Sunday, August 14, 2011

Random Sunday

It's a hot, muggy, rainy, dreary day here in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac. On the upside, I slept late, so I missed at least some of the dreary part. And I guess I shouldn't complain about the rain, since so much of the country is without it, should I?

How about just a few random things for a dreary Sunday?

It was on this date in 2003 that a huge blackout left most of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada without power, raising fears of terrorist sabotage and leaving more than 50 million people in the dark ... much as they remain today if they just watch Faux News or MSNBC all the time, ha, ha. The loss of power affected almost every element of daily life in the stricken areas, and many businesses suffered millions of dollars in losses of perishable goods when electrically-powered refrigeration units failed to work. While most areas regained power within a few hours, many people were without power for a day or two. Two of the millions of people caught up in the blackout were Agnes's cousin Anna and her husband Volker who were visiting from Germany to do some traveling before our daughter's wedding ... they went home with plenty of stories to tell.

You may recall that back in October of last year, I admitted that I love poetry. I especially enjoy finding a great poem that lends itself to being read aloud. As it happens, today is the anniversary of the birth (in 1863) of Ernest Thayer, the author of one of my favorite "read aloud" poems, Casey at the Bat.

The poem was published in 1888, but didn't attract much notice and remained little-read until comedian William DeWolf Hopper, who was putting on a post-game show for fans at a baseball game, found himself short of material and was given a copy of the poem by his friend Archibald Gunther to use as filler. Hopper's recitation of the poem was a huge success, and Casey at the Bat became part of American baseball history. Hopper became widely known for performing the poem, but it wasn't until many years later that he learned the identity of its author ... and both men remain little-known today, even though the poem lives on in popularity.

And that's all for this gloomy day. I hope the weather is better where you are.

Have a good day. Stay dry. More thoughts tomorrow.


1 comment:

Mike said...

'terrorist sabotage'

Who needs terrorist sabotage when good ol' American ingenuity can do it all by itself.