Daily Update: Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

07-02 - La Amistad

Today is the First Saturday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We have no Saints to honor today, but on this date in 1839, Sengbe Pieh (later known in the United States as Joseph Cinqué) led fifty-six fellow Africans (fifty-two adults and four children), who were captives being transported aboard La Amistad from Havana to Guanaja, in a revolt against their captors. And today is the half-way point of this leap year of 2016.

The First Saturday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Turning to the event of 1839, in the main hold below decks on La Amistad, the captive Africans found a rusty file; the captives freed themselves, and they quickly ascended the stairs to the deck. Armed with machete-like cane knives, they were successful in gaining control of the ship, and demanded to be returned home to what is now Sierra Leone. The ship’s navigator, Don Pedro Montez, deceived them about which direction their course was on and sailed the ship north along the North American coast to the eastern tip of Long Island, New York. The United States Revenue Cutter Service discovered the schooner and took it and its occupants into custody. They took the Africans to Connecticut to be sold as slaves. A widely publicized court case ensued in New Haven, Connecticut, about the ship and the legal status of the African captives, which became a cause célèbre among abolitionists in the United States. At the time, the transport of slaves from Africa to the Americas was illegal, so the ship owners had fraudulently described the Africans as having been born in Cuba. The court had to decide if the Africans were to be considered salvage and the property of Naval officers who had taken custody of the ship, whether they were the property of the Cuban buyers or of Spain as Queen Isabella II of Spain claimed, or if the circumstances of their capture and transportation meant they were free. On appeal, the Amistad case reached the US Supreme Court, which in 1841 ruled that the Africans had been illegally transported and held as slaves, and ordered them freed; the Amistad survivors returned to Africa in 1842. The ship was auctioned off by the U. S. Marshall, renamed Ion, and was sailed between New England and the islands of Bermuda and Saint Thomas for a few years. After Ion was sold in Guadeloupe in 1844, all records of the ship were lost, and she sailed into oblivion. I would also like to note that today is the half-way point of this leap year; there were 182 days before today since January 1st, and there will be 182 more days before we reach December 31st. The precise midpoint of the year will occur at 12:00 am, or at 1:00 am in locations that observe some sort of daylight savings time (like my own location, here in SouthWestCentral Louisiana).

Last night I put new AA batteries in the weather station transmitter and the weather station receiver, and it started working correctly again.

I did my Book Devotional Reading, and the Half-Way Point of Leap Year arrived at 1:00 am. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and at the Pre-Shift Meeting I won a $10.00 meal comp. When we headed out to the casino floor, Richard was the Relief Dealer for the Sit-Down Blackjack table, a regular Blackjack table, and (until it closed) the Three Card Blackjack table. I was on Mini Baccarat; from 3:00 am until 10:00 am I had only one guest, but by the end of our shift three guest had showed up. On my breaks I continued reading The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story by Dean King, and I continued reading the book on our way home from work.

Once home from work, I set up my medications for next week (no prescriptions to renew). I then did my store list for Richard, then read the morning paper while Richard paid the bills. I then left for the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. (While I was there, Richard left to do the grocery shopping at Wal-Mart.) During my Hour I finished reading the May / June 2016 issue of The Bible Today, and started reading the July 4th – July 11th, 2016 issue of my Jesuit America magazine.

When I got home from Adoration I plugged the bills Richard had paid into my Checkbook Pro app. I then got busy with this Daily Update; Richard arrived home with the groceries and household items at about 2:45 pm. And once I finish this Daily Update I will get ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle (died c. 72). It will be the first of two Heavy Business Volume Days at the casino for the Independence Day Weekend, and on my breaks I will continue reading The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story by Dean King. After lunch I will make my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday, and then do my Daily Update before going to bed early.

Our Parting Quote this Saturday afternoon comes to us from Dame Beryl Bainbridge, English novelist. Born in 1932 (she consistently gave her year of birth as 1934) in Liverpool, she was raised in nearby Formby. She enjoyed writing, and by the age of 10 she was keeping a diary. She had elocution lessons and, when she was 11, appeared on the Northern Children’s Hour radio show. Bainbridge was expelled from her girls’ school because she was caught with a “dirty rhyme” (as she later described it), written by someone else, in the pocket of her gym uniform. At the Cone-Ripman School (now the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts) she found she was good at history, English and art. The summer she left school she fell in love with a former German POW who was waiting to be repatriated. For the next six years, the couple corresponded and tried to get permission for the German man to return to Britain so that they could be married. But permission was denied and the relationship ended in 1953. The next year she married artist Austin Davies. The two divorced soon after, leaving Bainbridge a single mother of two children; she later had another child by another man. In 1958 she attempted suicide by putting her head in a gas oven. She had been doing some acting since 1953, and appeared in one 1961 episode of the soap opera Coronation Street playing an anti-nuclear protester. To help fill her time while raising her children, Bainbridge began to write, primarily using incidents from her childhood as her source material. Her first novel, Harriet Said…, was rejected by several publishers, one of whom found the central characters “repulsive almost beyond belief”. A Weekend with Claude (1967) and Another Part of the Wood (1968) were then published before Harriet Said… in 1972. For the rest of her life she continued writing novels; she became known as “The Booker Bridesmaid” because five of her novels were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, but never won. However, she did win the Whitbread Prize for Injury Time (1977). In the late 1970s she wrote a screenplay based on her 1975 novel Sweet William; the movie of the same name, starring Sam Waterston, was released in 1979. Her 1989 novel, An Awfully Big Adventure, was adapted into a film in 1995 starring Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant. From the 1990s Bainbridge also served as a theatre critic for the monthly magazine The Oldie. Her reviews rarely contained negative content, and were usually published after the play had closed. Her 1996 novel Every Man for Himself (about the 1912 Titanic disaster) again won the Whitbread Prize. In 2000 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). In 2003 she was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature together with Thom Gunn. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Bainbridge among their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″, and in 2011 she was (posthumously) awarded a special honour by the Booker Prize committee (died 2010): “Everything else you grow out of, but you never recover from childhood.”

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