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16th July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1911 Ginger Rogers (actress) 

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Died:

2012 Kitty Wells (country music singer)

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On This Day:

1970 Iraq puts its constitution into effect

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Have a good Monday, 16th July

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15th July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1606 Rembrandt van Rijn (painter – Night Watch)

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Died:

1997 Gianni Versace (fashion designer)

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On This Day:

1799 The Rosetta Stone is discovered, allowing for translation of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics

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Have a good Sunday, 15th July

 

14th July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1910 William Hanna (cartoonist – Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo)

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Died:

1881 Billy The Kid (infamous outlaw)

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On This Day:

1789 Bastille Day (the start of the French Revolution with the fall of the Bastille Prison)

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Have a good Saturday, 14th July

 

12th July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1937 Bill Cosby (actor & comedian)

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Died:

1804 Alexander Hamilton (US Founding Father)

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On This Day:

1962 The Rolling Stones have their first performance (Marquee Club in London)

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Have a good Thursday, 12th July

 

Shut Up And Eat Your Toad

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The disorganization to which I currently belong
has skipped several meetings in a row
which is a pattern I find almost fatally attractive.
Down at headquarters there’s a secretary
and a janitor who I shall call Suzie
and boy can she ever shoot straight.
She’ll shoot you straight in the eye if you ask her to.
I mow the grass every other Saturday
and that’s the day she polishes the trivets
whether they need it or not, I don’t know
if there is a name for this kind of behavior,
hers or mine, but somebody once said something or another.
That’s why I joined up in the first place,
so somebody could teach me a few useful phrases,
such as, “Good afternoon, my dear anal-retentive Doctor,”
and “My, that is a lovely dictionary you have on, Mrs. Smith.”
Still, I hardly feel like functioning even on a brute
or loutish level. My plants think I’m one of them,
and they don’t look so good themselves, or so
I tell them. I like to give them at least several
reasons to be annoyed with me, it’s how they exercise
their skinny spectrum of emotions. Because.
That and cribbage. Often when I return from the club
late at night, weary-laden, weary-winged, washed out,
I can actually hear the nematodes working, sucking
the juices from the living cells of my narcissus.
I have mentioned this to Suzie on several occasions.
Each time she has backed away from me, panic-stricken
when really I was just making a stab at conversation.
It is not my intention to alarm anyone, but dear Lord
if I find a dead man in the road and his eyes
are crawling with maggots, I refuse to say
have a nice day Suzie just because she’s desperate
and her life is a runaway carriage rushing toward a cliff
now can I? Would you let her get away with that kind of crap?
Who are you anyway? And what kind of disorganization is this?
Baron of the Holy Grail? Well it’s about time you got here.
I was worried, I was starting to fret.

– James Tate

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10th July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1509 John Calvin (protestant religious reformer and founder of Calvinism) 

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Died:

2015 Omar Sharif (actor – Doctor Zhivago) 

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On This Day:

1890 Wyoming becomes the 44th State of the USA

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Have a good Tuesday, 10th July

The Wrong Way Home

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All night a door floated down the river.
It tried to remember little incidents of pleasure
from its former life, like the time the lovers
leaned against it kissing for hours
and whispering those famous words.
Later, there were harsh words and a shoe
was thrown and the door was slammed.
Comings and goings by the thousands,
the early mornings and late nights, years, years.
O they’ve got big plans, they’ll make a bundle.
The door was an island that swayed in its sleep.
The moon turned the doorknob just slightly,
burned its fingers and ran,
and still the door said nothing and slept.
At least that’s what they like to say,
the little fishes and so on.
Far away, a bell rang, and then a shot was fired.

 

– James Tate

Pether, Sebastian, 1790-1844; Moonlit River Landscape with a Monumental Gateway