Dec. 7, 1999

To the Doe Last Seen Running Up the South Exit Ramp Toward Wal-Mart Plaza

by Pamela Gemin

Broadcast Date: TUESDAY: December 7, 1999

Poem: "To the Doe Last Seen Running Up the South Exit Ramp Toward Wal*Mart Plaza" by Pamela Gemin from Vendettas, Charms, and Prayers published by New Rivers Press.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. On this day in 1941, the Japanese staged a massive attack on the American Naval and Air base in Hawaii. 2,330 servicemen were killed, nearly half of them aboard the battleship Arizona, which was destroyed when one of its own 16-inch shells exploded. Many brothers died together, since the policy—later changed—had been to let family members serve in the same unit.

In 1908 on this date, The Watch and Ward Society of Boston successfully prosecuted a book salesman for selling a spicy book called Three Weeks. This led to the term "banned in Boston," which proved a boon to the sales of any book.

It's the birthday of painter Stuart Davis, born in Philadelphia (1894)—an early American Cubist who anticipated Pop Art by 35 years with his "Lucky Strike" collage (1921). He later changed styles and produced "The Mellow Pad" (1945-51) and "Little Giant Still Life" (1950), differing greatly, in their humor, from the Abstract Expressionism then dominating the New York art scene. He was especially fond of the images of taxis, chain-store fronts, and neon signs.

It's the birthday of English novelist Joyce Cary, born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland (1888). Best known for The Horse's Mouth (1944).

It's the birthday of journalist Heywood Broun [broon], born in Brooklyn (1888). He dropped out of Harvard to begin his career as a sportswriter for the New York Morning Telegraph, then the New York Tribune, which he left after differing with his publisher; Broun claimed Sacco and Vanzetti, anarchists accused of murder, were being railroaded. Later, he founded the American Newspaper Guild and served as its president until his death.

It's the birthday of novelist Willa (Sibert) Cather, born near Winchester, Virginia (1873). She and her family moved to Nebraska when she was 8; she grew up among immigrant sodbusters—Swedes, Bohemians, Russians, Germans. Her best writing dealt with such people and the conflicts rough living forced on them—especially her popular favorite, My Antonia (1918). In her novel O Pioneers! she wrote: "Isn t it queer: there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years."

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