At the age of six, a young boy named Gerald Shea contracted scarlet fever and was left partially deaf as a result. Remarkably, however, for nearly three decades he did not realize he had a substantial hearing handicap. Instead, he thought he had a cognitive disorder that he addressed by testing the “melody” of vowels in words that he would hear until the choice of consonants made sense. These constructed vowel melodies are what Shea referred to as “lyricals.” For example, when Shea heard “Gerry, when you’re in a baa you’ve got to taa to pee,” using lyricals, he eventually translated what he had heard into, “Gerry, when you’re in a box, you’ve got to talk to people.” Unfortunately, conversations would typically carry on before he could make the translation. Despite this substantial handicap, he was among the top students at Andover, Yale, and Columbia Law School and had a successful international practice in law in the United States and Europe that often required him to hear accurately.