Feb. 26, 1998

Seed Catalog

by Brenda Hillman


Today's Reading: "Seed Catalog" by Brenda Hillman from WHITE DRESS, published by Wesleyan University Press (1985).

It's the birthday in 1928, New Orleans of Antoine Domino - FATS DOMINO - who back in the early 50s started playing his own mix of Cajun, blues, and boogie on the piano that jump-started rock and roll years before the term was invented. His big hits were "Ain't That a Shame," "Blueberry Hill," and "Whole Lotta Lovin'."

It's the birthday in Buffalo, New York, 1879, of MABEL DODGE LUHAN, who moved to Taos, New Mexico and wrote books about the town she called "the beating heart of the universe." She also wrote about the Pueblo Indians around Taos. She wrote, "Evil does not flourish here. In an Indian group of seven or eight hundred people, there are rarely even minor crimes. The keynote of the Taos Pueblo is courtesy. They have made a fine art of politeness. People who share the same wall in the two great pyramidal apartment houses, and whose doors adjoin, never run heedlessly in and out of each other's rooms. A knock on the door, a summons to enter, an Indian murmur: 'How do you do?' passes; a reply: 'Very well, thank you. Won't you sit down?' Who comes as a friend, is received as a friend. The whole valley is hospitable and I wonder, has the place and its spirit made the Pueblo kind, or simply wise?"

It was on this date in 1848 that THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO was published in London - the work of the German economist Karl Marx. He said that the world was basically divided into two camps, the oppressed and the oppressors, and that it was time for the oppressed to do away with class distinctions and private property.

It's the birthday in 1802 France, of the novelist VICTOR HUGO, best known for his two books, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831), and Les Miserables (1862) - but who is regarded in France as their greatest 19th century poet. When he died in 1885 his body lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe in downtown Paris where hundreds of thousands of people filed by.

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




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