Sunday, September 12, 2010

So, had I had any inclination whatsoever to type anything this past Friday, I'd have noted that the 10th of September marked the anniversary of the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. Tame little factoid in an encylopedia. In life, a nightmare for all concerned. 10 Sept was Huey Long's deathday, down in Louisiana, back in 1935. Hard times there are not forgotten, I reckon. An assassin shot 'the Kingfish' two days earlier. Blowhard he was, but he had buckets of fine notions. And not so by the way, the opening page of Robt. Penn Warren's All the King's Men, based [loosely] on Long's life [cut short] is some of the best writing ever, ever.
Dalton Trumbo, blacklisted screenwriter, passed away, too, on 10 Sept, in 1976, when my life, incidentally, was horrible, one friend's couch away from just about no place to go. sheesh...
There was a time, years' worth of time, when school children were asked to remember that poor doomed Henry Hudson first laid eyes on Manhattan Island on 11 Sept 11, 1609. And I'll bet generations of neighbors in eastern Pennsylvania remembered September 11 as the day soldiers suffered & pounded their way through the Battle of the Brandywine in 1777. All overshadowed now, these past nine years. For any who'd welcome some clarity, some coherent background, do try & find your way to seeing & hearing [on HBO, perhaps] journalist Lawrence Wright's My Trip to Al-Qaeda
And then, and then here it is today and now it's nearly gone, this 12th of September, the day that wondrous curmudgeon H. L. Mencken was born in 1880 and Lester Harness, my dear uncle was born in 1916, the day in 1953 that a lovely debutante married skinny Jack Kennedy. I"ll bet he promised fidelity that day. Ah well. There's so much bad in the best of us, so much good in the worst of us, that it little behooves any of us to compare ourselves with the rest of us. So said a saying, anyway, on the wall of my poor mom's horrible kitchen. God rest her.

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