Mar. 17, 2000

Mikey Likes It

by Ginger Andrews

Broadcast Date: FRIDAY: March 17, 2000

Poem: "Mikey Likes It" by Ginger Andrews from An Honest Answer (Story Line Press).

Today is SAINT PATRICK'S DAY. He was born in what is now Wales around the year 385. At 16 the boy was carried off to Ireland as a slave, and worked there as a shepherd for 6 years before being told, in a dream, how to escape. He boarded a boat back to England but returned to Ireland to spread his newfound Christian faith among the druidic natives. When he did return—by this time called Patrick—he explained the concept of the Christian trinity by holding up a shamrock.

In New York city, the ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE, first held in 1762, begins today at 11:30 in the morning. The parade starts at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, moving up Fifth past St. Patrick's Cathedral at 50th Street, past the official reviewing stand at 64th Street, on north to 86th, where they turn right and continue east to First Avenue. Over a million spectators line the route. Since 1838 the event has been sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

It's the birthday of 'cyberpunk' writer WILLIAM (Ford) GIBSON, born in Conway, South Carolina (1948). His books include Neuromancer (1984—it won the science fiction Hugo Award), Count Zero (1986), and Virtual Light (1993).

It's the birthday of novelist and children's writer, PENELOPE LIVELY born in Cairo (1933). She won the Booker Prize with Moon Tiger (1987). Her other novels include Treasures of Time (1979— National Book Award), Perfect Happiness (1983), and Cleopatra's Sister (1993).

It's the birthday of ballad singer (Nathaniel Adams Coles) NAT 'KING' COLE, born in Montgomery, Alabama (1919). Early in his career, he was known as a jazz pianist. But his singing was what would bring commercial success, with such songs as "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (1943), and many other vocal hits.

On this date in 1913, the scandalous ARMORY SHOW IN NEW YORK OPENED—the International Exhibition of Modern Art, at New York's 69th Regiment Armory. One painting in particular created a furor: Marcel Duchamp's abstract study, "Nude Descending a Staircase." The figure in question looked like a hooded robot, whose 20 or more successive positions in a descending sequence make her look more mechanized than human. Most likely the title, rather than the innocuous painting itself, caused the sensation: if Duchamp had chosen to call his painting anything else, perhaps "Study in Motion," the room where it was displayed would probably have been free of furious gawkers. In any case Duchamp, back home in Paris, did not learn until weeks later that he had become famous in America.

It's the birthday of author and illustrator KATE GREENAWAY, born in London (1846) famous for her drawings of an idyllic world of quaintly dressed children who play and sing in flowery meadows.

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




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