Daily Update: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Seven Founders of the Order of Servites

Today we honor the Seven Founders of the Order of Servites (last founder died 1310).

The Order of Servites was founded in 1233 by Saint Bartholomew degli Amidei, Saint Benedict dell’Antella, Saint Buonfiglio Monaldi, Saint Gherardino Sostegni, Saint Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni, Saint John Buonagiunta Monetti, and Saint Alexis Falconieri (the last of the seven founders to die, on this date in 1310). On the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1240 the Founders received a vision of Our Lady. She held in her hand the black habit, and a nearby angel bore a scroll reading Servants of Mary. Mary told them, “You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.” Named the fifth mendicant order by Pope Martin V in 1249 (after the Orders of Franciscans, Carmelites, Dominicans, and Augustinians), and confirmed in 1256; the order was suppressed in 1276 and definitely approved in 1304. The order was so rapidly diffused that by 1285 there were 10,000 members with houses in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, and early in the 14th century it numbered 100 convents, besides missions in Crete and India. The Reformation reduced the order in Germany, but it flourished elsewhere. Again meeting with political reverses in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, it nevertheless prospered, being established in England in 1867, and in America in 1870. The Servites take solemn vows and venerate in a special manner the Seven Dolors of Our Lady. They cultivate both the interior and the active life, giving missions and teaching.

Last night our LSU Lady Tigers won their College Basketball game with the Texas A&M Lady Aggies by the score of 67 to 63; our LSU Lady Tigers (18-8, 7-6) will next play an Away College Basketball game with the Georgia Lady Bulldogs (13-3, 5-8) on Sunday, February 19th, 2017.

When I woke up to get ready for work, Richard had already called in at the casino. I did my Book Devotional Reading, drove myself to work in the car, and did my Internet Devotional Reading in the ADR. Once we clocked in I signed the Early Out list, but without any real expectation of getting out early. I was the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud, Three Card Poker, and Let It Ride. On my breaks I continued reading The Death House by Sarah Pinborough via Kindle on my tablet.

To my surprise, I did get out early, at 7:00 am. I drove home, and Richard was in bed sleeping. I joined him, and slept until about 12:00 pm, when I got up, ate my lunch salad, and read the morning paper. I then got online and worked on Advance Daily Update Drafts for my weblog, and Richard was able to go to Crispy Cajun to get himself some lunch. We then watched Jeopardy!, and I came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow we have no Saints to honor, and tomorrow is the anniversary of the 1885 publication of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain in the United States. The Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 1:35 am, while are on our way to work. We will work our eight hours at the casino; at least, I do hope Richard can do so, since this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) is a Heavy Business Volume Day period at the casino for the Presidents Day Holiday, and if he calls in he will be charged double points. On my breaks I will continue reading The Death House by Sarah Pinborough via Kindle on my tablet. In the afternoon I will do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration at the Adoration Chapel, followed by lunch at McDonald’s; and I will read enough of The Death House by Sarah Pinborough via Kindle on my tablet to get me to the 60% mark in my book. I will then go to the 4:00 pm Mass for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Meantime, our LSU Tigers will play another College Baseball game with the Air Force Falcons, our LSU Tigers (9-16, 1-12) will play an Away College Basketball game with the Alabama Crimson Tide (14-10, 7-5), our Lady Tigers will play another College Softball game with the Georgia Southern Lady Eagles, and then our Lady Tigers will play a College Softball game with the Central Arkansas Lady Bears; I will post the scores of all of these games in Sunday’s Daily Update.

