Aug. 12, 2000
A Lecture on Aphids
It's the birthday of poet J.D. McClatchy, born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, 1945. He is the author of the essay collection, Twenty Questions, and a book of poems called Ten Commandments.
It's the birthday in New York City, 1940 of writer Gail Parent, the author of comic novels like The Best Laid Plans (1980), and Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1972). Besides her novels, Parent was a comedy writer for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and the mother of two sons. She says: "Having children kept me normal, because I was never able to go off and celebrate joyously over something for a week or do what I feel like, nor did I allow myself to dwell on unhappiness when something went wrong. You can't do that when you have children, and I attribute my sanity to having them."
The Wizard of Oz was premiered on this day in 1939 at a theater in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Virtually nobody in the national press noticed, so the so-called official premiere was held three days later at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
It's the birthday in Chicago, 1931, of novelist and screenwriter William Goldman, who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and All the President's Men.
It's the birthday of novelist Wallace Markfield, in Brooklyn,1926. He's best remembered for his 1970 comic novel, Teitlebaum's Window.
It's the birthday in Hillisburg, Indiana, of Zerna Sharp, born in 1889. She was the originator of the Dick and Jane readers for children, which introduced only one new word on each page.
It was on August 12, 1877, that Thomas Alva Edison, working in his Menlo Park, New Jersey lab, completed the model for the first phonograph, a device that recorded sound onto tinfoil cylinders.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®