Jul. 17, 1999
Poem: "The Listeners," by Walter De La Mare, from Collected Poems of Walter De La Mare (Faber & Faber).
In 1938 on this day, an unemployed airplane mechanic (31-year-old Douglas Corrigan), took off from Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett fieldbut instead of flying west to Los Angeles, he turned the Curtiss Robin monoplane east. Twenty-eight hours and thirteen minutes later, he landed in Dublin, Ireland. Given a hero's reception on his return to America, he claimed to have followed the wrong end of his compass needle, and was given the nickname 'Wrong Way Corrigan.'
Today is the 64th birthday of composer and humorist Peter Schickele [SHIK-uh-lee], born in Ames, Iowa (1935), who created P.D.Q. Bach, who in turn wrote "Concerto for Horn and Hardart," the oratorio "Iphegenia in Brooklyn," and "Blaues Gras" (the Bluegrass Contata).
It's the birthday of iconoclastic American journalist Erwin Knoll, born in Vienna (1931) and brought to America as a child. He wrote for a number of newspapers before he served as the editor-in-chief (1973-94) for The Progressive magazine in Madison, Wisconsin.
It's the birthday of novelist Christina Stead, born in Sydney, Australia (1902). Her best known novel, The Man Who Loved Children, was ignored after its publication in 1940, but was reissued to great acclaim in 1965.
It's the birthday of photographer Berenice Abbott, born in Springfield, Ohio (1898). She was best known for her black and white photos of New York in the 1930s.
It's the birthday of mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner, born in Malden, Massachusetts (1889), who wrote many detective novels starring the defense attorney Perry Mason.
It's the birthday of novelist and Nobel laureate S(hmuel) Y(osef) Agnon [AHG-nahn], born in Ukrainein 1888. Moved with his family to Palestine when he was a teenager, and set out to become a novelist in a new language: Hebrew.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®