Sep. 27, 1999

Winter Apples

by Charlie Langdon

Broadcast Date: MONDAY: September 27, 1999

Poem: "Winter Apples" by Charlie Langdon from The Dandelion Vote, Hilton Publishing, 1997.

It's the birthday in 1942, Rugby, North Dakota, the geographical center of the continent, of poet MARK VINZ (vihnz) — who writes in his poem, "Midcontinent": Something holds us here – call it the madness of phone lines, the pride of blizzards, the love of wheels and wind. Something holds us here, where roads don't ever seem to end. Our maps are letters home we don't know where to send. His latest book is a series of Red River Valley photos and poems, called Affinities, published last December.

It's the birthday in 1935, New York City, of JOYCE JOHNSON, a writer for Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, but best known for her memoir of the 1950s New York Beat generation, Minor Characters (1983).

It's the birthday in 1917, Lawrence, New York, of novelist and short-story writer LOUIS AUCHINCLOSS, who worked as an estate attorney at a New York law firm for 40 years, and published over 50 books, nearly all of them about the lives of the wealthy and powerful on Wall Street. He wrote his first one as a college student, but the publishers rejected it; he thought he'd never make it as a writer, so he took his father's advice and got a law degree. After four years in the navy during W.W.II, he came back to New York and went to work settling the wills and trusts of Wall Street bankers and lawyers — which not only gave him access to their lives, but ideas for his novels like A World of Profit (1968), I Come as a Thief (1972), and The Golden Calves (1988) — books he turned out at a rate of about one a year. He just published his 16th short-story collection, The Anniversary, this July.

It's the birthday of songwriter VINCENT YOUMANS (YOO-menz), born in New York City, 1898. He's best known for the musical No, No, Nanette (1925),and the first movie to pair up Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Flying Down to Rio (1933). He was born a day after Gershwin, across town in New York. And, like Gershwin, he worked as a song-plugger — a singing pianist hired by a music publisher to help sell sheet music — and he wrote music to the lyrics of Gershwin's brother Ira. Some of his shows were flops but all of them included great songs, like "Tea for Two," "I Want to be Happy," "More Than You Know." He died of tuberculosis when he was 46.

Cartoonist THOMAS NAST was born on this day in 1840 in Ludwig, Bavaria — the man who originated the symbols of donkey and elephant for the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the American image of Santa Claus.

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




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