Monday

Oct. 5, 1998

All for the Gazing and Amazing

by John Tagliabue

MONDAY 10/5

Today's Reading: "All for the Gazing and Amazing" by John Tagliabue from NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1942-1997, published by National Poetry Foundation, University of Maine, Orono.

It's MAYA LIN's birthday, the architect of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, born in Athens, Ohio, 1959.

It's the anniversary of THE ACTOR'S STUDIO, founded in New York, 1947, as a place to train actors in The Method, a system that relies on the actor's imagination and memories to create characters.

It's the birthday of VACLAV HAVEL, born in Prague, 1936, the former dissident writer, and now President of the Czech Republic, named to that post when the communist government fell in December, 1989. He said "What made my writing most difficult of all during the Communist regime was something to the point of banality: it was the fear that the police would come and take away an incomplete or recently completed manuscript. I had to scatter copies in various apartments, hide pages behind the furniture whenever the bell rang, and so on. It was enough to make one a neurotic."

It's the birthday of LOUISE FITZHUGH, author and illustrator of the 1967 children's book, Harriet the Spy, born in 1928, Memphis.

The Father of the Space Age, ROBERT H. GODDARD, was born on this day in 1882, Worcester, Massachusetts. Goddard discovered that propulsion can take place in a vacuum, that it doesn't need any air to push against, therefore outer space travel was possible. He spent most of the rest of his life testing rockets at Roswell, New Mexico.

It's the anniversary of the BALLPOINT PEN, patented in 1880 by Alonzo T. Cross. He called it the stylographic pen, and its big advancement over other pens was that it had a self-contained ink supply and a retractable tip.

It's the anniversary of CHIEF JOSEPH's surrender to the U.S. Cavalry, in 1877. He'd led 300 of his people, the Nez Perce tribe, out of their home in Oregon across the American northwest, evading the cavalry for weeks and trying to escape to Canada. In the Bear Paw Mountains of northern Montana, the cavalry finally trapped Joseph and he surrendered. It was here that he gave his famous speech: "My heart is heavy and sad, and I will fight no more forever."

It's the birthday of the cinema pioneer LOUIS LUMIERE (LOO-ee loom-YAIR), 1864, Besancon (buh-saw-SOHN), France, whose last name in French means "light." In the late 1880s Thomas Edison had discovered how to make movies, but hadn't yet worked out a good way to project the images so a number of people at one time — a real audience — could view them. It was Lumiere who developed this, and on December 28, 1895 he set up his projector in a Paris café and showed his movies to a paying audience.

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

 









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