Today is the Optional Memorial Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest and Martyr (died 1622). And today today is National Arbor Day, National Tax Freedom Day 2015, the 33rd anniversary of the Saturday in April 1982 when Richard and I met for the first time, and the first day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Born in 1577 at Sigmaringen, Hohenzollern, Germany as Mark Rey, today’s Saint was a lawyer and philosophy teacher. Disgusted by the greed, corruption, and lack of interest in justice by his fellow lawyers, he abandoned the law, became a priest, became a Franciscan friar with his brother George, changed his name to Fidelis, and gave away his worldly wealth to poor people in general and poor seminarians in particular. He served his friary as guardian, and worked in epidemics, especially healing soldiers. He led a group of Capuchins to preach to Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. The success of this work and the lack of violence suffered by members of this mission were attributed to Fidelis spending his nights in prayer. He was, however, eventually martyred for his preaching in Switzerland. Today is the national celebration of Arbor Day, this being the last Friday in April. On the first Arbor Day, organized by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska on April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted. Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut was responsible for globalizing it when he visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. In 1997 David J. Wright noticed that a Nebraska non profit organization called the National Arbor Day Foundation had taken the name of the holiday and commercialized it for their own use as a trademark for their publication Arbor Day,. He countered their efforts and defended the holiday name in a federal district court in the United States to insure it was judged as property of the public domain. The case was settled in October 1999 in Wright’s favor, and today anyone can use the term “Arbor Day” and anyone can hold their own Arbor Day celebration. (Unless one chooses to print it out, this Daily Update was produced without using any trees.) Today is also National Tax Freedom Day, when on a national average basis Americans have worked enough to pay for their 2014 taxes. (My Two or Three Loyal Readers may go to the National Tax Freedom Day website to see when Tax Freedom Day 2014 occurs (or occurred) in their own states; it occurred in Louisiana on April 2nd.) Today is also the anniversary of when Richard and I met each other in April, 1982. Richard’s sister Susan was holding a get-together at her house in Baton Rouge for friends and relatives in honor of the upcoming May 1982 marriage of Richard’s sister Juanita and her fiancé Bill. I was invited because I had been Nita’s friend in college between 1977 and 1980 (and did typing of her some of her college papers), and Richard was invited because he was Susan and Juanita’s sister. Richard and I talked, and agreed to meet at a concert the next day at the Memorial Oak Grove at the LSU Union for an outdoor concert. Unfortunately, this was long before cell phones, and we did not find each other at the concert. I next saw Richard at Nita and Bill’s wedding the next month, for which he was an usher; at the reception we talked, and talked, and talked, and the rest is history. (We have been married for 31 years, and Nita and Bill for 33 years.) Finally, today is also the opening day of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (known far and wide as Jazz Fest). According to the official Jazz Fest website, “From the very beginning [in 1970], the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was envisioned as an important event that would have great cultural significance and popular appeal. The Festival was the culmination of years of discussions and efforts by city leaders who wanted to create an event worthy of the city’s legacy as the birthplace of jazz.” The 2015 Poster for the festival is “Big Chief Theodore “Bo” Dollis” by Randy “Frenchy” Frechette. Since 1991 the Festival is always held during the last weekend of April (Friday through Sunday) and the first weekend of May (Thursday through Sunday). Today’s lineup includes Wayne Toups, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Wilco, and Keith Urban.
Last night our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team beat the #2 ranked Texas A&M team in the first game of a three-game home series by the score of 4 to 3. And our hapless New Orleans Pelicans lost their home NBA Playoff game with the Golden State Warriors in overtime by the score of 119 to 123.
I posed that it was Arbor Day and that it was National Tax Freedom Day 2015 to Facebook, then did my Bathroom Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once at the casino Richard was on Pai Gow, and I was on Three Card Poker. On my breaks I got a work order from the shift office so that I can exchange my casino pants, aprons, and shirts on Thursday.
After work we stopped at Wal-Mart for groceries. Once home from work I read the morning papers (not eating my lunch salad; more anon), then took a nap until 5:00 pm. I then wrestled with the Internet on the computer, getting our pay stubs and our schedules for the week after next, while eating Shake and Bake chicken, boxed mashed potatoes, and canned corn. I was not able to start working on today’s Daily Update until about 6:30 pm. Our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team will be playing the second game of their three-game home series with #2 ranked Texas A&M this evening.
Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist, and the Optional Memorial of Pedro de San José Betancur, Founder. It is also a Major Rogation Day in the Church. In the secular world, tomorrow is the second day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Richard has the day off of work tomorrow; while I go to work, then go to Adoration (for two hours, to cover the woman who has the hour after mine) and Mass, Richard will head to the New Orleans Fairgrounds to Jazz Fest to see The Who. (Personally, I would not go see The Who for love or money; I think they are the most overrated rock band in history.) Our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team will be playing the third game of their three-game home series with #2 ranked Texas A&Min the afternoon. The First Quarter Moon will arrive at 6:57 pm, and our hapless New Orleans Pelicans will be playing a home game with the Golden State Warriors at home in the NBA Playoffs. (The Pelicans are in danger of being shut out; they trail 0 – 3 in the series.)
Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon comes from Roy Jenson, Canadian-born American actor. Born in 1927 in Calgary, Alberta. as a child he moved to Los Angeles, California with his family. He joined the U.S. Navy at age 17 during World War II and served on a destroyer in the Pacific; after the war, he graduated from UCLA in 1951. then became a professional Canadian football player for the Calgary Stampeders, the Montreal Alouettes and finally the BC Lions from 1951 through 1957. While playing professional football in Canada he was utilized as a stunt double for River of No Return (1954) starring Robert Mitchum, and moved to Hollywood thereafter to do stunt work. He eventually took on a number of bit roles. After about 1957 he concentrated on character parts in television episodes, usually in the role of “Henchman”, “Outlaw”, or “Bruiser”. In the 1968 episode “The Omega Glory” of Star Trek (arguably one of their worst episodes) he played the role of Cloud William. In 1972 he had the honor of being the first man beaten up by Caine in the television series Kung Fu. Jensen appeared in such films as The Missouri Traveler (1958),Warlock (1959), Al Capone (1959), How the West Was Won (1962), Our Man Flint (1966), Harper (1966),Waterhole #3 (1967), Big Jake (1971), The Getaway (1972), Soylent Green (1973), The Way We Were (1973),The Outfit (1973), Dillinger (1973), Chinatown (1974) (he was Roman Polanski’s henchman in the famous knife-to-the-nose scene with Jack Nicholson), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), The Wind And The Lion(1975), The Gauntlet (1977), Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Any Which Way You Can (1980),Honkeytonk Man (1982), and Red Dawn (1984), Jensen’s last movie appearance was in The Set Up (1995), and his last television appearance was in the 1999 TV movie Hard Time, Hostage Hotel (died 2007): “I really like playing the nasty heavies. And I’ve always enjoyed working and paying the bills. But as I get older, I wouldn’t mind some roles where I can play a nice Daddy or Grandpa! After all, Hollywood is still a dream world.”