Aug. 19, 1998

After Forty Years of Marriage, She Tries a New Recipe for Hamburger Hot Dish

by Leo Dangel


by Liz Rosenberg


Today's Reading: "Susquehanna" by Liz Rosenberg from CHILDREN OF PARADISE, published by University of Pittsburgh Press.

It's the birthday of GENE RODENBERRY, born in 1921, El Paso, Texas, best known for creating and writing the Star Trek series. He joined the Army Air Corps and served as a bomber pilot during WW II. He moved to Los Angeles, joined the police and in his spare time wrote scripts for Dragnet, then became a full-time writer with series like Highway Patrol and Dr. Kildare.

The famous flapper of the 1920s, COLLEEN MOORE, was born in Port Huron, Michigan on this day in 1902. Beginning in 1917 she starred in dozens of silent films and started a fashion revolution, dancing, wearing her hair short and her flap-trimmed skirts short. She said, "Here was a chance for a girl who had straight hair, who was not buxom and not a great beauty. A new type was born, the American girl, independent, a thinker who will not follow slavishly the ordinances of those who in the past have decreed this or that for her to wear."

It's the birthday of writer JAMES GOULD COZZENS, Chicago, 1903, best known for his 1957 legal novel, By Love Possessed. Cozzens grew up on Staten Island, had his first article published in The Atlantic Monthly when he was 16 years old, and wrote his first novel, Confusion, two years later when he was a freshman at Harvard. He dropped out of Harvard and went to Cuba to teach for a year in the mid-'20s, and came back and published Cockpit (1928) and The Son of Perdition (1929). He won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1949 for Guard of Honor.

It's the birthday of OGDEN NASH, born in Rye, New York, on Long Island Sound, 1902. He went to Harvard for a year, then had to drop out to make a living. He went to work on Wall Street as a bond salesman, but in two years sold only one bond, to his own family. One summer afternoon in 1930, working as an ad writer, he jotted down a few lines of verse, then tossed it the wastebasket, only to fish it out later, title it "Spring Comes to Murray Hill" and send it off to The New Yorker. The magazine bought it. He sold a few more poems to the magazine and soon was making better money writing verse than ad copy, so he quit, moved to Baltimore where his wife came from, raised a family and made his living entirely off of poems like:

"If you should happen after dark
To find yourself in Central Park,
Ignore the paths that beckon you
And hurry, hurry to the zoo,
And creep into the tiger's lair.
Frankly, you'll be safer there."

Fashion designer, COCO CHANEL, was born on this day in 1883, in Saumur, France. She was an orphan and got into fashion in the years before WWI as a hat-maker. In 1912 she opened her own fashion house in Paris, and in the 1920s designed luxurious women's clothes without corsets and collars. She said, "I wanted to give a woman comfortable clothes that would flow with her body. A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed."

It's the birthday of ORVILLE WRIGHT, 1871, in Dayton, Ohio, who in 1903 was the first man to fly an airplane. Orville and his older brother Wilbur started out as bicycle mechanics, and were fascinated by reports from Germany about attempts to make a plane. The Wrights tested their theories by building a wind tunnel; they also built gliders and made over a thousand flights in them on the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Thirty-four year old Orville was the first to actually fly, on December 17, 1903. He telegrammed his folks back home in Dayton: "Success. Four flights Thursday morning. All against 21 mile wind. Started from level with engine power alone. Average speed through air 31 miles. Longest 59 seconds. Inform press. Home Christmas."

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




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