Friday, October 22, 2010

22 Oct

Look at this!é-Jacques_Garnerin

You know, I've been making this a bit of a habit, checking to see who once celebrated this or that day as his or her birthday, thinking that on a day like this – cool, clouds gathering over trees shedding their leaves – some significant someone came into or departed from our world through the slot marked October 22. So what do I come across? the fact that a 28-yr-old Parisian, a former P.O.W., André-Jacques Garnerin accomplished something most brave and extraordinary. I never knew. If you've already clicked on the link above, you've read his story.
I think it's the birthday of Sarah Bernhardt, the glorious French actress. ... learned that - or think I learned that from the fabulous bio by Cornelia Otis Skinner. oh, shoot - it's not until tomorrow. I was so taken by the photos of her. Did a watercolor painting years ago of 'Mme. Sarah.. 'the Divine Bernhardt' ....'twas that painting that caught the attention of Phyllis Dove, a lady who befriended me... bless her, may she r.i.p.
I confess that my historical leanings lean upon images, impressions, books I've read, films I've seen, old episodes of Masterpiece Theatre. So I'm much taken w/ notions of American life in the first decades of the 1900s [picturesque, dramatic yet quaint from afar. damned scary & uncomfortable up close] & still a bit bereft that the century, its arc of events, is past... Warren Beatty's Reds: It was on this day [1887] that John Reed [poet, brave & passionate journalist, author of Ten Days That Shook the World.... the only American to be buried in the Kremlin, Moscow, after he died @ age 33 or thereabouts] ....was born. The 1991 film Impromptu: glorious, funny, romantic.... Hugh Grant as Frederic Chopin; Judy Davis as George Sand. Julian Sands portrayed Franz Liszt, whose birthday it is today....

Am I rambling? Yes. Down to work.

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