Jun. 29, 2001
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Poem: "Rolls-Royce Dreams," by Ginger Andrews from An Honest Answer (Story Line Press).
Using salal leaves for money,
my youngest sister and I
paid an older sister
to taxi an abandoned car
in our backyard. Our sister
knew how to shift gears,
turn smoothly with a hand signal,
and make perfect screeching stop sounds.
We drove to the beach,
to the market, to Sunday School,
past our would-be boyfriends' houses,
to any town, anywhere.
We shopped for expensive clothes everywhere.
Our sister would open our doors
and say, Meter's runnin' ladies,
but take your time.
We rode all over in that ugly green Hudson
with its broken front windshield, springs poking
through its back seat, blackberry vines growing
through rusted floorboards;
with no wheels, no tires, taillights busted,
headlights missing, and gas gauge on empty.
It's the birthday of the science fiction writer Brian Herbert, born in Seattle in 1947, the son of another great science fiction author, Frank Herbert, who wrote the Dune trilogy. Brian Herbert came out with his first book in 1983, entitled Sidney's Comet, which is about an enormous comet, composed of human garbage, that is dumped in space and returned by higher powers. In 1999, 13 years after his father's death, Herbert teamed up with author Kevin Anderson to write a trilogy of prequels to Dune.
It's the birthday of the actress and director JoAnne Akalaitis, born in Cicero, Illinois, in 1937. She was a writer and director for the experimental theater collective Mabou Mines.
On this day in 1921, Edith Wharton became the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for her book The Age of Innocence. She had written the book almost as an aside, saying:
I wanted to put into words the years of the war, as I had lived them in Paris ... all their fantastic heights and depths of self-devotion and ardour, of pessimism, triviality and selfishness. But before I could begin to deal objectively with the stored-up emotions of those years, I had to get away from the present altogether ... I found a momentary escape in going back to my childish memories of a long-vanished America, and wrote The Age of Innocence.
It's the birthday of composer, librettist, and lyricist Frank Loesser, born in New York City in 1910. He was best known for his musical Guys and Dolls, which opened on Broadway in 1950, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Most Happy Fella. Frank Loesser once said, "Loud is good."
It's the birthday of aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, born in Lyons, France, in 1900. His first love in life was flying, and his second was writing about flying. His first book was Southern Mail, and his second was Night Flight, published in 1932. He was shot down in 1944 and disappeared on a World War II reconnaissance mission. His most popular work was a children's book written the year before he died, The Little Prince. It is narrated by a pilot who has crashed in the desert where he meets a child who has traveled to earth from his own tiny planet.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®