Sep. 19, 1999

To Be Of Use

by Marge Piercy

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: September 19, 1999

Poem: "To Be of Use" by Marge Piercy, from Circles on the Water, Random House, 1982.

Today and tomorrow, the Harvest Show takes place at the Horticulture Center in Philadelphia, with over 700 gardeners entered, and all sorts of homemade preserves to be judged.

In 1973 on this day, author Paul Theroux pulled out of Londonís Victoria Station at 3:30 in the afternoon, headed for Folkestone and Paris, starting his 4-month railroad odyssey across Europe and Asia, which he would write up as The Great Railway Bazaar (1975). From Chapter 21: "Extensive traveling induces a feeling of encapsulation, and travel, so broadening at first, contracts the mind." Chapter 28: "The Japanese have perfected good manners and made them indistinguishable from rudeness."

Itís the birthday of novelist Thomas H. Cook, born in Fort Wayne, Alabama (1947), who has written police procedural mysteries—Blood Innocents (1980), Tabernacle (1983), The Orchids (1982) and Elena (1986).

Itís the birthday of journalist Mike Royko, born in Chicago (1932), columnist for the Chicago Daily News, the Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

In 1928 on this day, Steamboat Willie, the first talking cartoon, had its premiere showing at the Colony Theater in New York City, and Mickey Mouse made his debut, his voice provided by Walt Disney himself.

Itís the birthday of novelist Sir William Golding, born near Newquay, Cornwall (1911), author of Lord of the Flies, the story of proper British schoolboys, marooned on an island, who quickly revert to savagery. "World War II was the turning point for me. I began to see what people were capable of doing. Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey must have been blind or wrong in the head."

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




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