Saturday, September 11, 2010

Birthdays

Today, guitarist Leo Kottke is 65. Last week Kottke made the news here in Duluth by putting on a show at the Bayfront Park with an audience close to nil. The newspaper attributed the debacle to poor promotion of the event. Truth is, there is just so much noise these days in the promotions realm that it's hard to be heard, and so much going on one wonders how anyone has time for anything any more. My guess is that the promoters did nothing beyond the ordinary and ordinary doesn't cut it in this new media environment. Kottke is worthy of an audience.

Today is a Harvest Festival at Bayfront Park and we'll see how that turns out with another Harvest Fest at a church on Arrowhead Road. Meanwhile, I am using part of the day today to prepare for a Harvest Fest that our own New Life Covenant Church is putting on tomorrow at the Twig Town Hall.

For the record, Kottke was born in Athens, Georgia. I first became aware of him when I was attending college in Athens, Ohio. Coincidentally, there is also a Duluth, Georgia. I first learned this from a local racing team, the Archer brothers, who had won a Grand Prix or the 24 Hours of Le Mans (or something big like that) and Duluth, MN did not even acknowledge them, whereas there were banners of congratulations in Duluth, GA. Interesting.

Few people know that today is the birthday of O Henry, the short story writer who trademarked the surprise ending. D. H. Lawrence, author of the scandalous Lady Chatterly's Lover, also emerged from the womb on this day. The great Crimson Tide coach Paul "Bear" Bryant celebrated his birthday on the eleventh along with Brian de Palma, Hollywood director who pretty much ruined Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities. And hey, it's also the birthday of Ludacris, inspiration for the Beatles' #1 pop Eight Days a Week.

When my brother Robert called this morning to wish me a happy birthday, he shared the following bit of trivia with me. He asked if I was aware that Bob Dylan carefully clipped his toenails so that the nails on his left foot were a half inch longer than his right foot. I admitted that I had not heard this. He was, naturally, just funnin' me because he is the comic of the family and knows I'm a bit of a Dylan fan.

Going back in time, other famous names born today include:
1764 Valentino Fioravanti, composer
1458 Bernardo Accolti, Unico Aretino, Italian writer
1229 Hakuna Matata, Central Africa

On a serious note, today in 1922, civil rights leader Charles Evers entered the world, older brother of civil rights martyr Medgar Evers, whose tragic death inspired Bob Dylan's profound and richly textured Only a Pawn In Their Game, one of my all-time favorite Dylan songs.

It has been an interesting birthday so far, thanks to all the birthday greetings on Facebook and emails. Having a 9-11 birthday was a bit of a bummer nine years ago, but it did help put into perspective the notion that there are any number of tragic days where people woke with different expectations for their birthdays.... the JFK assassination and Pearl Harbor come immediately to mind. This time around, I feel honored and humbled to have known so many good people and to be on the receiving end of their best birthday wishes.

Whatever your plans for the weekend, enjoy them to the utmost.

2 comments:

M. Denise C. said...

Happy Birthday, Ed!!

I feel sad for Leo K. And I just watched Lady Chatterley on Neflix with Sean Bean and Joely Richardson. It was great and I recommend this British version.

ENNYMAN said...

Hey, thanks. And thanks for the recommendation. I will check it out.

Yeah, I feel bad for Leo on that one, too. He deserves better.

Be well
e.