I always enjoy mid-July as it centers around our wide-open spaces, enjoyed through long road trips to places unknown with family, made even more poignant by the fact, it is the period when mankind first set foot on our celestial neighbor that has kept us company on those aforementioned sojourns. July 2020 will join the memory banks as we were visited by Comet Neowise – with its spectacular aura.
I reflected back, that on July 20th at 9:56 p.m., CDT, I walked out and simply gazed at the sky, wondering what Neil Armstrong was really thinking as he placed his foot on the Moon’s surface and then looked back at the Earth in all its splendor.
There is more in those few minutes before Edwin Aldrin joined him that we sadly will never learn. In further pause, maybe with all of the work that he endured to get to that time in space – time in place, he deserves to have retained them.
Between the pages: In the spirit of exploration, I plan on sharing the creative journey away from our dormant stages, streaming screens, and mobile listening music archives, with more from the written word.
“Leonardo Da Vinci,” an exploration of the remarkable life of the first Renaissance man, a New York Times bestseller, was written by Walter Isaacson.
Pulitzer Prize winning author, David McCullough lauded the book as “Magnificent and Spellbinding,” and I for one tend to share that same opinion-only slightly, and with reservation, in the ‘magnificent’ arena.
In the latter case, the interwoven subplots and intrigues of the times are nearly as fascinating as the art that somehow was created and then elevated through it all. Yet, through all the pages, one question still lingered: When did DaVinci find time to simply rest, and in today’s vernacular, unwind?
In everything encountered, he somehow had to determine its origins and then, how it should, (would or possibly) respond through interaction with the world it was created to supplement. Mr. Isaacson’s work is detailed, at times to the extreme, yet, when I placed it back on the shelf, I was still not clear as to what he thought about the man inside the accomplishments. Like us mortals, he too got caught up in the bodies of work.
That’s My Will (Rogers): Here is what occupied his July 28, 1933. He was getting ready for a family event, so here is that missive – wait for it. “Well, the Governors are down with us today, looking over the studios, and such. It’s one conference that broke up in good humor, and an exchange of ideas no doubt helped each to assist ‘em how to run their own State. Mighty pleasant and fine bunch of fellows, tried to sell ‘em a lot, but there wasn’t a sucker in the bunch. They are getting out of the State just in time, ‘cause Sister Aimee is coming in, and when she comes even Roosevelt has to take to the back pages.”
Yours, Will Rogers.”
“. . . and just behind its rathskeller’s walls”: During this @ home period, I find myself toying with another new ‘pen to paper' work that will be taking me to the game of golf.
For long time readers, on occasion, I take a detour from the art world and reflect on the game that was taught to me by my grandfather, nurtured by rounds with the extended – and highly competitive golfing family, and passed on to our sons.
The title is taken from the location of the men’s locker room and card game area of my grandfather’s club in western Illinois, and where I learned the game. . . of golf.
Musical notes: Please turn in to the one-hour series, Live With Carnegie Hall. This past week, July 21st, it featured the celebration of the centenary of violinist Isaac Stern. The balance between his music contributions and how he nearly single-handedly saved Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball in the late 1950s through early 1960s, was the important thematic message. I linked on through Facebook.
July in the rearview mirror: I would be remiss as person of the arts not to recognize the 104th birthday (July 1st) of film legend, Olivia De Havilland. The only surviving member of the leading cast of “Gone With The Wind,” she has lived in Paris since the 1950s and has not worked in film for some time.
On my office wall hangs a handwritten note from her to my father from the mid-1930s when they were working in Los Angeles/Hollywood. I wonder what they had discussed – ah, Paris, if only to inquire…
Note: On July 25th, Ms. DeHavilland passed away. Good bye again, Dad.
More celestial history: Remember to join NASA online to watch the launch, tomorrow morning, July 30th, @ 6:50 a.m. CDT, of Perseverance, the next Mars exploration ‘rover’ vehicle that will arrive on its surface, February 18, 2021.
From collecting surface samples for their future return to Earth, the most amazing mission feature will be the first powered flight on another planet as Ingenuity, a mini-helicopter, will launch from Perseverance’s platform to survey the nearby landscape.
The skies have been busy this month, above our towns.
Welcoming you into the room and provoking conversation, currently, with social distancing in place, since 1/06.
See you in the paper,
t A s