So you can read my books

Saturday, April 5, 2014


William Wordsworth 001.jpg
Portrait of William Wordsworth by Benjamin Robert

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
― William Wordsworth

We outlaws ride a trail of a day meant to keep us outlaws:

"If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. 

Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism." 
  - Oscar Wilde, in Lady Windermere's Fan;
(Wilde was arrested on this day in 1895

For D. G. Hudson --

1493 --

 Raphael was born. 

  Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael, was a major Renaissance painter. 

Though he died at the early age of 37, his body of work was impressive, and included The School of Athens and numerous portraits.

 Sanzio 00.jpg
Portrait of Raphael


William Wordsworth, born on this date in 1770, was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge,

helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads.

“Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;

In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be...”
― William Wordsworth

On March 27, 1802 Wordworth started writing INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY which contain some of his most famous lines and ideas:

that "the child is father of the man," that "birth is but a sleep and a forgetting," that "trailing clouds of glory do we come." 

Lincoln Steffens, one of the most famous turn-of-the-century muckrakers, was born on this day in 1866:

Now, the typical American citizen is the business man. The typical business man is a bad citizen; he is busy.

If he is a “big business man” and very busy, he does not neglect, he is busy with politics, oh, very busy and very businesslike.

I found him buying boodlers in St. Louis, defending grafters in Minneapolis, originating corruption in Pittsburgh,

sharing with bosses in Philadelphia, deploring reform in Chicago, and beating good government with corruption funds in New York.

Walter Winchell, famous American journalist and gossip columnist, was born on this date in 1897:

“An optimist is someone who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery."

"I usually get my stuff from people who promised somebody that they would keep it a secret."

The first modern Olympic games were held on this date in 1896.

  The games took place in Athens, and 13 nations competed in events including archery, wrestling, and fencing.

A few of the contestants were actually tourists who had come to see the games and were allowed to compete!

1983 - U.S. Interior Secretary James Watt banned the Beach Boys from the 4th of July celebration on the Washington Mall.

He said rock 'n' roll bands attract the "Wrong Element."
So the Outlaw in me must respond --

America formally entered World War I on this day in 1917.
  The House of Representatives upheld the Senate's endorsement to go to war,

and America officially entered the war, though American troops would not go to Europe until the end of June.

On this date in 1891, P T Barnum died. 

The ailing 81 year old showman requested that a New York newspaper run his obituary so he could enjoy reading it. 

The paper obliged.


  1. Another busy day. I am fascinated by the fact that famous people (and celebrities) have their obitituaries prepared in advance. I wonder whether they are allowed a 'sneak peak'. I suspect not.
    I have a soft spot for Wordsworth's sister Dorothy. I liked her diaries and wonder whether she was discouraged from writing for the public, didn't want to, or didn't think she could...

  2. Elephant's Child:
    Dorothy may have been intimidated by her brother.

    She wrote a very early account of an ascent of Scafell Pike in 1818 (perhaps predated only by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's of 1802),

    climbing the mountain in the company of her friend Mary Barker, Miss Barker's maid, and two local people to act as guide and porter.

    Dorothy's work was used in 1822 by her brother William, unattributed, in his popular guide book to the Lake District -

    and this was then copied by Harriet Martineau in her equally successful guide (in its fourth edition by 1876), but with attribution, if only to William Wordsworth.

    Consequently this story was very widely read by the many visitors to the Lake District over more than half of the 19th century.

    William relied on her detailed accounts of nature scenes and borrowed freely from her journals.

    Her brother's poem Daffodils seems lifted from her journal. Sigh. It was a different time then.

    I hate that the last 20 years of her life were darkened by increasing senility. Life sometimes bruises.

  3. Very villous playing the Devils music!:0
    Funny about Barnum reading his obituary, so was he late to his own funeral?

  4. Hi Roland .. these are so interesting - it's difficult to take them all in. I did know about the Olympics but not the date ...

    But Wordsworth .. this seems to be a common trait throughout time until recently, thank goodness ... now it might even be worse -but that's another matter.

    I'd no idea about Dorothy Wordsworth's insights being used by her brother ... no wonder he wanted her up in the Lake District with him and his wife.

    In some way there's a correlation with the Herschels - the astronomers ..

    Early obituaries .. I think I read they'd written Mandela's years before his death - normal I guess.

