Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, Religious (died 1639).
Born in Lima, Peru, in 1579, today’s Saint was the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a young freed black slave, and grew up in poverty. He spent part of his youth with a surgeon-barber from whom he learned some medicine and care of the sick. At age eleven he became a servant in the Holy Rosary Dominican priory in Lima, Peru. Promoted to almoner, he begged more than $2,000 a week from the rich to support the poor and sick of Lima. Placed in charge of the Dominican’s infirmary, he became known for his tender care of the sick and for his spectacular cures. His superiors dropped the stipulation that “no black person may be received to the holy habit or profession of our Order” and Martin took vows as a Dominican brother in 1603. He established an orphanage and children’s hospital for the poor children of the slums, set up a shelter for stray cats and dogs and nursed them back to health, lived in self-imposed austerity, never ate meat, fasted continuously, and spent much time in prayer and meditation with a great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, he was the first black saint from the Americas, and is the Patron Saint of race relations, social justice, public education, hairstylists, and innkeepers, of Peruvian Naval Aviators, of the Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, and of the countries of Peru, Vietnam, and Mexico.
We woke up at 6:00 am at the Best Western in Buena Vista, Colorado, and I did my Book Devotional Reading. After a very indifferent Continental breakfast I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and we left the motel at 8:00 am.
At 9:15 am we arrived at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Florissant, Colorado. I got three stamps for my National Parks Explorer Edition Passport book, and we saw the movie. We then walked the loop trail and saw the petrified redwood stumps. I then purchased a lapel pin for Liz Ellen and a hiking staff medallion, and we left my 172st National Park at 10:45 am.
At 11:00 am we arrived at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, Colorado. At 12:00 pm we took the tour and saw the rescue wolves. The best part was at the end of the tour, when our guide told us to howl; for the next minute or so, all the wolves at the center answered us. We purchased t-shirts, and were on the road again at 1:30 pm.
I ate a poboy for a late lunch and read the local paper, and we headed up to Denver. We checked in at the Quality Inn at 4:00 pm, and read the USA Today. I did not feel up to going out to eat, so we hung out in the hotel bar and called our friend Deb. I then came back to the room to do today’s Daily Update, and when I finish I will go to bed.
Tomorrow is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop (died 1584). I will sleep in, we will go to the Tattered Cover, and tomorrow we will meet up either Deb and listen to live music. Our New Orleans Pelicans (0-5, 0-2) will play a home NBA game with the Phoenix Suns (1-4, 0-3).
Our Parting Quote this Thursday evening comes to us from Tom Magliozzi, American auto repair expert and radio host. Born as Thomas Magliozzi in 1937 in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, after high school he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with a degree in Economics Policy and Engineering from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1958. While at MIT, he participated in Air Force ROTC, and subsequently he spent six months in the Army Reserve at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He subsequently worked for Sylvania’s Semiconductor Division in Woburn, Massachusetts and then for the Foxboro Company while earning his MBA from Northeastern University and teaching part-time at local universities. Eventually tiring of his commute and job, he quit, spending the next year doing odd jobs such as painting for other tenants in his apartment building. In 1973 he and his younger brother Ray opened a do-it-yourself repair shop named Hacker’s Haven in Cambridge. The shop rented space and equipment to hackers trying to fix their own cars but was not profitable. Nevertheless, the two enjoyed the experience and were invited in 1977 to be part of a panel of automotive experts on Boston’s National Public Radio affiliate WBUR-FM. Subsequently, the brothers converted the shop into a standard auto-repair shop named Good News Garage. In addition to the local radio show, Tom worked a day or two per week at the Technology Consulting Group, run by a former MIT classmate, in Boston, and he still taught at local universities. Tom’s professed belief that college professors make lots of money without working drove him to spend nine years working while getting his doctorate in Marketing from Boston University School of Management. After being a professor for eight years, he decided that he disliked teaching, and quit. In January 1987, host Susan Stamberg of Weekend Edition on NPR asked the two to contribute weekly to her program. Nine months later, Car Talk premiered as an independent NPR program. In 1992 the Magliozzis won a Peabody Award for Car Talk for “distinguished achievement and meritorious public service”. The brothers continued to work in their garage while they produced Car Talk. In addition to the radio show, Tom wrote for CarTalk.com and ran his own consulting business. In 1999 the brothers returned to MIT (Ray had also gotten his college degree there) to jointly deliver the commencement speech to that year’s graduates. The Magliozzi brothers appeared in a seventh season episode of the PBS Kids show Arthur, called “Pick a Car, Any Car”, which originally aired on November 25th, 2002. Arthur calls them with a question about the family car, which would have been hauled away by the local mechanic without their help. The answer turns out to be a baby rattle, presumably that of Arthur’s baby sister Kate, in the car’s tailpipe. The brothers again appeared in the Pixar film Cars (2006). They played the owners of Rust-eze, who discovered Lightning McQueen and gave him his first big break. Tom appeared as a 1963 Dodge Dart convertible, a reference to a 1963 Dart convertible he owned for many years and often mentioned on Car Talk. Ray appeared as a 1964 Dodge A100 van. In the film, they each admonished: “Don’t drive like my brother”, the catchphrase from the close of their radio show. In 2008 the brothers starred in their own PBS animated series, Click and Clack’s As the Wrench Turns, playing fictionalized versions of themselves. Also in 2008 the brothers hosted an episode of PBS show NOVA entitled “The Car of the Future”. On June 8th, 2012, it was announced that Car Talk would stop producing new episodes in September 2012, though NPR continues to air reruns of the show (died 2014): “Do it while you’re young. You may never have another chance to do anything this stupid again!”