Scientifically speaking, the summer solstice occurred where I live
at 5:34 PM on Monday, June 20. That means this is the first official weekend of summer.
It also means the clock has begun ticking on my summer goal of learning how to swim...
|"You're such a fraidy cat."|
Maybe, but I'm also still alive...
Today my best friend Skip and his wife Elaine went ashore at Holyhead, on the Isle of Anglesey off the northwest coast of Wales.
|South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead|
While they were there they got to visit the famous Conwy Castle, built in the late 13th century by Edward I (also known as "Longshanks," made famous in the 1995 hit film Braveheart). Skip says there has been little restoration done to the place, just enough to make it safe to go inside...
|Conwy Castle, Wales|
You only get five letters on these specialty plates, but good old Latin rode to my rescue. "DOCEO" is Latin for "I Teach."
|"Once a teacher, always a teacher, eh?"|
I do enjoy telling people what it means, yes...
|Working for the BBC in 1941|
was born in Motihari, in what was then known as British India. Under his adopted pen name George Orwell he became one of the most important writers of the 20th century.
Orwell is responsible for not one but two of the greatest novels of the century: Animal Farm (which I taught to sophomores for many years), and Nineteen Eighty-Four, the unforgettable and prescient science fiction dystopia.
He is a hero of mine not just for those novels, but for his non-fiction writings
on political topics and on the process of writing itself. His love of clear writing and precise language ought to inspire any writer.
From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.
Until Next Time...At the height of their creative powers, The Beatles were so prolific that they had a number of hit single releases that were not included on any of their chart-topping albums. They weren't the only artists who regularly released non-album singles, but their efforts along those lines were certainly more successful than most.
Eight days after my 17th birthday in 1970, the band released a compilation album titled The Beatles Again (later retitled Hey Jude) which contained only non-album singles and "B"-sides. Nonetheless, all of the singles had charted in their day, and five of them were Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hits, including three that reached the top of that chart. Two of those No. 1s were the iconic hits "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Hey Jude." The third is our featured song today.
|Original 1966 45 rpm single|
Until 1969 all singles releases by
The Beatles in the U.S. market were monaural, so The Beatles Again was a must-have album my junior year in high school because it was the only way to hear most of those hit songs in true stereo.
"Paperback Writer" has one of the group's more famous opening guitar riffs, and was always a favorite of mine. Hearing it in stereo only increased my fondness for the song.
Today's send-off is the stereo version, paired with photographs of the band in the studio and in performance right around that time period. Enjoy...