Sep. 5, 1996

The High School Band

by Reed Whittemore


Today's Reading: "The High School Band" by Reed Whittemore from THE PAST, THE FUTURE, THE PRESENT, published by University of Arkansas Press (1990).

The Utah State Fair begins today in Salt Lake City.

The 23rd International Seaplane Fly-In Weekend starts today in Greenville, Maine.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Chili and Bluegrass Festival gets underway.

The month-long Shakespeare-on-the-Rocks festival begins today in El Paso, Texas, with performances of THE TEMPEST, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, ROMEO AND JULIET, and THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.

The world's longest road tunnel opened on this day in 1980 in Europe (ten miles through the Swiss Alps beneath the St. Gotthard Pass).

It's the birthday of novelist Frank Yerby (THE FOXES OF HARROW; THE GOLDEN HAWK; THE SERPENT AND THE STAFF), born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1916.

American composer John Cage ("Four Minutes and Thirty-three seconds"), was born in Los Angeles on this day in 1912.

It's the birthday of novelist Arthur Koestler (DARKNESS AT NOON), born in Budapest in 1905.

Darryl Zanuck, who pioneered the conversion to sound movies, producing the JAZZ SINGER IN 1927, was born in Wahoo, Nebraska, in 1902. His other films include THE GRAPES OF WRATH, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and MASH.

It's the birthday in 1847 of the American outlaw, Jesse James.

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




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show