    Cheers Hilary

  5. That bit about the tourists joining in the Olympic games made me laugh aloud. Boy have times changed.

    Speaking of times changing, Watt banning the Beach Boys because they were the "wrong element"... If ole Watt is still alive he has surely turned a whiter shade of pale. We now have Beyonce shaking her scantily clad person at White House events. I am sure she attracts "all the right people."

    That was nice dedicating the information about Raphael to D.G. I have enjoyed her theme this year.

    P.T. Barnum was a strange bird. I bet the guy would have hosted his own funeral before he died just to see who would show up if he could have figured out how to make it happen. IMO, reading your obit is morbid. But, like I said, I think he was one an odd one.

  6. Goodness, people lived their lives so differently than we do now! Funny how so much has changed, but human nature hasn't. All very fascinating, Roland.

    (And in response to your comment on my blog--holy… that must have been an AWFUL accident!!!)

    And I hope sincerely that you are doing okay. You've still been on my mind!!!

  7. Thanks Roland, I appreciate the mention, and I enjoy Raphael's paintings very much, as well as his rival Michelangelo. Word has it that Raphael was much nicer to know.

    That is sad that the brother used his sister's work without giving her credit. I worked with people like that. For some, the limelight is hard to give up or share.

    I really like the way you have collected the info. The Outlaw Trail has been interesting so far, and we haven't yet been bushwhacked.

    Hope you're having a relaxing Sunday. Catch up on some Z's.

  8. Wow, my head is spinning, there's so much information here. I love the outlaw trail you have laid down for us to follow. And I'm learning new things, which is always good.

  9. Even seemingly insignificant days have significance somewhere, sometime. I'm off to prepare my obituary. I'll need a few decades to tweak it...

  10. David:
    LOL. Watt would have spontaneously combusted if Miley Cyrus slipped into a time machine and performed then!

    Early obits I can understand -- but wanting to read them? Very not healthy! I'll have to look up those astronomers!

    I will have to work on making my Outlaw Trail easier to ride. :-)

    Imagine that happening today -- bystanders joining in the Olympic events!

    Watt certainly would have turned " a white shade of pale" if Procol Harum showed up then ... or Miley Cyrus!

    Hasn't D. G.'s theme been beautiful and fun?

    Your own of sharing your blog-home with a guest poster with accompanying travel music is gracious and fun, too.

    P.T. was certainly odd ... but successful!

    One of the more enjoyable scenes from the ancient ROCKFORD FILES was the rascal, Angel, staging his own funeral to get killers off his trail -- but he was too curious at who would show up and watched from the balcony, blowing the whole scheme!

    My comment was my tired mind making a joke that the only way I could do that pose that limber, dancer you can still do is being in a car accident!

    Times have certainly changed -- yet human nature remains constant in its ability to get us into trouble! :-)

    I heard the same thing, too. Perhaps it is right: the good do die young or at least young at heart.

    I just wanted to tip my Stetson your way to send folks visiting your cyber-home.

    When I found that out about Wordsworth, it saddened me. It helped explain his huffy response to Mark Twain's tongue-in-cheek "tribute" to him, Emerson, and Whittier. Why, the poor Twain had to leave the country for Europe because of the outcry. Sigh.

    I was bushwhacked last night, having to work the night through. I dragged in a 9:45 this morning and have just awakened (after having to answer several questions from hospitals!) Jeepers!

    (This is Sunday so I will refrain from the colorful metaphors I used when awakened by them with needless questions!)

    Watt wouldn't approve of my Outlaw Trail I am sure -- which is a compliment! Thanks for yours.

    It's always great to see you visit here.

    May we all have those decades to tweak our obits! As I have Alice say in THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT: Each day contains small yet powerful seeds that grow to harvest bitter or beautiful, depending upon which ones we choose to sow.

    Thanks for visiting -- continued success in finding outlets for your stories! You are an inspiration to the rest of us.

  11. Funny, I never thought of the Beach Boys as a rock 'n roll band. They're way too clean cut.

    I laughed aloud at Barnum's quote about nobody going broke underestimating public taste. That's really good.

    Be well and take care, Roland.
    Hope you don't have to work too hard today.

  12. Robyn:
    So far I've been lucky with work today -- last night nearly did me in.

    Wasn't Barnum funny about underestimating public taste -- Miley Cyrus agrees with him!

  13. I've always despised James Watt. As Secretary of the Interior he did a tremendous amount of damage to our environment. Besides,he also looked like he was Left Behind at Roswell.