Daily Update: Sunday, March 1st, 2015

03-01 - Lindbergh Baby Poster

On this Second Sunday in Lent, we have no Saints to honor. Today we note that on this date in 1932 Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was abducted from his family home in New Jersey sometime during the night.

The Lindbergh’s nanny had put the 20-month-old child in his crib at 8:00 pm; at around 9:30 p.m., Col. Lindbergh heard a noise that made him think some slats had fallen off an orange crate in the kitchen. At 10:00 p.m. the nanny discovered that the baby was missing from his crib. A ransom note was found on the radiator in the boy’s room. During the next two months, a media circus ensued, with the second ransom note to the Lindberghs being leaked to the media. The ransom was paid through an intermediary (after the note had been leaked) but no word came from the kidnappers. The baby was found dead on May 12, 1932, and once the U.S. Congress learned that the child was dead, legislation was rushed making kidnapping a federal crime. On September 19, 1934, a German carpenter named Bruno Hauptmann was arrested for the kidnapping; he had nearly $15,000 of the ransom money, which he claimed had been left him by a friend who had then gone to Germany and died. Hauptmann was charged with extortion and murder, and was ultimately convicted of the crimes and sentenced to death. He was electrocuted on April 3, 1936 just over four years after the kidnapping. Several books have been written proclaiming Hauptmann’s innocence. These books variously criticize the police for allowing the crime scenes to become contaminated, Lindbergh and his associates for interfering with the investigation, Hauptmann’s trial lawyers for ineffectively representing him, and the reliability of the witnesses and physical evidence presented at the trial. For more than fifty years, Hauptmann’s widow fought with the New Jersey courts to have the case re-opened, without success.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and Richard called in to the casino for the third day in a row today on account of his back. (He tried stretching forward, like he would have to do at a dealer at the casino, and each time his back seized up.) I flipped to the new month on my three wall calendars, and drove myself to work again, not taking Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur with me because I knew I would have no time to read it. On my way out of town I stopped at the ATM to get cash out for Richard and for me. Once at the casino, I adjusted the date on my work watch. Once I clocked in, I was on the second Pai Gow table, where I helped out a guest whose Android phone was dead by lending him a spare charger (which he returned to me later, once his phone was charged up). On my breaks I put the bills Richard had paid yesterday into my PocketMoney program, cleared my phone call list on my Galaxy S-4, cleared the browsing data on my Chrome browser, deleted my Google search history, and did my screenshots of my Galaxy S-4 home screens. By this time they had closed my Pai Gow table and moved me to Mini Baccarat. On my last breaks I doubled checked our pay stubs for this pay period (which, at present, we have to print out using one of the ADR computers) against my records.

On my way home from work I got gas for my car and stopped at Wal-Mart to get some more Icy-Hot Extra Large pads for Richard’s back. Once home from work I ate my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers. I then got on the computer and did my Daily Update for yesterday, Saturday, February 28th, 2015. Our LSU Women’s Basketball team beat Texas A&M by the score of 80 to 63; they next play an as yet unnamed team in the SEC Tournament, which starts on March 5th. I adjusted my dress watch to reflect the correct date, and caught up on my games and Internet stuff. I am now going to finish today’s Daily Update and go to bed; our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing the Denver Nuggets, and I will report the score of the game tomorrow.

We again will have no Saints to honor tomorrow (wait until Tuesday, my pretties). Tomorrow is Texas Independence Day, when the Republic of Texas formally declared independence from Mexico at the  Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. And tomorrow is both the anniversary of my late father’s birth (in 1929) and the anniversary of when Richard’s father died (in 1992). Tomorrow Richard will be fasting after 3:00 am, because after work (at 11:00 am) he will be having blood drawn for lab work for his appointment with the nurse practitioner on March 9th. And the New Orleans Pelicans will be playing the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow evening.

