Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday Sundries

No, I'm not starting another "series"; there are just a few little things that have come up that I wanted to write about--but not an entire post about any of them. So ... here goes ...

  • Frederick Douglass has been in the news recently (link to video of Pres. Trump talking about him). I have no political comment to make here--but just a very odd coincidence to record. In yesterday's Akron Beacon-Journal was a story by local historian Mark Price (no, not the Cavs' star of yesteryear) about a commencement speech Douglass made at Western Reserve College here in Hudson--July 12, 1854. (The college campus is now Western Reserve Academy, where I taught for about a decade; the university moved to University Circle and is now Case-Western.)  Joyce and I have known about the speech for a long time--have read it and referred to it now and then. Anyway, here's a link to Price's fine story.
    • Now ... here's the coincidence ... I've been reading The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation (by Randall Fuller, 2017). I read
      about 10 pp a night, and last night, I opened to the bookmark on p. 91 and began reading:
      • On a sweltering day in July 1854, Douglass gave a commencement address at Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio. This in itself was remarkable: black people in antebellum America were not invited to speak to graduating white students. ...
    • Fuller goes on for a couple of pages more to talk about Douglass, about Darwin and the difficulty he presented for white people (i.e., white racists), etc.
    • So ... on the same day that the Beacon-Journal has a feature about Douglass in Hudson, I read, at night, about that same event ... what are the chances?
  • I've been reading Paul Auster's LONG (and amazing) new novel, 4 3 2 1 (about which I'll blog more when I've finished). One of the characters loves baseball and, living in the NYC area in the late 40s and early 1950s, talks about the time when there were three Major League teams there--Yankees,
    Giants, Dodgers. And I got to wondering: Why are they called the Dodgers? I was thinking of the Artful Dodger in Dickens' Oliver Twist. The Brooklyn Conmen? Hustlers? That didn't make sense. I checked the dictionary: no help. So ... I headed to the ever-reliable Internet, where I found on the ever-reliable Wikipedia the information that the team--many years ago (1895)--had the nickname "Trolley Dodgers." Getting to the games, it seems, presented some danger for some people because of the trolleys in the area. Newspapers referred to them as the Trolley Dodgers, so, later, they dropped the "Trolley" and changed from "Brooklyn Grays" to "Dodgers." And so it goes in Nickname Land!
  • I never owned a motorcycle, have ridden on one only a couple of times. And last night ... I dreamed about one. I was riding it (very professionally, I might add, except for a moment when I misjudged the braking power at a stoplight and had to slide in front of a car I otherwise would have hit. That car looked like a late 40s Chevy, and the driver looked an awful lot like my dad). I didn't recognize the town I was in--but I seemed to be on a mission to find Joyce, who was in a RR freight car somewhere with a bunch of kittens--or it could have been puppies. I didn't find her before I woke up--though, after I did wake up, I found her there, right in bed where she belongs. (No sign of kittens--or puppies. Or a RR car.) I have one other bizarre memory about it: Some young woman tried to hop on the back when I slowed for some crossing pedestrians. I shoved her off ... kindly, kindly, kindly.
  • Finally--a complaint I've written about before--and which I noticed yesterday, again, on multiple occasions: the failure of drivers to use turn signals, to turn on their headlights in the gloaming. What on earth ...!?!?!?!?

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