Saturday, January 19, 2013

Who didn't grow up...

 ...reading Dear Abby?

And Ann Landers, her sister.

They were staples of the newspaper when i was growing up.  In fact, in the early years, we got one in the morning paper, the other in the evening paper.

Later, when there was only one paper a day, it had both.

While i didn't always agree with the advice, i did most of the time, and i always found them entertaining.

Plus, i was always assured i didn't have the weirdest family ever, nor did i have the worst problems in the history of the world.

When Ann Landers died, her column died with her.  Two of her longtime editors/assistants do a similar column, called Annie's Mailbox, that is usually good.

Abigail Van Buren, or Dear Abby, had her daughter take over the name and the column when she found out she had Alzheimer's disease several years ago.  Jeanne Phillips does a good job carrying on her mother's legacy.  She ought to, as her mother hired her to answer letters written in by teens when she was a teen herself and wanted a way to earn money.  Jeanne would write, her mother would critique and approve, and make Jeanne rewrite if needed.  So Jeanne Phillips is no slouch.

And yet.  The death of the original Dear Abby makes me pause, and remember.

Nothing is exactly the same.  It never stays exactly the same.

We can either grouse against it, or get used to it, or become sad and bitter, or live in the past, or embrace the change, while admitting we miss what has passed.

So, i miss what has passed, but i am embracing and enjoying what is new.

It's a way to keep the rheumatism out of the soul.

Today is:

Annual Visit of the Poe Toaster -- the mysterious person who, for almost 75 years, dressed in black with a wide brimmed hat and scarf, annually visited Poe's grave on his birthday, leaving roses and cognac; has not been seen since 2009

Bald Eagle Appreciation Days -- Keokuk, IA, US (through tomorrow)

Brew A Potion Day -- internet generated, no reasons given

Confederate Heroes Day -- Texas, US (some things never change)

Feast of Sultan (Sovereignty) -- Baha'i

Gasparilla Extravaganza -- Tampa, FL, US (the rum free version of the Pirate Festival celebration, with a kid's parade and lots of fun; the adult version is next Saturday)

Horror Novels Are Horrendous Day -- for Poe's birth anniversary

IceFest -- Ligonier, PA, US (ice sculpture contest and lots of family fun; through Sunday)

La Tamborrada -- San Sebastian, Spain (begins in the evening, a 24 hour drum jam session and the city's biggest fiesta)

Learn to Ski Day -- always the 3rd Saturday of January, and you go right ahead

Little Ricky Day -- marking the date of his arrival on "I Love Lucy"

National Popcorn Day

Neon Sign Day -- patented this day in 1915

Polar Bear Festival/Polar Bear Jump -- Seward, AK, US (lots of fun, if you want to freeze!)

Sacrifices to Apollon -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Sounkyo Ice Festival -- Hokkaido, Japan (snow and ice sculptures, through March 31)

St. Canute's Day a/k/a St. Knud (Patron of Denmark)

St. Henry of Uppsala's Day (Patron of the Catholic Cathedral of Helsinki; Finland; against storms)

Theophany/Epiphany -- Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians who still follow the Julian Calendar
     Timket -- Ethiopian Orthodox Christian (with huge, colorful festivals through the whole country)
     Blessing of the Waters -- Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia, Bayswater, London, UK

Tin Can Day -- patented this day in 1825

Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities -- Eatonville, FL, US (celebrating Hurston's work, hometown, and cultural contributions, and the contributions of all Africa-descended people; through the 27th)

Birthdays Today:

Jodie Sweetin, 1982
Shawn Wayans, 1971
Wendy Moniz, 1969
Junior Seau, 1969
Paul McCrane, 1961
Thomas Kinkade, 1958
Desi Arnaz, Jr., 1953
Dewey Bunnell, 1952
Robert Palmer, 1949
Paula Deen, 1947
Dolly Parton, 1946
Shelley Fabares, 1944
Janis Joplin, 1943
Michael Crawford, 1942
Phil Everly, 1939
Tippi Hedren, 1931
Jean Stapleton, 1923
Guy Madison, 1922
John H. Johnson, 1918
Lester Flatt, 1914
Paul Cezanne, 1839
Edgar Allan Poe, 1809
Robert E. Lee, 1807

Today in History:

Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy, 1419
San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed; it is currently the oldest church in the Philippines, 1607
The second group of ships of the First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay, 1788
The United Kingdom occupies the Cape of Good Hope, 1806
Goethe's Faust Part I premiers, 1829
Verdi's Il Trivatore premiers in Rome, 1853
The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey, 1883
Ibsen's play The Master Builder premiers in Berlin, 1893
Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising, 1915
The US Senate votes against membership in League of Nations, 1920
Coopers Inc. sells the world's first briefs, 1930
For the only time in recorded history, snow falls in Miami, Florida, 1977
The last VW Beetle made in Germany leaves the plant, 1978
United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity, 1981
The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced, 1983
Czech Republic and Slovakia join the United Nations, 1993
The New Horizons probe is launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto, 2006

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