, filling it with conversation starters. She was a woman who could talk to any stranger and pull an organ replica out of her purse with a straight face. Growing up, I would witness this scene at the supermarket, in a post office, out at dinner between salad and the main course. It...

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