Nov. 6, 2000


by Lawrence Raab

Broadcast date: MONDAY 6 November 2000

Poem: "Dogs," by Lawrence Raab, from The Probable World (Penquin Poets 2000)


I never liked the idea.
Didnít animals belong outside?
Wasnít it wrong to make them
feel like people, talking to them
as if they understood?

Of course they understood
some of the time, I said,
but anything small enough gets scared
when you raise your voice.
A well-trained dog, we read

when we got the dog, is a happy dog.
Your dog, I told my wife.
And yours, I told my daughter.
But all the better arguments
were on their side: loyalty.

companionship, and every time
we came home the dog welcomed us,
so of course se started
talking to her. Then sometimes
I said Iíd take her out.

I said I wanted to smoke a cigarette
and I did, even though
I liked the way she waited by the door
when I called her name,
the way it was so easy to make her happy.

Today marks the halfway point of autumn. On this day, 45 days of fall will have gone by, and 45 will days remain until December 21, which is the winter solstice and the beginning of winter.

On this date in 1947, the television program Meet the Press premiered. It's the oldest program on television.

It's the birthday of movie director Mike Nichols, born in Berlin, Germany (1931) to a Russian father and German mother. His family immigrated to the United States when he was seven, and he was brought up in New York City, eventually attending the University of Chicago. Together with Elaine May and Paul Sills, he founded a comedy group called The Compass, later renamed Second City. He and Elaine May had a successful career doing sketch comedy.

It's novelist James Jones' birthday, born in 1921, in Robinson, an Illinois town on the Indiana state line. Jones wrote several books but is best known for his World War II novel From Here to Eternity (1951), which won the National Book Award and was part of a trilogy that he completed several years later with The Thin Red Line and Whistle. He served in the Army from 1939 to 1944 and won the Purple Heart for being wounded in action. He went back to his home town when the war was over, wrote From Here to Eternity.

It's the birthday of the founder of The New Yorker magazine, Harold Ross, born in Aspen, Colorado in 1892. He was a reporter from the time he was 14. Ross became the editor of The Stars and Stripes, the American forces' newspaper in France in 1918. In 1925, after several false starts, he launched The New Yorker. Ross was proud of the fact that The New Yorker achieved a paid circulation of four hundred thousand without actively soliciting subscriptions. He attracted a galaxy of talent to writer for him: James Thurber, Ring Lardner, Clifton Fadiman, A.J. Liebling, and Charles Addams as cartoonist. He told E.B. White, "this isn't a magazine -- it's a Movement!" Ross stayed at the helm of The New Yorker until just before he died at age 56. His motto as an editor: "Editing is the same thing as quarreling with writers. Same thing exactly."

Today is the birthday of Polish composer, pianist, and patriot Ignacy Jan Paderewski, born in the village of Kurylowka, Poland in 1860. He crossed the Atlantic more than 30 times, and gave more than 1500 concerts in America - drawing the largest crowds in history - crossing the country in a private railroad car with several pianos.

It's the birthday of the March King, John Philip Sousa, born in Washington, D.C. (1854). His father was a U.S. Marine Band trombonist, and he signed John up as an apprentice to the band after the boy tried to run away from home to join the circus. By the time he was 13 years old, Sousa could play violin, piano, flute, cornet, baritone, trombone, and was a pretty good singer, too. At 26 he was leading the Marine band and writing the first of his 136 marches, including "Semper Fidelis" which became the official march of the Corps, and "The Washington Post March." In addition to those marches, he wrote a nearly a dozen light operas, and as many waltzes, too; and he wrote three novels. But he's best known for "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

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




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