There have been two sad events in the past few days. First came word that Shirley Temple had died, then news of Sid Caesar's death.
Because both of these people made careers out of making people smile, instead of dwelling on the loss, i'm going to recount a favorite story about each.
There was an interview i'm not sure how many years ago in which Shirley Temple Black talked about her movie making years. The comment that struck me as funny was when she was talking about memorizing lines. She said her mother would read the line to her, and she would repeat it back, and that was it, she would know it. She said something to the effect that she figured kids heads were empty anyway, so she didn't have any trouble putting stuff in there! That still has me laughing, years after hearing it.
Then there was Sid Caesar, and i think it was when he was on Oprah. He was telling a story about his years doing "Your Show of Shows", when his daughter was about age 3. They would do the show live on Saturday night, then all go out and eat, and he and his wife would get home early in the morning, and go to bed and try to sleep late on Sunday morning.
Having a 3-year-old, he remembered one morning the child rising long before he and his wife were ready to get up. He got her a bowl of cereal and sat her in front of the cartoons and other stuff on the TV, and went back to bed. A few minutes later, he heard a tap at the door.
Upon opening the door, the tyke said, "Daddy, is your first name Sid?"
"Yes, Sweetie," he answered, "my name is Sid." He went on to explain that mommy and daddy were tired and wanted to sleep, and told her to go back to her cartoons.
A bit later, he hears another tap, opens the door, and there she is again.
This time, she asks, "Is our last name Caesar?"
"Yes, Sweetie," he answered again. He explained that yes, that was their last name, and would she please go watch the TV and let him sleep.
A little bit after that, a third tap on the door. He opened it to see his child very wide-eyes indeed as she said, with a gasp, "You're Sid Caesar!"
Two wonderful talents, remembered with smiles.
American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting -- Chicago, IL, US (a five day meeting of top scientist; who knows what these people will come up with next, because science is amazing!)
Break-Up Day -- if you are over him/her, don't go through tomorrow pledging love falsely, get out today
Dream of Your Sweetheart Day -- a reminder that if you aren't ready for Valentine's Day tomorrow, you'd better get cracking
Employee Legal Awareness Day -- Australia
Get a Different Name Day -- for those who hate their name; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays
Gold Rush Days -- Wickenburg, AZ, US (celebrating the Old West; through Sunday)
Ides of February -- Ancient Roman Calendar; also
Parentalia begins -- through the 21st (honoring divi parentes -- the deified ancestors)
Lupercalia begins -- through the 15th (to rid the city of evil spirits)
Orgiastic festival of Juno Februa begins -- through tomorrow
I Value Your Friendship Day -- because you don't want to neglect your friends while we are remembering love this week
Madly in Love With Me Day -- because you have to love "me" before you can love "we"
Miami International Boat Show -- Miami, FL, US (biggest boat show in the US, and the main event for product introductions; through Monday)
National Conference on Education -- Nashville, TN, US (three day conference sponsored by the American Assn. of School Administrators)
National Tortellini Day
Simplot Games -- Holt Arena, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, US (Indoor track and field for the top high school athletes from the US and Canada; through Saturday)
St. Catherine dei Ricci's Day (Patron of the ill)
Ta-asobi -- Akatsuka Suwa Shrine, Itabashi-ku, Japan (ceremony to pray for a good harvest)
Trndez or Tearnandarach -- Armenian Christian Church (fire celebration, begins in the evening and goes through tomorrow; originally a pagan sun worship celebration, it is now a Candlemas celebration by the OS Calendar)
Mena Suvari, 1979
Robbie Williams, 1974
Kelly Hu, 1968
David Naughton, 1951
Peter Gabriel, 1950
Stockard Channing, 1944
Jerry Springer, 1944
Carol Lynley, 1942
Peter Tork, 1942
Bo Svenson, 1941
George Segal, 1934
Kim Novak, 1933
Chuck Yeager, 1923
Eileen Farrell, 1920
Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1919
Eddie Robinson, 1919
Grant Wood, 1892
Alvin York, 1887
Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace Truman, 1885
Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill, 1849
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, 1754
Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, 1682
"Prince Valiant"(Comic strip), 1937
Today in History:
Baghdad falls to the Mongols, and the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed, 1258
Jews are expelled from Burgsordf, Switzerland, 1349
The Disfida di Barletta (Challenge of Barletta); Frenchman Charles de la Motte accused Italians of cowardice, and thirteen Italians proceeded to rout 13 Frenchmen in a chivalrous horseback tourney, 1503
St. Augustine, Florida, is founded, becoming the oldest continuously occupied European established city, and the oldest port, in the continental United States, 1566
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for trial before the Inquisition for professing belief that the Earth revolves around the sun, 1633
Treaty of Lisbon: Spain recognizes Portugal, 1668
The Massacre of Glencoe: 78 members of the clan Macdonald are murdered for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange (William III), 1692
Cholera appears in London, 1832
Work begins on the covering of the Zenne, burying Brussels's primary river and creating the modern central boulevards, 1867
The feminist newspaper La Citoyenne is first published in Paris by the activist Hubertine Auclert, 1881
Painter Thomas Eakins resigns from Philadelphia Academy of Art after controversial over use of male nudes in a coed art class, 1886
Auguste and Louis Lumière patent the Cinematographe, a combination movie camera and projector, 1894
English suffragettes storm British Parliament and 60 women are arrested, 1907
The Negro National League is formed, 1920
A jury in Flemington, New Jersey finds Bruno Hauptmann guilty of the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, 1935
France tests its first atomic bomb, 1960
Black Sabbath, arguably the very first heavy metal album, is released, 1970
A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky, 1981
An agreement is reached on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany, 1990
The last original "Peanuts" comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies, 2000
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announces the discovery of the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star "Lucy" after The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", 2004
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd makes a historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations, 2008
At 23:31:30 UTC the Unix system time (time_t) number reaches 1234567890 seconds, 2009
For the first time in more than 100 years the Umatilla, an American Indian tribe, were able to hunt and harvest a bison just outside Yellowstone National Park, restoring a centuries-old tradition guaranteed by a treaty signed in 1855, 2011