Daily Update: Friday, September 30th, 2016

Jerome and Banned Books Week 2016

Today is the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor (died 419), Banned Books Week continues, and today is also the birthday of my son’s best friend Derek (1986).

Born in 347 in Stridon, Dalmatia (possibly located in today’s Slovenia, or Croatia, or Bosnia), to a rich pagan family, Jerome led a misspent youth, studied in Rome, and became a lawyer. Converted in theory, and baptized in 365, he began his study of theology, and had a true conversion, becoming a monk. He lived for years as a hermit in the Syrian deserts, and is reported to have drawn a thorn from a lion’s paw, so that the animal stayed loyally at his side for years. Becoming a priest in 378 or 379, he was the student of Saint Gregory of Nazianzen. In 382 he went to Rome and became the Secretary to Pope Damasus I, who commissioned him to revise the Latin text of the Bible. The result of his 30 years of work was the Vulgate translation, which was used by the Catholic Church for over a thousand years, and which is still in use. He was the friend and teacher of Saint Paula, Saint Marcella, and Saint Eustochium, an association that led to so much vicious gossip that Jerome left Rome to return to the desert solitude. He lived his last 34 years in the Holy Land as a semi-recluse with a voluminous correspondence, much of it written in anger, for he did not suffer fools, or those he thought were fools, well (including Saint Augustine). He also wrote translations of histories, biographies, the works of Origen, and much more. Named a Doctor of the Church in 1298, he is also ranked as a Father of the Church. He is the Patron Saint of archeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, libraries, school children, students, and translators. And Banned Books Week continues, so go read Justine by the Marquis de Sade today! Today is also the birthday of my son’s best friend Derek, who was the best man at his wedding, and who is also the Significant Other of my daughter’s friend Ashley (1986).

I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Ninth Day of my Novena to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. On leaving the house at 1:30 am the temperature was 57°, instead of the usual 75°, so fall may be not far behind (by SouthWestCentral Louisiana standards). I also requested A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (my next Third Tuesday Book Club Book) from Overdrive and from the Lafayette Public Library. Once at work Richard was on Pai Gow, and I was on Three Card Poker. At 8:00 am I did something I almost never do – I went to the Shift Office to complain about a dealer coming back from her break late two rotations in a row, which cut into my breaks. Either because my speaking did something, or for some other reason, she came back on time for the rest of the shift.

After work Richard picked up a prescription at the Pharmacy, and on our way home he stopped at Wal-Mart to get supplies to make spaghetti tomorrow (more anon). Once home I ate my lunch salad while reading the morning paper, then I worked on genealogy on the computer. I also did some reading in Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen and in Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde. At 4:30 pm we watched Jeopardy!, and then I came to the computer (eating the other half of a cantaloupe, with salt and pepper) to do today’s Daily Update. When I finish this Daily Update I will do some reading, then go to bed. And the New Moon will arrive at 7:13 pm.

Tomorrow the First Saturday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; it is also the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor (died 1897). And Banned Books Week ends tomorrow. It is also the first day of the month. We will work our eight hours at the casino, and after lunch I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. I will then take a nap until about 5:00 pm and do my Daily Update. Our LSU Tigers  (2-2, 1-2) will play a home game against the Missouri Tigers (2-2, 0-1) at 6:30 pm, and Richard and I will eat spaghetti for kickoff. And our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing the first of their preseason NBA games with the Dallas Mavericks in Bossier City at 7:00 pm. I will record the scores of both games in Sunday’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon on the last day of September comes to us from Turhan Bey, Austrian actor. Born as Turhan Gilbert Selahattin Sahultavy in 1922 in Vienna, Austria, he was the son of a Turkish diplomat who had lost an arm in battle in World War I and a Czechoslovakian Jewish mother. After the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany and his parents’ divorce, he and his mother emigrated to the United States in 1940, settling in Los Angeles. As a young boy newly arrived in the United States, Bey was introduced to Albert Einstein, as Bey’s uncle was a mathematician who worked with Einstein. Bey and Einstein kept up a close friendship over the years. When he enrolled in classes at Ben Bard’s School of Dramatic Art to improve his English, he also was asked to play a role in a teacher’s play. He then went on to the Pasadena Playhouse. While in a play, a talent scout from Warner Brothers was impressed and signed him to a contract, under the name of Turhan Bey. His first movie was Shadows on the Stairs (1941). With his suave demeanor, exotically handsome looks and well-modulated voice, he was first called upon to portray mysterious or villainous characters. Soon he would be teamed with other “exotics” (e.g. Maria Montez and Sabu) in a series of escapist adventures, filmed in glorious Technicolor and set in lands of fable, which proved most popular with movie audiences of the World War II years. He was dubbed “The Turkish Delight” by his fans. Bey’s most famous movies were The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944). In 1944 a poll by exhibitors of “Stars of Tomorrow” listed him at number nine. His career began fading in the early 1950’s; after appearing in Prisoners of the Casbah (1953), he returned to Europe in the wake of a scandal. His early interest in photography earned him a place with an archaeological expedition to Tibet, and ultimately led to his return to life in Vienna where he flourished as a fashion photographer. He also did stage direction. Returning to Hollywood to receive an award, he made several guest appearances in 1990s television series including SeaQuest DSV, Murder, She Wrote and two episodes of Babylon 5, first as the Emperor of Centauri (who also had the name Turhan) in 1995, and later as a Minbari Ranger named Turva in 1998. He also appeared in a number of films. A German documentary film about Bey, Vom Glück verfolgt Wien (Hollywood – Retour), was made in 2002 by Andrea Eckert (died 2012): “It was quite wonderful in those years [mid-1940s]. One was young and good-looking, and it seems those were the very two things everyone was looking for.”

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