Jun. 3, 1999
Poems: Four Limericks by Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and anonymous authors.
It's LARRY MCMURTRY's birthday, born in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1936, author of books set in hard-scrabble Texas towns: The Last Picture Show (1966), Terms of Endearment (1975); and Lonesome Dove (1985), about the adventures of Gus, Call, Jake, and the rest, driving 2,000 head of cattle up to Montana, the book that won McMurtry the Pulitzer Prize in 1986.
It's the birthday in Albany, New York, 1930, of the science fiction novelist, MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY, author of the Darkover Series-books about a planet inhabited by the Terrans, who believe in the use of advanced technology; and the Darkovers, who oppose them. She broke from the series in 1983 with her best-seller The Mists of Avalon the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table told from the perspective of Viviane, Gueniviere, and Morgaine.
It's the birthday in Newark, New Jersey, 1926, of poet ALLEN GINSBERG, who grew up in Paterson and said of his parents, "My father would go around the house reciting Emily Dickinson and Longfellow, or attacking T.S. Eliot for ruining poetry, and my mother made up bedtime stories that went something like, 'The good king rode from his castle, saw the suffering workers and healed them.' I grew suspicious of both sides." At Columbia University in the 1940s he fell in with Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr and William Burroughs, and formed the nucleus of the Beat writers "Beat" short for "beatific," a term given them by Kerouac. After working at New York ad agency he moved to San Francisco and began work on his poem, "Howl," published in 1956; "Kaddish" followed a few years later.
It's the anniversary in 1864 of the SECOND BATTLE OF COLD HARBOR, 10 miles northeast of Richmond, Virginia one of the worst Northern defeats in the Civil War. The Union general, George McClellan, lost the first battle two years earlier trying to capture Richmond, the Confederate capitol. In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant and 100,000 men went after Richmond again. The Confederates dug in at Cold Harbor and inflicted over 7,000 casualties on the North compared to 1,500 on their own side. When Union soldiers saw how secure the Confederates' position was in Cold Harbor, many knew it would turn out badly. One Massachusetts soldier who died there made a final entry in his diary: "June 3, 1864, Cold Harbor, Virginia. I was killed."
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®