Daily Update: Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Laurence of Brindisi and 2016 Republican National Convention

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor (died 1619), and the 2016 Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio concludes. And today is the birthday of Richard’s friend Jack (known as Chookie) here in town.

Born as Giulio Cesare Russo in Brindisi, Apulia, in 1559, to a family of Venetian merchants, today’s Saint was educated at Saint Mark’s College in Venice, and joined the Capuchins in Verona as Brother Lawrence (Lorenzo). He received further instruction from the University of Padua. An accomplished linguist, Lawrence spoke most European and Semitic languages fluently. He was appointed definitor-general for Rome for the Capuchins in 1596; Pope Clement VIII assigned him the task of converting the Jews in the city, and his fluency in Hebrew made many Rabbis convinced that he had been a Jew who had converted to a Catholic. Beginning in 1599, Lawrence established Capuchin monasteries in modern Germany and Austria, furthering the Counter-Reformation and bringing many Protestants back to the Catholic faith. In 1601 he served as the imperial chaplain for the army of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, and successfully recruited Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercoeur to help fight against the Ottoman Turks. He then led the army during the capture of Székesfehérvár from the Ottoman Empire, armed only with a crucifix. In 1602 he was elected vicar-general of the Capuchins, at that time the highest office in the order. He was elected again in 1605, but refused the office. He entered the service of the Holy See, becoming nuncio to Bavaria. After serving as nuncio to Spain, he retired to a monastery in 1618. He was recalled as a special envoy to the King of Spain regarding the actions of the Viceroy of Naples in 1619, and after finishing his mission, died in Lisbon. He was beatified in 1783 by Pope Pius VI, canonized in 1881 by Pope Leo XIII, and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959, and he is the Patron Saint of the city of Brindisi, Italy. In politics, the 2016 Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio concludes; today’s session begins at 7:30 pm, with a speech by the Republican Presidential Nominee. Today is also the birthday of Richard’s friend Jack, also known as Chookie.

Last night Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.

I woke up at 8:00 am; my contact lens in my right eye had split, so I replaced the lenses in both eyes. I did my Book Devotional Reading, ate my breakfast toast while reading the Thursday papers, and did my Internet Devotional Reading. I then addressed a birthday card to Richard’s cousin Lele and put it out in the mail. I also uploaded all of the photos I had properly arranged for July through November yesterday and uploaded them to my phone.

Leaving the house on my own at 9:45 am, I went to my oncologist’s office in Opelousas for my 10:30 am appointment, which went well; my next appointment is on January 26th, and I will request to have blood drawn for lab work by the clinic at the casino a few weeks before that date. I then ate lunch at McDonald’s, and continued reading Julian’s Gospel: Illuminating the Life & Revelations of Julian of Norwich by Veronica Mary Rolf. I then went to Wal-Mart in Opelousas and purchased my salad supplies and some other items.

Arriving back home at 1:30 pm, I worked on my Genealogy for a few hours; at 3:30 pm Richard took a nap. I watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm, and texted Callie; she said that my Kitten is still teething (two teeth), and not up to going out, and Richard got up (I think the thunderstorm woke him up) and reported that he was not feeling well, so I sent a text to Michelle letting her know we would try for Friday or Saturday. I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and when I finish I will get ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene (died first century). Richard and I will return to work for the start of our usual work week, and on my breaks I will continue reading Julian’s Gospel: Illuminating the Life & Revelations of Julian of Norwich by Veronica Mary Rolf. On our way home I will purchase my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing, and once home from work I will make my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday and eat my tomorrow salad for lunch. And if nothing else happens tomorrow afternoon, I will work a bit on my Genealogy.

Our Thursday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from E. L. Doctorow, American novelist. Born as Edgar Lawrence Doctorow in 1931 in The Bronx, New York, his parents were second-generation Americans of Russian Jewish extraction who named him after Edgar Allan Poe. His father ran a small music shop. He attended city public grade schools and The Bronx High School of Science where, surrounded by mathematically gifted children, he fled to the office of the school literary magazine, Dynamo, which published his first literary effort. He then enrolled in a journalism class to increase his opportunities to write. Doctorow attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he studied with the poet and New Critic John Crowe Ransom, acted in college theater productions, and majored in philosophy. While at Kenyon College, Doctorow joined the Middle Kenyon Association, and he became friends with fellow student and future historian Richard H. Collin. After graduating with honors in 1952, he completed a year of graduate work in English drama at Columbia University before being drafted into the United States Army. He served as a corporal in the signal corps in Germany from 1954 to 1955, and married a fellow Columbia University student. He returned to New York after his military service and took a job as a reader for a motion picture company, where he said he had to read so many Westerns that he was inspired to write what became his first novel, Welcome to Hard Times. He began it as a parody of western fiction, but it evolved to be a serious reclamation of the genre before he was finished. It was published to positive reviews in 1960, with Wirt Williams of the New York Times describing it as “taut and dramatic, exciting and successfully symbolic.” The book was adapted into the movie of the same name in 1967. To support his family, Doctorow spent nine years as a book editor, first at NAL working with Ian Fleming and Ayn Rand among others, and from 1964, as editor-in-chief at Dial Press, publishing work by James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Ernest J. Gaines, and William Kennedy, among others. In 1969 Doctorow left publishing to pursue a writing career. He accepted a position as Visiting Writer at the University of California, Irvine, where he completed The Book of Daniel (1971), a freely fictionalized consideration of the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for giving nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was widely acclaimed, called a “masterpiece” by The Guardian, and was said by the New York Times to have launched the author into “the first rank of American writers” according to Christopher Lehmann-Haupt. It was adapted into the movie Daniel in 1983. Doctorow’s next book, written in his home in New Rochelle, New York, was Ragtime (1975), which won the 1975 National Book Critics Circle Award. The book was adapted into the 1981 film and the 1998 Broadway musical of the same name, and was in 2008 named one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library editorial board. His subsequent work includes the award-winning novels World’s Fair (1985), winner of the 1986 National Book Award, Billy Bathgate (1989), winner of the 1990 National Book Critics Circle Award, the 1990 PEN/Faulkner Award, and the 1990 William Dean Howells Medal, and The March (2005), winner of the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2006 PEN/Faulkner Award, as well as several volumes of essays and short fiction. In 1989 he won the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for Fiction, and in 1998 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award from the Tulsa Library Trust. Doctorow also taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Yale School of Drama, the University of Utah, the University of California, Irvine, and Princeton University. He was the Loretta and Lewis Glucksman Professor of English and American Letters at New York University. In 2001 he donated his papers to the Fales Library of New York University. The library’s director, Marvin Taylor, said Doctorow was “one of the most important American novelists of the 20th century”. In 2012 he was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame and won the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction; the next year he was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. Doctorow received the 2014 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, and the same year published his last novel, Andrew’s Brain (died 2015): “The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.”

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