Daily Update: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015


Today is the Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin (died 543).

Today’s Saint was born about 480 in Nursia, Umbria, and she was the twin sister of Saint Benedict; their mother died in childbirth. She led a community of women at Plombariola near Montecassino. According to Saint Gregory the Great, “Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, had been consecrated to God from her earliest years. She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year. He would come down to meet her at a place on the monastery property, not far outside the gate. One day she came as usual and her saintly brother went with some of his disciples; they spent the whole day praising God and talking of sacred things. As night fell they had supper together. Their spiritual conversation went on and the hour grew late. The holy nun said to her brother, “Please do not leave me tonight; let us go on until morning talking about the delights of the spiritual life.” “Sister,” he replied, “What are you saying? I simply cannot stay outside my cell.” When she heard her brother refuse her request, the holy woman joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. As she raised her head from the table, there were such brilliant flashes of lightning, such great peals of thunder and such a heavy downpour of rain that neither Benedict nor his brethren could stir across the threshold of the place where they had been seated. Sadly, he began to complain. “May God forgive you, sister. What have you done?” “Well, she answered, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” So it came about that they stayed awake the whole night, engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life. Three days later, Benedict was in his cell. Looking up to the sky, he saw his sister’s soul leave her body in the form of a dove, and fly up to the secret places of heaven. Rejoicing in her great glory, he thanked almighty God with hymns and words of praise. He then sent his brethren to bring her body to the monastery and lay it in the tomb he had prepared for himself.” Scholastica is the Patron Saint of convulsive children and nuns, and her aid is invoked against storms and rain.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Second Day of my Lenten Novena. I also renewed Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur at the Lafayette Public Library; it was due today, and is now due on March 3rd. We ate breakfast in ADR, and signed the Early Out list. Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and I was on Pai Gow. On my breaks I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Monday, February 9th, 2015 via WordPress for Android. Richard got out at 4:15 am, and I got out at 4:30 am; at the Security podium I picked up dice for Liz Ellen that they had waiting for me. On our way home we stopped at Donut Queen for Apple Fritters; once I ate mine after we got home at 5:30 am, I went back to bed.

When Richard and I woke up at 12:00 pm, we had some Quality Time together. I missed a phone call from my dentist that went to voice mail, and called back to confirm my appointment (more anon). Richard and I left the house at 1:00 pm, ate lunch at D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse, stopped at the bank to cash the check from Liz Ellen, and arrived back home at 2:00 pm. We read the morning paper, and I gathered up the aluminium cans and tossed the cans into the garage. Richard left the house at 3:00 pm for Baton Rouge, and I worked on Advance Daily Update Drafts for my weblog, taking a break to watch Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm. At 6:00 pm #1 Kentucky started playing LSU in the PMAC, with Richard and his friend Steve in attendance. They saw a great game; LSU lost the game by the score of 69 to 71, and almost won the game. Richard called to report that he had spoken to former coach Dale Brown, and that he had seen football coach Les Miles and half the football team at the game. Our LSU Men’s Basketball team next will play an away game with Tennessee on Saturday, February 14th. And I will finish this Daily Update and take a bath, and I may or may not be awake when Richard gets home.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. I will wake up early enough (I hope) to start my laundry and the Weekly Computer Maintenance. At about 9:00 am I will head to Mamou for my six-month appointment with my dentist. When I get back home I will work on the 2014 Taxes.

Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Shirley Temple Black, American actress and public servant. Born as Shirley Temple in 1928 in Santa Monica, California, her mother enrolled her in Meglin’s Dance School in Los Angeles in 1931, and began styling her daughter’s hair in ringlets similar to those of silent film star Mary Pickford. A casting director for Educational Pictures spotted her hiding behind the piano, and signed her to a contract; she was in several of their Baby Burlesks and Frolics of Youth short films before the studio went bankrupt. Signed by Fox Films, her breakout role was in Stand Up and Cheer! (1934). After the success of Little Miss Marker the same year, her salary was raised from $150 a week to $1000 a week; her mother’s salary as her hairdresser and personal coach was also raised. On December 28, 1934, Bright Eyes was released. It was the first feature film crafted specifically for Temple’s talents and the first in which her name appeared above the title. Her signature song, “On the Good Ship Lollipop”, was introduced in the film and sold 500,000 sheet music copies. The film demonstrated Temple’s ability to portray a multi-dimensional character and established a formula for her future roles as a lovable, parentless waif whose charm and sweetness mellow gruff older men. In February 1935 Temple became the first child star to be honored with a miniature Juvenile Oscar for her 1934 film accomplishments, and she added her foot- and handprints to the forecourt at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre a month later. For the next several years, Temple starred in several movies designed to showcase her talents; these movies were credited by no less an authority than President Franklin Roosevelt as making America feel better during the Depression. These films included The Little Colonel and The Littlest Rebel (both 1935), Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), Heidi (1937), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938), and The Little Princess (1939). During this same period there was a enormous industry devoted to Shirley Temple toys and other materials. Convinced Temple would successfully move from child star to teenage actress, studio head Darryl F. Zanuck declined a substantial offer from MGM to star Temple as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and cast her instead in Susannah of the Mounties, her last money-maker for Twentieth Century-Fox. The film was successful, but because she made only two films in 1939 instead of the usual three or four, Temple dropped from number one box-office favorite in 1938 to number five in 1939. In 1939 Temple was the subject of the Salvador Dalí painting Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time and she was animated with Donald Duck in The Autograph Hound. In 1940 Temple’s parents bought out her contract and sent her to an exclusive day school in Los Angeles. She signed with MGM, but her only film with them, Kathleen (1941) was not a success. In 1943 the 15-year-old Temple met John Agar, an Army Air Corps sergeant, physical training instructor, and a member of a Chicago meat-packing family. On September 19, 1945, when Temple was 17 years old, they were married before 500 guests in an Episcopal ceremony at Wilshire Methodist Church in Los Angeles. They had one daughter. Agar became a professional actor and the couple made two films together, Fort Apache (1948, RKO) and Adventure in Baltimore (1949, RKO). The marriage became troubled, and Temple divorced Agar on December 5, 1949. She received custody of their daughter and the restoration of her maiden name. The divorce was finalized on December 5, 1950. Meanwhile, in January 1950, Temple had met Charles Alden Black, a WWII United States Navy intelligence officer and Silver Star recipient who was Assistant to the President of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. Conservative and patrician, he was the son of James B. Black, the president and later chairman of Pacific Gas and Electric, and reputedly one of the richest young men in California. Temple and Black were married in his parents’ Del Monte, California, home on December 16, 1950, before a small assembly of family and friends. That same year she announced her retirement from motion pictures. They had a daughter and a son, and Black became a homemaker. Between January and December 1958, Black hosted and narrated a successful NBC television anthology series of fairy tale adaptations called Shirley Temple’s Storybook. She acted in three of the sixteen hour-long episodes, and her son made his acting debut in the Christmas episode, “Mother Goose”. Black continued to work on television, making guest appearances on The Red Skelton Show, Sing Along with Mitch, and other shows. In January 1965  she portrayed a social worker in a sitcom pilot called Go Fight City Hall that was never released. Following her venture into television, Black became active in the Republican Party in California. In 1967 she ran unsuccessfully in a special election in California’s 11th congressional district to fill the seat left vacant by the death of eight-term Republican J. Arthur Younger from leukemia. She ran as a conservative and lost to law school professor Pete McCloskey, a liberal Republican who was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War. Black got her start in foreign service after her failed run for Congress in 1967, when Henry Kissinger overheard her talking about Namibia at a party and was surprised that she knew anything about it. Black was in Prague in August 1968, as a representative of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, and was going to meet up with Czechoslovakian party leader Alexander Dubček on the very day that Soviet-backed forces invaded the country. Dubček fell out of favor with the Soviets after a series of reforms known as the Prague Spring. Temple, who was stranded at a hotel as the tanks rolled in, sought refuge on the roof of the hotel. It was from here she saw an unarmed woman on the street gunned down by Soviet forces, a sight which stayed with her for the rest of her life. She was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon (September – December 1969). In 1972 Black was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor was removed and a modified radical mastectomy performed. Following the operation, she announced it to the world via radio, television, and a February 1973 article for the magazine McCall’s. In doing so, she became one of the first prominent women to speak openly about breast cancer. She was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) by President Gerald R. Ford. She was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States (July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977), and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and inaugural ball. In 1988 she published her autobiography, Child Star. She served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992), having been appointed by President George H. W. Bush. Black was the first and only female US ambassador to Czechoslovakia, and was present during the Velvet Revolution, which brought about the end of Communism in Czechoslovakia. She played a critical role in hastening the end of the Communist regime by openly sympathizing with anti-Communist dissidents and later establishing formal diplomatic relations with the newly elected government led by Václav Havel. She took the unusual step of personally accompanying Havel on his first official visit to Washington, riding along on the same plane. In 1999 she hosted the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars awards show on CBS, and, in 2001, served as a consultant on an ABC-TV production of her autobiography, Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story. On September 11, 2002, a life-size bronze statue of the child Temple by sculptor Nijel Binns was erected on the Fox Studio lot. Black was the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Kennedy Center Honors and a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. She ranks 18th on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest female American screen legends of all time (died 2014): “I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”

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