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Icon: James Robert Cade

The following is excerpted from a 1996 interview as part of the University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Project.

Cade in 1999 [Photo:Gainesville Sun]
» I think I was surrounded with a bunch of people who loved me. That would make any childhood good.

» (In high school) I played a game, how low a grade could I make and not fail. You really have to know your history to end up with a 61 average at the end of the year. If you take a history test with 10 questions and you write an essay, and you want to make 61 but you do not want to make a 59, you have to know what to leave out.

» My mother used to come in and sit behind me and listen to me practice (violin). One of those times she said, I think you are among the 10,000 best violinists in the world. I said, mother, thank you, but how many violinists do you think there are in the world? She said, probably 11,000 or 12,000.

» When I graduated from high school, my mother had me going to college. I went off and joined the Navy. I did a lot of reading in the Navy. I made lists of words I did not know, and I would look them up and learn them.

» When I went to the university, I enrolled as a history major. My roommate was pre-med. He told me I was too dumb to get into medical school.

» I did not really have any family pressure from anyone to do anything or to choose any career. I have never considered myself to be a driven person.

» I did not belong to (a fraternity). I still think that is sort of a waste of time.

» The first place we went to, after (son) Michael was born, was to see the Cardinals play. Stan Musial got up, and he hit a line drive to the right field. The right fielder for Philadelphia jumped out, and the ball hit his glove as he fell on the ground. Stan Musial was out. He turned around and was walking back to the Cardinal dugout when Michael woke up and started screaming bloody murder. Stan Musial looked up at him and said, ‘Kid, that is the way I feel, too.’

» Teaching students, you feel responsible for them, but taking care of a sick patient, you have a much bigger responsibility and a far more serious one. You make mistakes, people die. I have made mistakes that killed people. I have cried a lot when patients died.

» Dwayne Douglas (former player and football coach) ... frequently came by when we were finishing an experiment in the lab. One day, he said, ‘My football players do not wee-wee during the game.’ I found out that during a game in the early part of the year, perhaps in September, he (Douglas) would lose up to 18 pounds during the course of one football game. He did not wee-wee because he lost so much sweating. Basically, he had nothing left to make wee-wee with.

» We asked (UF football Coach Ray Graves) if we could do a study of his football players. He said he really did not understand what I was talking about, but if I could give him a better football team in the fourth quarter, he was interested.

» We collected the sweat to see what was in it and what was coming out in the sweat. The actual collection of that data took just a week. The solution was to give them water, but with salt in it, to replace at least to a large degree the salt they were losing in sweat. Give them sugar to keep their blood sugar up, but do not give them so much sugar that it will affect how the stomach and intestine work.

» The first three guys on the bench were Bennett, a safety man; Benson, a tackle; and Larry Gagner, a guard. I handed a cup of the stuff to Benson, and he said, ‘What is this?’ I told him, this is a glucose electrolyte solution. ... Not only would he keep his energy during the game, but if he kept drinking it throughout the game, at the end he would feel better and be stronger. He took it and just gluggled it all down and wanted another cup. The next guy was Gagner. He sort of sipped it. He said, ‘This stuff tastes like piss.’ He poured it on his head because it was cold, and that would cool him off. I handed a cup to Bennett who was right next to Gagner. He said, ‘Larry, it does not taste like piss to me.’ He glugged it down. Each time I came around during the first half, Gagner would take his and pour it on his head. The other guys would drink it and comment on how good it was. I could not get into the argument at that time because I had never tasted piss. Toward the end of the first half, Gagner took his cup and drank it down. He said, ‘Doc, I have decided I like the taste of piss.’ He drank a couple of cups every time he came out after that for the rest of the game.

» One of my fellows, (Harry J.) Jim Free (assistant in medicine) came back from a weekend at home and said, ‘Why do we not call it Gatorade?’

» They said if I wanted to do it, to go ahead and do it, but there is no way the university was going to get involved. The first year, the royalty paid on it amounted to $29,000, I think. The second year, it came to about $69,000. The third year, it was over $100,000. They eventually ... filed a lawsuit asking for all of the Gatorade royalties plus whatever had been paid up till then. We ended up offering them 20% of the royalty as their share. That is the arrangement that still exists.

» I used to play in the university symphony (orchestra). I played the violin for six years and the viola for about 10 years.

» I have grown roses since I got out of the Navy.

» I have 50-odd (Studebaker cars) that I have restored now.

» I read all the Agatha Christie books. I read books on history, particularly Egyptian and European during Roman times. I consider history to end in 1453 though, with the fall of Constantinople. Everything since then I consider to be current events.

» I have voted in all the elections since I have been old enough to do so. I am a conservative. Most of the time I have voted Republican.

» (Quaker, which purchased the rights to Gatorade) mostly they gave me a hard time. One thing was that they want to reduce the royalty. The other was, over the years, we did more research, and we made a drink we called TQ II, for “thirst quencher,” roman numeral two, for second generation. We tested it in the lab, and it was significantly better than Gatorade on someone working very hard or exercising very hard. It keeps up the blood volume better. They professed no interest in it until Pepsi Cola called. Pepsi Cola wanted to buy the rights to make TQ II. We were talking to Pepsi about it. Quaker decided they owned it anyway, and they sued us to keep us from selling it to Pepsi. Acrimonious discussions went on for a couple of years. Finally, suits were filed. The people on my side decided it was going to cost too much to go to court with them, so they recommended that we sell it to Quaker. They paid us $2 million for the rights to it. They do not want to make it because they are afraid of the New Coke syndrome. They have stuck it on a shelf, and they are going to let it die there.

» Growing up at San Antonio, I took Spanish in school and had occasion to use it frequently, so I could speak Spanish fluently. I do not use Spanish here at all, so it has gotten away from me. I can still speak German.

» They had to promise that it would be used for supporting research, which they have not done. They used it to put a new Gator Boosters room next to the president’s suite in Tigert Hall. They put new fume hoods in the chemistry building where they teach undergraduate chemistry. They have used it for travel. They have used it to trim shrubbery.

» I am an optimist, but I am disturbed by the world in which we live. I think that the future will be as good or better than today. However, I do not think man is getting any better.

Cade in Lab
Gator Cade: Cade formulated Gatorade in 1965 while chief of renal medicine at the University of Florida’s medical school. [Photo: University of Florida]