32 March/April 2014 | BethesdaMagazine.com
ness and catastrophe. Morris was his
source of warmth and stability, so cen-
tral to his well-being that “she gradu-
ally replaced my mother as nurturer and
And yet Morris abruptly left town
while Sherer was away at medical school
in 1981 and he never heard from her
again. He never tried to find her, but he
never forgot her either. And now he felt
a question had to be answered, a debt
had to be paid.
“If I don’t understand what happened
to Louise,” he remembers thinking, “I’ll
never forgive myself.”
His family was dismissive, even hos-
tile. “The attitude was: Why are you stir-
ring up old waters,” says Sherer, now 56.
“Why don’t you let a sleeping dog lie?”
But he couldn’t do that. “I felt, well,
I’m tired of being told what I have to be
and what I have to do…,” he says. “I’m
going to poke this dog with a stick and
see if it wakes up.”
Sherer’s determination was driven
by history. His father, an endocrinolo-
gist, had brought the family to Mont-
gomery County in 1953 to take a fellow-
ship at the National Institutes of Health.
They rented in Somerset before buying
a house near the Burning Tree Club,
which Sherer’s mother still occupies.
Morris was so important to him
because his parents were so absent. They
fought constantly—over finances, fears,
failures—and suffered debilitating physical problems. Whatever caregiving they
managed was largely devoted to Sherer’s
sisters, one of whom was chronically ill;
the other, chronically rebellious.
“Louise was the great equalizer, she
was like ‘ The Great Black Hope,’ ” Sherer
recalls. “I’ve said many times that she
saved my life. She filled a place that
As we talk over tea one winter after-
noon, I ask Sherer to describe Morris.
“She was tall, about 5-10,” he replies.
“She had skin like dark chocolate. It was
like a Dove Bar. She was muscular but
The Chevy Chase Building
5530 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 560, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
GENERAL, COSMETIC & IMPLANT DENTISTRY
Treating Your Family Like Family
Readers’ Pick Best Dentist, 2011
Readers’ Pick Runner Up
Best Dentist, 2013
Thank you to the readers of Bethesda Magazine!
DR. RACHEL COHN’S
ANNE ET VALENTINE • BARTON PERREIRA • JUICY • LAFONT
LINDBERG • LUNOR • OLIVER PEOPLES • PAUL SMITH • ROBERT MARC
1095 Seven Locks Road | Potomac, Maryland 20854 | 301.545.1111
Comprehensive Pediatric and Adult eye examinations
through state of the art eye care technology
Voted by the readers of Bethesda Magazine
“Readers’ Pick, BEST PLACE TO BUY GLASSES”