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 Kenneth Ronkowitz
Here in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart,
I use the rosary beads to count the minutes.
How many times will they pass through my fingers
before we can leave?
Suddenly, at the top of the sky blue dome
amidst painted clouds,
a sparrow beats its wings
at a stained glass window.
All the windows are closed.
How did it enter?
Its wings touch the red glass in disbelief.
The people who looked up,
now stare down in shame.
The priest does not seem to know it is there.
But I cannot take my eyes from it.
My fingers work the beads,
prayers flying through my head
as fast as my heart is beating,
trapped within me,
some shame –
because I know I cannot free him
because I know I brought him here.
“Shame” by Kenneth Ronkowitz. Used with permission of the author.
It’s the birthday of Henry Adams, (books by this author) born in Boston (1838). He wrote a nine-volume History of the United States During the Administrations of Jefferson and Madison and biographies of George Cabot Lodge and Albert Gallatin. But he is best known for his autobiographical The Education of Henry Adams.
He wrote about Robert E. Lee, “I disagree with my brother Charles and Theodore Roosevelt. I think that Lee should have been hanged. It was all the worse that he was a good man and a fine character and acted conscientiously. These facts have nothing to do with the case and should not have been allowed to interfere with just penalties. It’s always the good men who do the most harm in the world.”
When he was eight, his father had a heart attack, and he died from a second heart attack when Richard was 16. For much of his childhood, Ford went back and forth between Mississippi and Little Rock, Arkansas, where his grandmother lived with her second husband, a former prizefighter, and ran a hotel. Ford said, “I did everything in the hotel. I worked in it and I played in it. A lot of things go on in great big hotels, behind closed doors, and I saw behind those doors.”
After high school, he went to Michigan State University to study hotel management and then switched to English. After college, he tried to work for the Arkansas State Police, but he was rejected. Then he got discharged from the Marines because he had hepatitis. He tried law school — his plan was to be a lawyer for the Marine Corps, and then work for the FBI — but he didn’t like it, and he dropped out. Unsure of what to do next, he decided to give writing a try.
His first novel was A Piece of My Heart (1976) and then published The Sportswriter (1986), the first of his trilogy about Frank Bascombe, a novelist-turned-sportswriter-turned-realtor from New Jersey.
Ford did a book signing for The Sportswriter at Lemuria Books in Jackson, and not many people turned up besides some of his old neighbors. He said: “Suddenly I looked up and there was Eudora. She’d driven over to the bookstore. She had a deep voice — and I’m making her sound more imperious than she was; she was very sweet — but she said, ‘Well, I just had to come pay my respects.'” Ford and Welty became good friends, and when Welty died in 2001, at the age of 92, Ford was a pallbearer at her funeral. He was also her literary executor.
It was on this day in 1978 that social networking got its start when the first public, dial-up Computerized Bulletin Board System (CBBS) went online in Chicago, Illinois. In those days, the Internet was in its infancy, not available to most computer users. Two computer hobbyists, Ward Christiansen and Randy Seuss, got the idea to create a virtual message board where CBBS members could dial into the system using a telephone modem and post notes to each other in the same way a family might communicate by sticking messages to a corkboard using pushpins. It was the beginning of social networking.
On this date in 1937, Wallace Carothers and DuPont Chemical Company were granted a patent for the synthetic polymer called nylon.