May 16, 1998

Casey at the Bat

by Ernest Lawrence Thayer


Today's Reading: "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Lawrence Thayer.

It's the birthday in Baltimore of ADRIENNE RICH, born in 1929, author of nearly 20 volumes of poetry, like Dark Fields of the Republic, published in 1995, and An Atlas of the Difficult World, in 1994. Her collection, Diving into the Wreck, won the National Book Award in 1974.

It's the birthday in Milwaukee, 1913, of jazz sax and clarinet player, WOODY HERMAN, who got his start in a vaudeville act billed as "The Boy Wonder of the Clarinet." In 1936 he formed his own group, called "The Band That Plays the Blues," and their big hit was a little tune based on a blues riff called "Woodchoppers Ball." Wherever the band played, the crowd always asked him for "Woodchoppers Ball;" near the end of his life he said, "I've been sick of that song for 20 years, but it's been such a big number I really shouldn't knock it."

It's the birthday in the Bronx, 1912, of STUDS TERKEL, who moved to Chicago when he was 11 and has spent the better part of his life there working as an actor, sports columnist, disc jockey, playwright but most Chicagoans know him for his radio interviews that began in the 1930s. Interviews with everyday people, asking them about their jobs, their experiences during the Depression and WWII, which he turned into books like, Hard Times; The Good War (which won a Pulitzer); and probably his best-known book, the 1974 Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

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




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