Thursday, April 7, 2016


Feast Day

St. John Baptist de la Salle, by Giovanni Gagliardi
Today is the feast day of St. John Baptist de la Salle, founder of the teaching congregation commonly referred to as the Christian Brothers. He is the patron saint of teachers.

The order he founded operates a staggering number of educational institutions around the world. He is,
in a very real sense, the father of Catholic education worldwide.

As someone who is a product of a Catholic education himself, as well as someone who spent many years teaching in a Catholic high school,
this feast day has a special meaning for me. I like to think that St. John Baptist de la Salle would approve of how I chose to spend my life.

"You know he would."

I have a lot of regrets about my life, but choosing to be a teacher isn't one of them...


Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat

Today is also National Beer Day, a commemoration of the date in 1933 when the Cullen-Harrison Act took effect, making it legal for the first time in 13 years for Americans to buy, sell, and drink beer.

I'm not much of a beer drinker during the winter months, but now that the warm weather is returning it won't be long before I'll be sitting on my patio on a pleasantly warm evening enjoying a nice craft beer.

I'd be celebrating with a brew or two today while watching a ballgame, but...

Play Ball, Dang It!

World Series Ring ceremony on Tuesday
After waiting five months for the return of major league baseball, the start of the season has been frustrating, to say the least.

My beloved Kansas City Royals won their Opening Day game 4-3 on Sunday night. Today is Thursday, and they have only played one game since the opener. They don't play today, either.

I enjoyed seeing the championship flag being raised, and I enjoyed seeing the players receive their championship rings, but what I really want to see is baseball games.

"Relax, will you? It's too early in the season to be so tense."

I'm not "tense," I just want to watch some !@#$% Royals baseball...

King for a Day

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.


Time for one of my period reminders to click on the live links you find here (like this one) at least once in awhile. A lot of the content is enhanced if you track those sources down, and a fair amount of the humor is as well.

Comments, of course, are always welcome. Agree or disagree, I'd love to hear from you!

"Me too! Say 'hi' once in awhile, okay?"

Until Next Time...

It is difficult to overstate the contributions to musical theater made by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. What if there had never been a Carousel, or The King and I, or The Sound of Music? Unimaginable. Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals are the very essence of American musical theater.

Original 1949 lobby poster
On April 7, 1949 South Pacific opened at the Majestic Theatre in midtown Manhattan. When it closed in January 1954 after 1,925 performances it was the second-longest running musical in Broadway history, after Rodgers & Hammerstein's own Oklahoma!

The show has remained a favorite with both amateur and professional companies around the world ever since, in no small part because it features some of the most popular songs in Rodgers & Hammerstein's illustrious career.

"Some Enchanted Evening" is arguably the single most popular song ever to come from a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. Pretty much every significant male vocalist of that era recorded it, including Perry Como (whose version hit No. 1 on the charts), Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra (who recorded it in 1949, again in 1963, and a final time in 1967).

It has also been recorded by female vocalists like Jo Stafford, Jane Olivor, and Barbra Streisand, even though the song was written to be sung by a male character.

It is, by any measure, a standard in the Great American Songbook.

Sinatra's first version of the song was recorded on February 28, 1949. It was not unusual for singers to record songs from Broadway shows that had yet to open. If a show turned out to be a hit, the singer could then release a single and capitalize on the show's popularity. Released not long after the show opened to rave reviews, Sinatra's rendition peaked at No. 6 on the charts, his best-performing single in nearly two years. He would only have one other song do as well over the next five years.

Today's send-off is Sinatra's excellent 1949 rendition, paired with images of Ol' Blue Eyes himself. Enjoy...

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