Feb. 13, 1998

To Build a House

by Donald Hall


Today's Reading: Excerpts from "To Build a House" by Donald HallIt's the birthday of the Belgian detective novelist, GEORGES SIMENON, born in Li¸ge in 1903. The century's most prolific author, with about 425 books translated into 50 languages that have so far sold more than 600 million copies. At top speed he was writing 80 pages a day, and said "Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness."

GRANT WOOD, the painter of the classic American Gothic, was born on this day in 1892 near Anamosa, Iowa. He got his big break when he was commissioned to create a stained-glass window in Cedar Rapids. He didn't know anything about glass so he went to Germany to learn. He studied 16th century German art, and its harsh lines and realistic scenes inspired everything he painted after that, especially American Gothic which he finished in 1930. The stern old couple in the painting was actually Wood's sister and dentist standing in front of his farmhouse

It's the anniversary of the OLDEST PUBLIC SCHOOL IN AMERICA, the Boston Public Latin School for boys, founded on this date in 1635 to train boys for ministry. Though it was called a public school, it was actually funded by private contributions

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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