Daily Update: Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

08-26 - Hurricane Andrew

With no Saints for us to honor this day, we turn to the Year of Our Lord 1992, when on this date Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Louisiana. And one year before that, Richard’s grandniece Alyssa was born, the granddaughter of his brother here in town (1991).

Most people, if they recall Hurricane Andrew, remember that it hit Homestead, Florida with murderous force on August 24; but before the storm had gone across Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico, those of us in Louisiana were already at the grocery stores buying up hurricane supplies. The storm made landfall near Morgan City, Louisiana and came up through Baton Rouge, where we were living at the time; after the worst of the storm, Richard drove out from our subdivision to see how things were, and came back home somewhat shaken after being narrowly missed by a small tornado. We did not have any damage at our house; earlier in the summer, we had gotten our front-yard trees professionally trimmed, so all the branch detritus in our yard was from our neighbor’s trees. But we were without power for three days (including no air conditioning, which is no fun when your kids are aged 6 and 7), and lost everything in our chest freezer, which at that time held nothing but two or three year’s worth of partially eaten chocolate Easter bunnies. Today is also the birthday of Richard’s grandniece Alyssa, the granddaughter of Richard’s brother here in town (1991).

Last night I decided to quit reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, and opted to begin re-reading Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian, which I started re-reading last night.

I had my alarm set for about 7:30 am, but turned it off, and did not wake up until 11:00 am. Before I woke up Richard had started the Weekly Computer Maintenance. I did m Bathroom Devotional Reading, read the morning paper, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance. Our mail brought us the T-shirts that Richard had ordered for us from Teespring.com;  one for me and one for him in black, with white lettering saying “I May Be Old But I Got To See All The Cool Bands”. Finally, I got a bag of clothes from my closet to give to the local thrift store.

Richard and I left the house at 1:15 pm; our first stop was to leave the bag of clothes off at the thrift store. We ate lunch at D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse, then at the Hit-n-Run I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for tonight’s drawing.

We arrived back home at 2:30 pm, and I began again with my Music Conversion Project, continuing with my artists / groups starting with the letter K. Richard took a nap, and at 4:30 pm I took a break to watch Jeopardy!. I continued my Music Conversion Project, and did some Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog. When I finished with my artists / groups starting with the letters K and L, I then started working on today’s Daily Update. In the Tropics, Tropical Storm Erika is still to the east of the Leeward Islands; it is forecast to be a Hurricane by the time it reaches the eastern coast of Florida at 2:00 pm on Monday. And when I finish this Daily Update, I will restart the Weekly Virus Scan, and do some reading before going to sleep.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Monica, Widow (died 387). I will do my laundry and iron my casino pants, aprons, and shirts, go to the store to get my salad supplies, make my lunch salads for Friday and Sunday, and continue my Music Conversion Project.

Our Parting Quote this Wednesday evening comes to us from Dominick Dunne, American writer and investigative journalist. Born in 1925 in Hartford, Connecticut, his father was a hospital chief of staff and prominent heart surgeon. His Irish Catholic family was wealthy, but, from his earliest days, Dunne felt like an outsider in the predominantly White Anglo-Saxon Protestant West Hartford area. He attended Williams College in Massachusetts and then served in World War II, where he won a Bronze Star for saving another soldier during the Battle of the Bulge. Upon leaving the service, he moved to New York City, then to Hollywood, where he directed Playhouse 90 and became vice-president of Four Star Television. In 1954 he married and had three children; he and his wife were divorced in 1969. In 1964 his brother married author Joan Didion. In 1979, beset with addictions, Dunne left Hollywood and moved to rural Oregon, where he overcame his personal demons and wrote his first book, The Winners (1982). In November 1982 his daughter Dominique Dunne, best known for her part as the older sister in the film Poltergeist (1982), was murdered. Dunne attended the trial of her murderer (John Thomas Sweeney, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and served, counting pre-trial incarceration time, 6½ years), and wrote the article “Justice: A Father’s Account of the Trial of his Daughter’s Killer” for Vanity Fair. Dunne went on to write for Vanity Fair regularly, and fictionalized several real-life events, such as the murders of Alfred Bloomingdale’s mistress Vicki Morgan and banking heir William Woodward, Jr., in several best-selling books. He eventually hosted the TV series Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice on CourtTV (later truTV), in which he discussed justice and injustice and their intersection with celebrities. Famous trials he covered included those of O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Michael Skakel, William Kennedy Smith, and the Menendez brothers. Dunne’s account of the Menendez trial, “Nightmare on Elm Drive,” was selected by The Library of America for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of True Crime: An American Anthology, published in 2008. In 2005 California Congressman Gary Condit won an undisclosed amount of money and an apology from Dunne, who had earlier implicated him in the disappearance of Chandra Levy, an intern from his U.S. House of Representatives district, with whom he had been carrying on an affair. In November 2006, he was sued again by Condit for comments made about the former politician on Larry King Live on CNN, but the suit was eventually dismissed. Dunne frequently socialized with, wrote about, and was photographed with celebrities. In 2008, at age 82, he traveled from New York to Las Vegas to cover O.J. Simpson’s trial on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery for Vanity Fair magazine, claiming it would be his last. During the trial, an unidentified woman approached and kissed him, causing her to be ejected from the courtroom. Later, when he collapsed from the sudden onset of severe pain and had to be rushed to the hospital, he expressed amazement at how fast the word spread at his fan site, DominicksDiary.com. His adventures in Hollywood as an outcast, top-selling author, and reporter, were cataloged in the release of the documentary Dominick Dunne: After the Party (2008). This film documents his successes and tribulations as a big name in the entertainment industry. In the film, Dunne reflected on his past as a World War II veteran, falling in love and raising a family, his climb and fall as a Hollywood producer, and his epic comeback as a writer (died 2009): “When you’re down and out, there’s no meaner place to live than Hollywood. You can get away with your embezzlements and your lies and your murders, but you can never get away with failing.”

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