Oct. 8, 1998

The Clear Air of October

by Robert Bly


Today's Reading: "The Clear Air of October" by Robert Bly published in SILENCE IN THE SNOWY FIELDS, published by Wesleyan University Press, 1953.

It's FAITH RINGOLD'S birthday, born in 1930, New York City, best known for her children's books like the 1991 "Tar Beach," about a young girl who grows up in New York and dreams of flying.

Virginia Woolf finished her novel MRS. DALLOWAY on this day in 1924, there's essentially no plot to the book, but rather it relates how two people experience the same amount of time in different ways.

It's the birthday of JENS SKOU, born 1918 in Lemvig, Denmark. Skou won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In the late 1950's he discovered the enzymes necessary to transmit energy between cells.

It's the birthday of writer MEYER LEVIN, in 1905 in Chicago, an editor and film critic who later became a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War. His best known books are "Citizens" (1940), about the 1937 Chicago steel strikes in which 10 workers were killed, and the 1956 "Compulsion," about the Leopold-Loeb murder case.

It's the anniversary of the DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE. Journalist Charles Henry Dow developed it as a way to chart trends in stocks and bonds. He computed a daily industrials average by using a list of 12 stocks, then dividing their total price by 12.

It's the anniversary of the GREAT CHICAGO FIRE, in 1871. Two hundred fifty people were killed; 98,000 left homeless; and 17,000 buildings destroyed. Other casualties included insurance companies: property insurance was a relatively new venture back then, and several of them folded after paying out to Chicago policy holders.

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




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