Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
by Tim Nolan
Not just in the sense
of salt and pepper
but also sweat on the pillow
The smell of me
in the tweed sport coat
That combination of old
smoke and faded sunlight
Seasoned as the woodpile
the wood collapsing in on itself
the logs drying out
cell by cell becoming
light as paper crumbly
as a story I once knew
Seasoned by the seasons
The quiet nothing of snow
The urgent return of the bud
The long lazy lapping of the lake
The turning again toward
nothing seasoned as my old shoes
jumbled up in the closet
Everywhere I’ve walked
in panic and fear sometimes
shuffling along I’m hard on shoes
I wear them out in no time
making a hole like a bullet hole
in the leather sole seasoned
by weeds the burnt grass
the kids going off
so we finally take a breath
My nicotine-seasoned fingernails
something like the taste
of balsamic vinegar drizzled
on a green tomato
The wind the new kind of wind
I notice again as if for the first time
One season turning toward the next
with everything about to happen
Tim Nolan, “Seasoned” from The Field. Copyright © 2016 by Tim Nolan. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of New Rivers Press, www.newriverspress.com. All rights reserved. (buy now)
It was on this day in 1954 that the first transistor radio appeared on the market.
A team of scientists at Bell Laboratories invented the first transistor technology in 1947.
Several companies bought licenses from Bell, including Texas Instruments, who was bent on being the first to market with a transistor radio. Radios were mostly big, bulky devices that stayed in one place — usually in the living room — while the whole family gathered around to listen to programming. Texas Instruments was determined to create a radio that was small and portable, and to get it out for the Christmas shopping season. They produced the transistors, and they partnered with the Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates, who manufactured the actual radios. Their new radio, the Regency TR-1, turned on immediately, weighed half a pound, and could fit in your pocket. It cost $49.95, and more than 100,000 were sold.
Texas Instruments went on to pursue other projects, but a Japanese company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo decided to make transistor radios their main enterprise. They were concerned that their name was too difficult for an American audience to pronounce, so they decided to rebrand themselves with something simpler. They looked up the Latin word for sound, which was sonus. And they liked the term sonny boys — English slang that was used in Japan for exceptionally bright, promising boys. And so the company Sony was born. Soon transistor radios were cheap and prevalent.
With transistor radios, teenagers were able to listen to music out of their parents’ earshot. This made possible the explosion of a new genre of American music: rock and roll.
It’s the birthday of New Yorker journalist A.J. (Abbott Joseph) Liebling (books by this author), born in New York (1904). As a young boy, he fell in love with the newspapers his father brought home from work every day.
He became a newspaper reporter, writing about crime and local tragedies. He said: “I [would] pound up tenement stairs and burst in on families disarranged by sudden misfortune. It gave me a chance to make contact with people I would never otherwise have met, and I learned almost immediately what every reporter knows, that most people are eager to talk about their troubles.”
He went on to join the staff of The New Yorker in 1935, and he worked there for the rest of his life, writing about gourmet food, bare-knuckle boxing, and World War II, among other things.
It’s the birthday of Ntozake Shange (books by this author), born Paulette Williams in Trenton, New Jersey (1948) author of the Tony-nominated play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1975) as well as numerous novels, poetry, and other works. She died on October 27, 2018, in Maryland.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®