Daily Update: Friday, October 16th, 2015

Hedwig and Margaret Mary Alacoque

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Hedwig, Religious (died 1243) and the Optional Memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (died 1690). And Early Voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th.

Born in 1174 in Castle Andechs, Bavaria, Saint Hedwig was the daughter of Berthold IV, Duke of Merania, and the aunt of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. She was married to Prince Henry I the Bearded of Silesia and Poland in 1186 at age 12, and was the mother of seven children. She cared for the sick both personally and by founding hospitals. Upon her husband’s death in 1238 she gave away her fortune and entered the monastery at Trebnitz where her daughter was abbess. She is the Patron Saint of orphans, of Silesia, of Andechs Abbey in Germany, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wrocław, Poland and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Görlitz, Germany, of the cities of Kraków, Poland and of Berlin, Germany, and Brandenburg, Germany, and of the countries of Germany and Poland. We also honor Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (died 1690). Born in 1647 at L’Hautecourt, Burgundy, she was healed from a crippling disorder by a vision of the Blessed Virgin, which prompted her to give her life to God. After receiving a vision of Christ fresh from the Scourging, she was moved to join the Order of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial in 1671. In 1675 she received a revelation from Our Lord, which included twelve promises to her and to those who practiced a true to devotion to His Sacred Heart, whose crown of thorns represent his sacrifices. The devotion encountered violent opposition, especially in Jansenist areas, but has become widespread and popular, especially in the First Friday devotion, in which the faithful attend Mass and receive Communion on the first Friday of each month for nine months. She was canonized in 1920, and is the Patron Saint of devotees of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and of those suffering with polio or with the loss of parents. And Early Voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th.

Last night I cleaned out my purse before going to bed. And, defying all expectations, our New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons last night by the score of 31 to 21. (Geaux Saints!) Our Saints (2-4, 1-2) will next play the Indianapolis Colts (3-2, 3-0) on Sunday, October 25th, so they effectively are off this Sunday.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in Richard was dealing on the Sit-Down Blackjack table, and I was on Three Card Poker. (The numbers associated with all of the table have changed, but the tables themselves are still Three Card, Let It Ride, whatever.) On my breaks I talked to our Shift Manager, who told me not to worry, that even if the Scheduler notices that I do not have enough PTO accrued for our full three weeks that he will make it right with her (so that I will eat the extra time, rather than be required to come back to work early).

After work I picked up my prescriptions (our Flex Care Medical Care card is now out of money; a little too early in the year for my taste), and on our way home I read the October 19th, 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated (with our star runner, Leonard Fournette, on the cover). When we got home I read the morning paper and ate my lunch salad. Then I took a nap; Richard came to bed about 4:30 pm, and my conscience drove me up and to the computer to do today’s Daily Update instead of sleeping and not doing my Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr (died 107). Tomorrow being the third Saturday in October means that it is New River Gorge Bridge Day, when they close the bridge over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, West Virginia, and let those who are so inclined to do BASE jumping (but no bungee jumping) from the bridge to the river, some 876 feet below. And tomorrow is the last day of Early Voting  for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th. On my breaks at work I will start reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for my Third Tuesday Book Club. In the afternoon I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, and when I come back home I will take a nap until 5:30 pm or so. At 6:00 pm our New Orleans Pelicans will play an away Preseason Pro Basketball game with the Sacramento Kings, and our #6 ranked LSU Tigers will host the #8 ranked Florida Gators in College Football (may the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx be not in effect!)

Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon comes to us from Barbara Billingsley, American actress. Born as Barbara Combes in 1915 in Los Angeles, California, her father was a patrolman; her parents divorced sometime before her fourth birthday, and her mother went to work as a forelady in a knitting mill. She fell in love with drama in the second grade and performed in all the school plays in high school before being voted “Class Clown” and graduating in 1934. After attending Los Angeles Junior College for one year she traveled to Broadway, when Straw Hat, a revue in which she was appearing, attracted enough attention to send it to New York. When, after five days, the show closed, she took an apartment on 57th Street and went to work as a $60–a–week fashion model. In 1941 she married her first husband, Glenn Billingsley, and used her new married name as her stage name. She landed a contract with MGM Studios in 1945, and was in several movies in uncredited roles until her first credited role in The Argle Secrets in 1948. Meanwhile, she and her husband had divorced in 1957, and she raised their two sons. Billingsley was in Three Guys Named Mike (1951), opposite Jane Wyman, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and the science fiction film Invaders from Mars (1953). She married British director Roy Kellino in 1953; he died three years later, in 1956. Her film experience led to appearances with David Niven on his television anthology series Four Star Playhouse in 1953 and 1955, and in the television comedies Professional Father in 1955 (with Stephen Dunne and Beverly Washburn) and The Brothers in 1956 and 1957 (with Gale Gordon and Bob Sweeney). In 1957 she co–starred opposite Dean Stockwell and Natalie Trundy in The Careless Years, which was her first and only major role in film. After Billingsley signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1957, she made her mark on TV as everyday mother June Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver. The show debuted on CBS in 1957 to mediocre ratings and was soon canceled. However the show moved to ABC the following year and stayed there for the next five seasons. Also starring on Beaver were Hugh Beaumont, in the role of Ward Cleaver, June’s husband and the kids’ father, as well as child actors Tony Dow in the role of Wally Cleaver and Jerry Mathers as Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver. In the show Billingsley often could be seen doing household chores wearing pearls and earrings. The pearls, which in real-life were Billingsley’s trademark, were in turn her idea to have her alter ego wear on television. The actress had what she termed “a hollow” on her neck and thought that wearing a strand of white pearls would lighten it up for the cameras. In later seasons she started wearing high heels to compensate for the fact that the actors who played her sons were growing up and getting taller than she was. So associated was the pearl necklace with the character that an entire episode of the sequel series dealt with the necklace becoming lost. During the show’s run Billingsley married her third and last husband in 1959. She had one regret about the show’s lasting success: residual payments ended after six reruns in standard 1950s actors’ contracts. After six seasons and 234 episodes, the popular series was canceled due to the cast’s desire to move on to other projects, especially Mathers, who retired from acting to enter his freshman year in high school. When production of the show ended in 1963 Billingsley had become typecast as saccharine sweet and had trouble obtaining acting jobs for years. She traveled extensively abroad until the late 1970s. After an absence of 17 years from the public eye (other than appearing in two episodes of The F.B.I. in 1971), Billingsley spoofed her wholesome image with a brief appearance in the comedy Airplane! (1980), as a passenger who could “speak jive”. Her third husband died in 1981. Billingsley appeared with Robin Williams and Pam Dawber in a 1982 episode of Mork & Mindy, and became the voice of Nanny and The Little Train on Muppet Babies from 1984 to 1991. She appeared in a Leave It to Beaver reunion television movie entitled Still the Beaver in 1983; Hugh Beaumont had died the year before of a heart attack, so she she was a widow in the movie. She also appeared in the subsequent revival of the series, The New Leave It to Beaver (1985–1989). In the 1997 film version of Leave It to Beaver, her last film, Billingsley played the character of Aunt Martha. In 1995 she appeared with other “TV Moms” on Roseanne. In 1998 she appeared on Candid Camera, along with June Lockhart and Isabel Sanford, as audience members in a spoof seminar on motherhood. On October 4, 2007, she and her surviving castmates, Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, Ken Osmond and Frank Bank, were reunited on ABC’s Good Morning America, to celebrate Leave It to Beaver’s 50th anniversary. On May 6, 2008, hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she was unable to attend the Academy Leonard Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, California, where the Academy of Television Arts & Science presented “A Salute to TV Moms” (died 2010): “Good grief, I think everybody would like a family like that. Wouldn’t it be nice if you came home from school and there was Mom standing there with her little apron and cooking waiting?”

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