This Friday afternoon brings us a Parting Quote from Kathryn Grayson, American actress and operatic soprano singer. Born as Zelma Kathryn Hedrick in 1922 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, her father was a building contractor. The family later moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she was discovered singing on the empty stage of the St. Louis Municipal Opera House by a janitor who introduced her to Frances Marshall of the Chicago Civic Opera, who gave the twelve-year-old girl voice lessons. In 1940 an MGM talent scout saw her performing at a music festival. Metro hoped to find a replacement for Deanna Durbin, who had left the studio for Universal Pictures. Not long after signing her MGM contract she was asked to make her operatic debut in Lucia at the Metropolitan Opera House, but Louis B. Mayer talked her out of it knowing it would damage her long-term image as a film star. For the next 18 months, she went through voice lessons, drama coaching, diction, diets and exercise; she took her stage name from her own middle name and her mother’s maiden name. Within a year Grayson had her first screen test; however, the studio executives were not satisfied, and she went through a further six months of lessons until she made her first film appearance in 1941′s Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary as the character’s secretary Kathryn Land. That same year she eloped with actor John Shelton to Las Vegas, Nevada, where they were married; the two had courted for 18 months, after meeting while making screen tests. She appeared in three films in 1942: The Vanishing VirginianRio Rita and Seven Sweethearts (this last film included Frances Raeburn and Michael Butler, Grayson’s older sister and brother). Also in 1942 her husband moved out into his own apartment. In 1943 Grayson appeared in the film Thousands Cheer (originally titled Private Miss Jones), along with Gene Kelly, Mickey Rooney, Eleanor Powell, June Allyson and others. The film was intended as a morale booster for American troops and their families. Grayson starred as the singing daughter of an Army commander. She did not appear in any films for nearly two years (from 1943 to 1945), but instead worked at entertaining troops during the war and performing on radio programs. Her return to films in Anchors Aweigh, a musical romantic-comedy set in Los Angeles and co-starring Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Anchors Aweigh was the fifth-highest grossing film of 1945, earning over $4.779 million. This was followed by Two Sisters from Boston and guest appearances in Ziegfeld Follies and Till the Clouds Roll By. Grayson’s performance in Till the Clouds Roll By was of a song from the musical Show Boat. In 1946 she and Shelton were divorced; the next year she married the actor and singer Johnnie Johnston. MGM unwisely re-paired Grayson and Sinatra for two movies in 1947 and 1948, It Happened in Brooklyn and The Kissing Bandit. Both films performed poorly at the box office, and audiences thought the plots absurd. Grayson was then partnered with tenor Mario Lanza in That Midnight Kiss in 1949. In 1950 Grayson divorced Johnston and was once again professionally partnered with Lanza as she portrayed an opera singer in The Toast of New Orleans, performing the Academy-Award-nominated song “Be My Love”. While shooting the Madama Butterfly scene in the film, Lanza kept attempting to french kiss Grayson, which she claimed was made even worse by the fact that he would constantly eat garlic before shooting. Grayson went to costume designer Helen Rose who sewed pieces of brass into Grayson’s gloves. Any time Lanza attempted to french kiss her after that, she hit him with the brass-filled glove. For the premiere of the film Grayson traveled to New Orleans and was a guest at an auction selling the film’s costumes. Grayson replaced June Allyson as the role of Ina Massine in 1951′s Grounds for Marriage, portraying an opera singer with laryngitis, alongside Van Johnson who played her doctor and love interest. This was also her first non-singing role at MGM; Grayson’s musical performances did appear in the film, but in the form of recordings. Grayson was next cast as Magnolia Hawkes in the 1951 remake of the 1927 Hammerstein and Kern musical Show Boat alongside Howard Keel and Judy Garland; however, Garland dropped out of production, and the role went to Ava Gardner. Show Boat was the third-highest grossing film of 1951, earning over $5.533 million. Grayson teamed again with Keel that year in the Technicolor musical Lovely to Look At, a remake of the 1935 Astaire and Rogers film Roberta. This would be her last film with MGM, as her contract ended in January 1953. She went on loan to Warner Bros. and quickly started work on The Desert Song alongside Gordon MacRae; she had been asked to perform La bohème at the Central City Opera House in Central City, Colorado, but due to her filming obligations for The Desert Song she had to turn down their offer. (I am fairly certain that it was her work in 1951′s Show Boat that made my mother decide to give me the first name of Kathryn when I was born in 1958.) Grayson appeared on stage in numerous productions including Show BoatRosalindaKiss Me, KateNaughty Marietta, and The Merry Widow, for which she was nominated for Chicago’s Sarah Siddons Award. Her casting in The Merry Widow led to her replacing Julie Andrews in 1962 as Queen Guinevere in Camelot. She then continued the role for over sixteen months in the national tour of the United States before leaving for health reasons. Grayson had a lifelong dream of being an opera star, and she appeared in a number of operas in the 1960s, such as La bohèmeMadama ButterflyOrpheus in the Underworld and La traviata. In the 1980s she guest starred in three episodes of Murder, She Wrote with Angela Lansbury. In the late 1990s and early 2000s she was in several Hollywood documentaries (died 2010): “I must be the oldest living child soprano.”

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