Jul. 16, 1998

Evening Game

by Richard Foerster


Today's Reading: "Evening Game" by Richard Foerster from TRILLIUM, published by BOA Editions (1998).

J.D. Salinger's classic rite-of-passage novel, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, WAS PUBLISHED on this day in 1951. The adventures of Holden Caulfield that begins: "If you really want to know about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

Today is the anniversary of the TESTING OF THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB in 1945. It took place at 5:30 a.m. in the desert at Alamogordo Air Base in New Mexico. When it was detonated, a fireball rose 8,000 feet, followed by a mushroom cloud that rose to 41,000 feet. The heat generated at ground zero was three times the temperature of the Sunís interior.

Itís the birthday of Norwegian novelist, short-story writer and playwright DAG SOLSTAD, in Sandefjord, Norway, in 1941. Author of Spiraler (Spirals, 1965), 25 September Plassen (September 25th Square, 1974), and a World War II trilogy, which includes Svik. Forkrigsår (Betrayal: Prewar Years, 1977), Krig. 1940 (War: 1940, 1978) and Brod og vapen (Bread and Weapons, 1980).

English novelist and art historian ANITA BROOKNER was born in London on this day in 1928. After writing her first novel, A Start in Life (1981), she produced books at a rapid pace, including the Booker Prize-winning Hotel du Lac (1984), Brief Lives, Incidents in the Rue Laugier and Altered States (1996).

The last Russian czar, NICHOLAS II, along with his family, servants, doctor and even his pet dog, WERE SHOT on this day in 1918 by Bolsheviks in the cellar of the house where they were being held in Ekaterinberg, Russia. Itís thought a local Bolshevik commander ordered the executions when White Russian forces were approaching the area and he didnít think his troops could prevent the royal familyís rescue.

Itís the birthday of actress and dancer GINGER ROGERS (VIRGINIA KATHERINE McMATH), in Independence, Missouri, in 1911. She was just 22 years old when she and Fred Astaire were cast in supporting roles in Flying Down to Rio (1933), but they stole the show and starred together in eight more films, including The Gay Divorcée and Follow The Fleet.

Polar explorer ROALD AMUNDSEN was born in Borge, Norway, on this day in 1872. After being beaten to the North Pole by Robert Peary, he set out for the South Pole, and with four companions became the first to reach it in 1911, beating the British expedition of Robert Scott by a little over a month.

It's the birthday of the founder of the Christian Science movement and the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, MARY BAKER EDDY, born on a farm in Bow, New Hampshire, in 1821. She was sickly and, believing that disease was a mental misstep, became a disciple of the mental healer of the day, Phineas P. Quimby, who defined his method as Christian Science. She eventually broke with Quimby and established her own version of Christian Science.

SAINT CLARE OF ASSISI was born in Assisi, Italy, on this day in 1194. She refused marriage in accordance with her familyís wishes, and instead fled to a chapel where St. Francis accepted her vows as a nun. A few years later she became abbess of the ascetic order known as the Poor Clares, and eventually established monasteries in Italy, Germany and France.

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