Our Parting Quote on this Sunday afternoon comes to us from Alan Heyman, American-born South Korean musicologist and composer. Born in 1931 in New York City, New York, he attended the University of Colorado, where he majored in music while also studying a pre-medical course, graduating in 1952. After his graduation, Heyman was drafted into the United States Army. He initially knew nothing about Korea; when informed by his senior officer that he would be stationed in Uijeongbu near the South Korean capital of Seoul, he asked, “Excuse me sir, in what part of Japan is Uijeongbu?” In 1953, he was as an army medic and lab technician attached to a field hospital unit stationed in Gangwon Province. Chinese and North Korean forces stationed on a nearby mountain would often play loud Korean music over a loudspeaker late at night, using the sound as a non-lethal weapon to try to keep their enemies sleep-deprived. Most of Heyman’s comrades found the noise irritating. However, it had the opposite effect on Heyman himself, who was enthralled by the music, describing it as “refreshing and interesting”. During the war, he also met the woman who would become his first wife, a nurse. Heyman returned to the U.S. in 1954. At that point, he did not know the name of the instrument that had so fascinated him, the taepyeongso. He would not find out until after his tour of duty had ended and he had entered Columbia University to start studying towards his master’s degree in music education: a fellow graduate student from South Korea informed Heyman, based on the description he provided, that the sound he heard was that of the taepyeongso, which he analogised to a “conical oboe”. That same friend encouraged Heyman to go back to South Korea and pursue his interest in Korean music. Heyman received his degree from Columbia in 1959; that same year United States civilians were permitted to live in South Korea, and in 1960 Heyman moved to Insa-dong in Seoul; he was the only passenger on the Northwest Airlines flight which brought him back to the country. He enrolled in the Korea Traditional Musical Arts Conservatory near his house, offering free English lessons in exchange for his studies. He also married the nurse whom he had met during the war. Among the odd jobs that Heyman took to support himself and his wife during his music studies, he composed film scores for various films set in South Korea; by 1968, he had nearly a dozen such credits to his name, mostly documentaries. As he was not yet fluent in the Korean language at the time, he faced numerous difficulties in his studies. Aside from the taepyeongso, he also learned to play a number of other traditional Korean musical instruments, including the gayageum, the piri, and the janggu, as well as Korean dances such as the talchum and dances related to nongak. Though he eventually attained fluency in Korean, he later admitted he did not read hanja very well. Heyman was initially nervous whether he could find success in his chosen field, but his confidence and reputation grew after a 1962 performance he gave, the first in which a foreigner had performed Korean traditional music on stage. He even performed for South Korean president Yun Bo-seon. In 1964, with the sponsorship of the Asia Society, he organised a twenty-seven city tour of the United States for traditional Korean music group Sam Chun Li. They performed at the Lincoln Center and on national television on The Tonight Show. However, the tour’s success was damaged by negative rumours about their shows spread by a rival musical group, which resulted in cancellations by 17 out of 27 universities where they had scheduled performances; their sponsors refused to pay the musicians their contracted wages, and Heyman had to make up the difference out of his own pocket. In the 1960s Heyman also began taking an interest in the music of Donald Sur, a Hawaii-born composer whose works drew inspiration from the traditional music of his Korean immigrant forebears, as well as that of Alan Hovhaness and Lou Harrison, who had both visited South Korea and were influenced by the music they encountered there. However, he was an opponent of attempts to adapt Korean music to Western sensibilities in the name of modernisation. He composed the score for Northeast of Seoul, a 1972 thriller directed by David Lowell Rich. In 1973 Heyman led another troupe of National Gugak Center musicians on a tour of Europe. Again he ended up incurring unexpected expenses: the troupe arrived in Berlin and took a bus through East Germany on the way to the rest of Europe, but on the way back to Berlin a South Korean consular official in Paris demanded they fly instead of taking the bus, fearing that East German authorities might detain the musicians and turn them over to the North Koreans. Around that time, Heyman also considered moving back to the United States to take a position as an instructor in traditional Korean music and dance at Brown University, but the university cancelled its plans to hire him at the last minute. Instead he chose to remain in South Korea. His first wife died after a protracted struggle with liver cancer in 1985, leaving him with large debts as the couple had lacked medical insurance to pay for her treatments. He received a UNESCO cultural award in 1991. Heyman applied for naturalisation as a South Korean citizen in 1995, after more than thirty years of living in the country. He first faced a grueling naturalisation test, in which only two students passed the written portion; however, the oral portion was much simpler for him, as his interviewer asked him only to tell the tale of Heungbu and Nolbu, which he knew quite well from his pansori studies. As South Korea did not permit dual citizenship at the time, he then gave up his U.S. citizenship. He took the Korean name Hae Ŭiman. Also inn 1995 he was awarded the South Korean government’s Order of Cultural Merit. His English translation of Im Sok-jae’s Mu-ga: The Ritual Songs of Korean Mudangs, sponsored by the Korea Literature Translation Association, was published by Asian Humanities Press in 2003. In September 2010, he donated a large amount of the research materials he had collected over the years to the National Gugak Center. President Lee Myung-bak awarded Heyman the Silver Crown Order of Cultural Merit in April 2011 in recognition of his contributions to the National Gugak Center. That month he also received an award from the National Gugak Center on the occasion of their 60th anniversary. In June 2011, he was inducted into the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch as an honorary lifetime member (died 2014): “Luckily, in music one can learn much by example and observation, without the need for language.”

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