Jan. 15, 2000
Home No More to Me, Whither Must I Wander?
Poem: "Home No More Home to Me, Whither Must I Wander?" by Robert Louis Stevenson.
It's the birthday of writer Frank Conroy, born in New York City (1936) who wrote Stop-time (1967), an autobiography. He published nothing for 18 years, then issued Midair (1985), a slim collection of short stories. Asked why it had taken him so long to produce a second book, he replied, "I was out doing errands."
It's the birthday of novelist Ernest J. Gaines, born in Oscar, Louisiana (1933), author of many novels, including The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971).
It's the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., born in Atlanta (1929), the son and grandson of black Baptist preachers. He'd been serving as pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama, for just over a year when Rosa Parks, in Montgomery, refused to give up her seat on a public bus in protest against segregation(1955); King was chosen to lead a boycott of the city's transit system. His home was dynamited and his family threatened but, a year later, Montgomery's bus service was desegregated.
It's the birthday of folklorist Alan Lomax, born in Austin, Texas (1915). He toured Deep South prisons with his father John Lomax, the pioneer folk song collector, and recorded the great bluesman 'Leadbelly' (Huddy Ledbetter). They developed the documentary approach to recording folk musicianstaping them in their homes rather than forcing them to perform in record studios. He introduced the public to Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters, Josh White, Burl Ivesand recorded hundreds of English, Spanish and Italian songs.
It's the birthday of wry humorist Goodman Ace, born in Kansas City, Missouri (1899)who, with his wife, Jane, had a radio show called "Easy Aces," which ran from 1928 to 1945.
It's the birthday of Russian poet Osip (Emilyevich) Mandelstam [mun-dyil-SHTAM], born in Warsaw (1891), who was imprisoned for writing an unflattering epigram on Stalin.
It's the birthday of playwright, director and actor Moliere [mole-YAIR], the stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin [jhawn-bah-TEEST poak-uh-LEHH], born in Paris (1622). His comedies include The School for Wives (1662), The Misanthrope (1666), and The Bourgeois Gentleman (1670). The fourth night his new play The Imaginary Invalid (1673) was put on, Moliere gave his usual fine performance, then complained of feeling poorly, and died later that night, 51 years old.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®