Daily Update: Saturday, January 31st, 2015

John Bosco

Today is the Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest (died 1888), and today is also the birthday of my friend Linda in West Virginia, who I knew while growing up in West Virginia (1957).

Today’s Saint was born in 1815 in Becchi, Castelnuovo d’Asti, Piedmont, as Giovanni Melchior Bosco. John Bosco’s father died when the boy was two years old; and as soon as he was old enough to do odd jobs, he did so to helps support his family. He would go to circuses, fairs and carnivals, practice the tricks that he saw magicians perform, and then put on one-boy shows. After his performance, while he still had an audience of boys, he would repeat the homily he had heard earlier that day in church. He worked as a tailor, baker, shoemaker, and carpenter while attending college and seminary. Ordained as a priest in 1841, he worked as a teacher, working constantly with young people, finding places where they could meet, play and pray, and teaching catechism to orphans and apprentices. He was also a chaplain in a hospice for girls. He would write short treatises aimed at explaining the faith to children, and then would teach children how to print them. In 1859 he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), priests who work with and educate boys, under the protection of Our Lady, Help of Christians, and Saint Francis de Sales. He also founded the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians in 1872, and the Union of Cooperator Salesians in 1875. He is the Patron Saint of Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people, magicians, and juvenile delinquents. Today is also the birthday of my friend Linda in West Virginia, who I knew while growing up in West Virginia (1957).

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Seventh Day of my Novena to Saint Blaise Novena. After the Pre-Shift Meeting (I found that I am now the only person in my locker), Richard started the shift on Macau Mini Baccarat, changed Blackjack cards in the overflow Blackjack pit, then was on Three Card Poker for the rest of the day. I was the Relief Dealer for the second Three Card Poker table, Switch Blackjack, and the second Mississippi Stud table; I was then the Relief Dealer for the second Switch Blackjack, the second Mississippi Stud table, and a Blackjack table in the overflow Blackjack pit, and then became the Relief Dealer for a Blackjack table, the Sit-Down Blackjack table, and Three Card Blackjack. On my breaks I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Friday, January 30th, 2015 via WordPress for Android.

Once we got home from work I set up my medications for next week (I have one prescription to renew on Friday). Richard paid bills while I read the morning paper and ate my lunch salad. He then went to Wal-Mart to get groceries and household items, and I went to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. During my Hour I finished reading the January / February 2015 issue of The Bible Today. When I got home I took a nap for the rest of the day. Our LSU Men’s Basketball team lost their game with Mississippi State by the score of 67 to 73 (they will next play a home game with Auburn on February 5th). And I did not do my Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We have no Saints to honor, but tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, with the Seattle Seahawks playing the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. As tomorrow also begins the month of February, I will be keeping track, because any day on which I hear thunder in February means a correspondingly cold day in April. On my breaks at work I will put the bills paid by Richard into my PocketMoney program, and then do my Daily Update for yesterday, Saturday, January 31st, 2015. After lunch Richard and I will take a nap, then wake up to watch the Super Bowl, at least through the half time show.

Our Parting Quote on the afternoon of this this last day of January comes from Diane Wolkstein, folklorist and children’s book author. Born in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, she grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey. She received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree in education from Bank Street College of Education. She later spent several years in Paris, where she worked as a teacher and studied mime with the renowned mime master Etienne Decroux. In 1967 she talked her way into the job of New York City’s official storyteller; at a salary of $40 a week, on the Parks Department payroll, she staged hundreds of one-woman storytelling events, visiting two parks a day, five days a week. She carried a few props, and a head full of tales. They included standards like Hansel and Gretel, and an ever-widening repertory of Chinese, Persian, Nigerian, Haitian, African-American and other cultures’ traditional stories, all performed with a spellbinder’s authority. By the time the city decided it could no longer afford a storyteller, in 1971, Wolkstein had helped establish local storytelling organizations, revived traditions and convened enough storytelling workshops to secure a place as the city’s unofficial storyteller-for-life. Her radio show, “Stories from Many Lands,” was broadcast on WNYC from 1968 until 1980. She helped create the Storytelling Center of New York City, which trains thousands of volunteers and sends them into the city’s public schools and libraries. She helped solidify a nascent Saturday morning tradition of storytelling in Central Park, at the foot of the Hans Christian Andersen statue near 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue; over the last 50 years, attendance has become a rite of passage for city children. In 1972 Wolkstein published the first of her two dozen books. Most were collections of folk tales, legends and creation stories gathered during research trips. She visited China, Africa and Haiti many times. In 1983, she collaborated with Samuel Noah Kramer, an Assyrian scholar, in writing “Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth,” a retelling of the 4,000-year-old story of the Sumerian goddess of fertility, love and war. Her last storytelling performance in Central Park took place on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 15, 2013 at the Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park, where she told several audience favorites, including Eleanor Farjeon’s “Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep.” She was on a research trip to research a book of Chinese folk stories when she underwent emergency surgery for a heart condition, and died in Taiwan (died 2013): “There was no margin for error. I mean, it was a park. [The children would] just go somewhere else if they didn’t like it.”

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