Today is August 22, 2013. On today’s date in:
1848 – During this tumultuous year of revolutions in Europe a young Lieutenant in the United States Army brought lifelong stability and happiness to an existence which was otherwise filled with turmoil and failure. Ulysses Grant married Julia Dent. “He was a failure at everything in life except war and marriage…” historian Shelby Foote has written of our nation’s 18’th President. And undoubtedly this was true; Grant and his Julia truly loved and depended upon each other for understanding and support for the rest of their lives.
1922 – The up and coming film director in the Weimar Republic’s Germany, Fritz Lang married actress and writer Thea von Harbou. This was also a match of true love and understanding, also of intellectual and artistic compatibility. Lang and von Harbou would collaborate on some of the most important work of Lang’s early career, including his masterpieces, “Metropolis” (1927) and the chilling “M”(1931). Unfortunately, this marriage did not last as long as the Grants. When Hitler came to power, Lang decided that he could not work under the Nazi government, and joined the artistic exodus to America in 1933. Von Harbou on the other hand decided to throw in with the Bohemian Corporal and his band of cut throats. They divorced in 1933.
1917 = Johnny Lee Hooker was born near Clarksdale, Mississippi. A rhythm and blues guitarist of sublime talents, Johnny Lee gave us a trademark “talking blues” style that included such hits as “Boogie Chillin'”(1948) and “Boom-Boom” 1962. The man left us richer for his having been here, when he left us on June 21, 2001.
1920 = The superbly talented writer of such classics of Science and/or Speculative Fiction as “the Martian Chronicles”(1950), “Farenheit 451” (1953),and the semi-auto-biographical “Dandelion Wine”(1957), Ray Bradbury was born in Waukeegan, Illinois. Sadly, Ray left us on June 5 of this year, but he left us MUCH wiser for his insights!! Thanks, Ray!!
1934 = General H. (Herbert) “Stormin'” Norman Scwarzkopf Jr., the man who lead the military forces of the United States and her coalition Allies to victory over the forces of the evil and murderous Saddam Hussein in the Persian Gulf War of 1990- ’91, was born in Trenton, New Jersey.
1939 = The Hall of Fame Left-fielder/First Baseman for the Boston Red Sox, Carl Yastrzemski was born in Southampton, New York. “Yaz” retired from baseball in 1983, with a lifetime batting average of .285, 3,419 base hits of which 452 were home runs, producing 1,184 Runs batted in. He was also elected to the All-Star Team 18 times.
1960 = Norma M. and John P. Bolten gave birth to the final child of their six kid brood…. ME, Brian Thomas Bolten. I have been in my life a basically good kid, a capable, and at times even an excellent symphonic Double Bass player, a loyal and hopefully a fun and cheerful member of the Dayton Philharmonic, Austin Lyric Opera, and the Austin Symphony Orchestras, a hard-working member of the staff of the University of Texas at Austin School of Music, and a devoted believer, supporter and staffer for the University of Texas String Project Program. I have tried to be a good writer, and I know that I have always been, for better or worse a gentleman. I have been and will always be a devoted fan of the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Lady Longhorns Volleyball Team. Parkinson’s Disease and various other difficulties have left me down, but NOT out. I shall venture forth like Phoenix arising from the ashes, and I WILL… BE…. BACK!
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The author’s own twisted “mind” (such as it is).
Grant: A biography (The library of the presidents) by William S. McFeeley, W.W. Norton & Co., London, New York, 1981