Saturday, November 22, 2014

Many Happy Returns

It is Grandpa's birthday!

He grew up poor in NOLA, with a dad who abandoned the family and a mother who ran a small corner grocery to support her two children and her sister, who helped her raise the kids.

When he was 11, he got his first job, delivering newspapers.  He'd get up at 2am to get his papers, fold and rubber band them, and deliver them on his bicycle.  He was required to get the paper on the front porch, or the person would complain and he'd lose the money for that delivery.  Some front porches were on the second floor of the building, so he developed a great arm.  A few times, he was shot at while making deliveries.

After delivering papers, he rode past a bakery to buy bread, then went home to get ready for school.  His sister would ride the streetcar with him, and she would have to wake him up when they got there.

Never afraid of work, he had after school jobs, weekend, jobs, and summer jobs, as well as delivering newspapers.  His income paid his sister's allowance and her piano lessons, among other things.  In college, he took 21 hours every semester, was the lab assistant for his head professor, and still worked.  In med school, he still delivered papers, and in residency, he would come off of a 16-hour shift to spend 8 hours doing insurance physicals, then start it all over again.

His dream through his whole medical career as an Ob/Gyn was to revolutionize how women were treated in medicine in the New Orleans area, and he did.  His other dream was to be able to practice medicine for free (and he did a lot of that even when he was seeing paying patients).  That dream became a reality when he retired and was able to start going to Nicaragua regularly.  He started a women's free clinic there, that is still run on the donations he set up and with the medical missionaries who worked with him.

We are so grateful that we still have Grandpa with us.  It would take me hours to chronicle his life, so i'm summing up with Happy Birthday, Grandpa!  We love you!

Today is:

Dispute-Settling Assizes -- Fairy Calendar (no, they won't tell us what kind of disputes)

Dita e Alfabetit -- Albania and Ethnic Albanians (Day of the Albanian Alphabet)

Family Volunteer Day -- to get families working together to better their communities and the world; info here

Go for a Ride Day -- internet generated; during the crazy holiday season, go out for a relaxing sleigh ride or something

Holidays in the City Grand Illumination Parade -- Norfolk, VA, US (to kick off Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays)

Holodomor Remembrance Day -- international commemoration of the Death By Hunger Genocide in Ukraine

Independence Day -- Lebanon(1943)

International Aura Awareness Day -- to increase the awareness of the human energy body, or aura

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day --

Natchitoches Festival of Lights -- Natchitoches, LA, US (over 350,000 lights go on every night from now until Jan, 6, with carolers on Friday and Saturday evenings downtown, festivals and events every weekend; come celebrate the season in the Oldest Settlement in the Louisiana Purchase)

National Adoption Day -- US (encouraging us to find a home for every child; many courts finalize thousands of adoptions of children from foster care on this day each year)

National Cashew Day -- some sites have this on the 23rd, i celebrate both as i love cashews

National Stop the Violence Day -- a call by US radio and TV stations for a cease fire on American streets, on the anniversary of John Kennedy's assassination; observed with white ribbons and driving with headlights on during the day

National Survivors of Suicide Day -- US (by Congressional designation since 1999, and now an international movement; remembering those who have lost loved ones to suicide, especially as Thanksgiving and the holidays are coming)

Nordic Yulefest -- Nordic Museum, Seattle, WA, US (a Scandinavian holiday extravaganza; through tomorrow)

Phonograph Day -- Edison publicly  demonstrated his new music playing device on this day in 1877

Start Your Own Country Day -- begun at the 1939 World's Fair in New York

St. Cecilia's Day (Patron of composers, luthiers, martyrs, music, musicians, musical instrument makers, poets, singers; Academy of Music, Rome, Italy; Albi, France; Omaha, Nebraska; Valleyfield, Quebec)

Tori No Ichi -- Japan (a "rooster day" in which to wish good luck and prosperity at temple and shrine ceremonies around the country)

World's Champion Duck-Calling Contest and Festival -- Stuttgart, AR, US (pageants for Queen Mallard and Junior Queen Mallard, carnival, and the best duck calling possible; through Nov. 30)

Ydalir -- Ancient Norse Calendar (Celebration of the wintertime god of skiing and archery, Ullr; date approximate)

Anniversary Today:

The Humane Society of the United States is founded, 1954

Birthdays Today:

Scarlett Johansson, 1984
Scott Robinson, 1979
Boris Becker, 1967
Mariel Hemingway, 1961
Jamie Lee Curtis, 1958
Richard Kind, 1957
Billie Jean King, 1943
Guion S. Bluford, Jr., 1942
Harry Edwards, 1942
Tom Conti, 1941
Terry Gilliam, 1940
Robert Vaughn, 1932
Rodney Dangerfield, 1921
Benjamin Britten, 1913
Hoagie Carmichael, 1899
Wiley Post, 1898
Charles de Gaulle, 1890
John Nance Garner, 1868
George Eliot (Mary A. Evans), 1819
Abigail Adams, 1744

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Cathy"(Comic strip), 1976
"The Beatles/The White Album"(Beatles album release), 1968
"Man of La Mancha"(Musical), 1965
"The Grand Canyon Suite"(Grofe suite for orchestra), 1931
"Bolero"(Ravel orchestral piece), 1928
"La Forza del Destino/The Power of Fate"(Verdi opera), 1862
On the Origin of Species(Publication date), 1859

Today in History:

The first Duke of all Brittany, Nominoe defeats the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon, 845
Spain delegates "New Laws" against slavery in America, 1542
Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launch a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island, 1635
Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as "Blackbeard") is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard, 1718
Peregrine Williamson of Baltimore patents a steel pen, 1809
Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie called for a rebellion against Great Britain, 1837
In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day, 1869
Victoria Street Cable Tram route begins in Melbourne, Australia, 1886
The Congress of Manastir establishes the Albanian alphabet, 1908
1st snowmobile patent granted to Carl Eliason of Sayner Wisconsin, 1927
The premier performance of Ravel's Boléro takes place in Paris, 1928
Gasoline pump patented that computes quantity & price delivered, 1932
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" first heard on Eddie Cantor's show, 1934
The Humane Society of the United States is founded, 1954
US President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963
The United Nations General Assembly grants the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status, 1974
Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco, 1975
In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed, 1988
Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery, 1995
Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany, 2005
Germany holds its first piracy trial in 400 years, placing 10 Somalis accused of piracy on trial for alleged attacks on a German ship, 2010
Scientists in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, discover the first orchid known to flower at night, 2011


  1. Nice post, a very happy birthday to your Grandpa :-)

    Have a birthdaytastic weekend :-)

  2. an incredibly industrious man with a vision. a remarkable man.

  3. ♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday Dear Grandpa,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you.♪♪

    What an amazing man. I'm happy he's still with you too.

    Have a blessed day. :)

  4. Happy Birthday to your grandfather!! He sounds like such a hero. I wish the spoiled and entitled kids of today had to go back in time and spend a few years living the way our grandparents did. Instead of trying to make the world a better place, they're standing in line for the new iPhone while guzzling uber-expensive coffee from Starbucks and googling pictures of Kim K. (Do I sound like an angry old lady yet? "Get outta my yard, you rotten kids!" lol)

  5. Happy Birthday to your grandpa. He sounds like quite a guy.

  6. I think you should add to Today in History: Today Grandpa was born. Sounds like an amazing man.

  7. It's interesting how his work ethic took him so far.

  8. Happy birthday - belatedly - to your Grandpa.
    I agree with you about Cashew Day - there should be one every week.

  9. Happy Birthday ---- he sounds like an amazing man! What a work ethic - he reminds me of my own grandfather.