St. Michael, MN
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director JULY 4, 2021, 4:00 PM SUMMERFIELD AMPHITHEATER 4300 O’Day Ave. NE, St. Michael, MN 55376 $42/$15 Outside concert FAQs In 2021 we are going bigger, better, bolder, and in the […]
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director July 2, 2021, 7:30 PM BIG TOP CHAUTAUQUA, BAYFIELD, WI Reserved $60/$52/$42 The Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua is a 900-seat music venue and performing arts center, located near […]
Stillwater, MN 6-30
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director June 30, 2021, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM THE AVALON, STILLWATER, MN St. Croix Boat & Packet Co., 525 Main Street South, Stillwater, MN 55082 DINNER, CRUISE, AND SHOW […]
Just Added: Stillwater, MN 6-29
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director JUST ADDED June 29, 2021, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM THE AVALON, STILLWATER, MN St. Croix Boat & Packet Co., 525 Main Street South, Stillwater, MN 55082 DINNER, CRUISE, […]
by Stephen Dunn
And so you call your best friend
who’s away, just to hear his voice,
but forget his recording concludes
with “Have a nice day.”
“Thank you, but I have other plans,”
you’re always tempted to respond,
as an old lady once did, the clerk
in the liquor store unable to laugh.
Always tempted, what a sad
combination of words. And so
you take a walk into the neighborhood,
where the rhododendrons are out
and also some yellow things
and the lilacs remind you of a song
by Nina Simone. “Where’s my love?”
is its refrain. Up near Gravel Hill
two fidgety deer cross the road,
whitetails, exactly where
the week before a red fox
made a more confident dash.
Now and then the world rewards,
and so you make your way back
past the careful lawns, the drowsy backyards,
knowing the soul on its own
is helpless, asleep in the hollows
of its rigging, waiting to be stirred.
Stephen Dunn, “And So” from What Goes On. Copyright © 2008 W.W. Norton. (buy now)
Today is the birthday of Agnes Fay Morgan, born in Peoria, Illinois (1884). She studied chemistry in college and received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. But job prospects for female chemists were bleak, so she took a position in the Home Economics department at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1915. She was an associate professor of “household science,” specifically nutrition. She made it her mission to bring the element of science into the program, which was typically dismissed as “women’s work.” When she was made chair of the department, she increased the rigor of the program and worked to have it taken seriously. While other home economics programs were little more than instruction on the art of gracious living, Morgan required all of her students to have a solid foundation in physical and biological science. In 1960 — six years after Morgan retired — the Home Economics Department was renamed the Nutritional Sciences Department, and a year after that their building was renamed Agnes Fay Morgan Hall. Even after she officially retired she never gave up her research and continued to show up to her Berkeley office on a regular basis until her death in 1968.
Morgan, with her background in chemistry applied to the field of nutrition, wrote more than 250 scientific papers. She was responsible for much of what we know about the vitamins in food. She also proved the link between vitamin deficiencies and poor health conditions, showed certain vitamins’ effect on hormones, and analyzed the effects of heat and processing on the stability of vitamins and proteins.
Peter Minuit landed on the island of Manhattan on this date in 1626. Dutch fur traders had been living on nearby Governors Island for a couple of years and had built a trading post there. In 1625 construction began on Manhattan Island in the form of a citadel, Fort Amsterdam. The Dutch West India Company appointed Minuit Director of the Colony of New Netherland. He arrived on Mannahatta, the “island of many hills,” to find a small village already in place, with more land being cleared. On the west side of the island there was a cemetery, a small farm, an orchard, and two wealthy estates. Most of the houses were built along the East River since its shore was more protected from winds than the shore of the Hudson. The main street was built over an old Indian path running from the southern tip of the island north to what is now City Hall Park. First it was called Heere Straat, which meant Gentlemen’s Street, but it eventually came to be known as Breede Wegh — which became the name we know it by today, Broadway.
But outside the infant settlement near the island’s southern edge grew towering stands of hickory, oak, and chestnut trees. Minuit also would have found grasslands and salt marshes. What would eventually become Times Square was at that time a red maple swamp. A creek ran through Midtown. Where the best eateries now stand, wild game roamed freely: turkey, deer, and elk. The beaches and waterways were teeming with eels, brook trout, and shellfish. And Madison Square Garden was a marsh on the edge of a forest. The island’s population was every bit as diverse as it is today: lying at the convergence of two geographic zones, Mannahatta was home to northern spruce and southern magnolia, migratory birds and tropical fish, more than 1,800 different species in all.
It’s the birthday of Horace Mann, born in Franklin, Massachusetts (1796). He was the first great American advocate of public education. He believed that in a democratic society education should be free and universal. He was fiercely opposed to slavery, and toward the end of his life, he was the president of Antioch College, a new institution committed to coeducation and equal opportunity for all students, black and white. Two months before he died he said in a speech to the graduating class, “I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words: Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
It’s the birthday of Israeli writer Amos Oz (books by this author), born as Amos Klausner in Jerusalem (1939). His uncle was killed by the Nazis, but his father managed to escape to Jerusalem in the late 1930s. His family spoke Yiddish, Russian, Polish, German, and English, but Amos was taught only Hebrew. As he grew up, he witnessed the founding of the Israeli nation. In 1948 he helped other schoolchildren fill sandbags to prepare for the siege of Jewish Jerusalem in the War of Independence. When they won the war he saw hundreds of thousands Jewish refugees stream into Israel. He later said, “The Jerusalem of my childhood was a lunatic town flooded with conflicting dreams, a vague federation of communities, people, faiths, ideologies, and hopes.”
He left home when he was 14 to work and study at a kibbutz, and he changed his last name to Oz, which means “strength” in Hebrew. He began writing poems, and in 1966 he came out with his first novel, Elsewhere Perhaps. Since then he’s published many more novels, including My Michael (1968) and The Same Sea (2002). His last novel is called Judas (2014). Oz died December 28, 2018.
Many of his novels and essays have challenged traditional Zionism, and he’s become a controversial figure in Israel. He wrote:
“Daytime Israel makes a tremendous effort to create the impression of the determined, tough, simple, uncomplicated society ready to fight back, ready to hit back twice as hard, courageous, and so on. Nocturnal Israel is a refugee camp with more nightmares per square mile […] than any other place in the world. Almost everyone has seen the devil.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®