Jun. 12, 1998

My Mother

by Robert Mezey


Today's Reading: "My Mother" by Robert Mezey from THE DOOR STANDING OPEN: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1954-1969. (Also found in TELLING AND REMEMBERING: A CENTURY OF AMERICAN JEWISH POETRY, published by Beacon Press.)

In Danville, Kentucky, southwest of Lexington about a half-hour, it's the GREAT AMERICAN BRASS BAND FESTIVAL, with bands in from New York, California, Alabama and all across Kentucky. The highlight is a big picnic tomorrow night.

In Mystic, Connecticut it's the SEA MUSIC FESTIVAL at the Maritime Museum near New London.

And there's the ROUND BARN CELEBRATION this weekend in Rochester, Indiana, halfway between Ft. Wayne and Gary.

ANNELIES MARIE FRANK, Anne Frank, was born on this day in 1929, Frankfurt, Germany. The family fled the country just as soon as Hitler came to power in 1933 and settled in Amsterdam. The Nazis stormed into Holland in 1940, and two years later began deporting Dutch Jews to concentration camps. On June 12th that year Anne's parents gave her a little red and white plaid diary, which Anne started writing in immediately. Less than a month later, Anne and her family went into hiding in an annex behind the offices on Prinsengracht Canal where her father had worked. They stayed there two years, and her last diary entry is August 1, 1944; three days later the annex was raided and Anne died of typhus in 1945 at the Bergen Belsen camp near Hannover, Germany, just a few weeks before the camp was liberated. The Nazis confiscated most of the papers in the annex, but missed her diary, which was published in Dutch in 1947 as "The House Behind;" in English, "The Diary of a Young Girl" in 1953.

It's the birthday near Zurich, 1827, of the Swiss writer JOHANNA SPYRI, author of the children's classic, Heidi. Like the character she wrote about, she grew up in the Alps tending her family's goats. She started writing stories to raise funds to help the soldiers wounded in the Franco-Prussian War. She wrote lots of them, but found her greatest success with the story about the five-year old orphan named Heidi, sent to the Alps to live with her grandfather.

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




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