Sports and nationalism often clash, and did so memorably when Adolf Hitler was in power. The story of how the four gold medals won by non-Aryan Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics embarrassed the Fuhrer has often been told. Of somewhat lesser renown is the 1936 heavyweight fight between Max Schmeling and Joe Louis, of which a German radio announcer said, “It is every German’s obligation to stay up tonight. Max will fight overseas with a Negro for the hegemony of the white race!”
The lyrics from a classic Linda Ronstadt song keep rolling through my head. “Heart like a wheel, when you bend it you can’t mend it.”
It’s that time of year again. People are returning to their roots, gathering for class reunions. May seems to be the busiest month for that, with autumn homecomings and Christmas holidays trailing slightly.
It wasn’t so long ago that we were all fascinated with the change of millennium, jumping into the two thousands of years. There were worries: Everyone with a computer remembers that shortcuts by 20th-century programmers were supposed to mean computers would crash when they unexpectedly came across years with a first digit of two rather than of one. It’s interesting that our worries with the big date change were technological. They didn’t come to pass.
What do you get when you cross 750 hard-boiled eggs with five Episcopalian women? (Drum roll, please.) You get 1,300 deviled eggs!
I’ve thought a lot about pain this week. Monday started with a trip to the dentist. A tooth extraction left one more hole in my head and a deep gouge in my finances. Thank goodness for Harriet Gilliam at Medical Arts Pharmacy, who kindly led me to the affordable, generic versions of my prescriptions and to a steady seat.
You know the name Spartacus, probably from the many fictional descriptions of his life, especially Kirk Douglas playing the title role in the 1960 film by Stanley Kubrick. There are novels about him, too, and a ballet by Khachaturian. Ronald Reagan was no scholar of Roman history, but in an address in Britain, he referred to the rebellious slave Spartacus as a symbol of the fight against totalitarianism. Spartacus’s name seems as if it will resound forever, and so a case could be made that we ought to know more about him than the “facts” presented in a Hollywood biopic.
I have hesitated to write about the Mississippi University for Women name change because I have mixed feelings. Something surfaced, however, that I feel compelled to comment on.
Today we honor mothers of all sorts, and not a moment too soon. I’m not sure I could stomach another sticky-sweet ad featuring pink, cubic zirconia, hearts and corny text. Does anyone’s mother ever look like those models wearing inexpensive jewelry, and in rapture over a bottle of drug-store fragrance?
Recently I wrote that I had heard of the closing of Sir Antony’s near Pontotoc. I was distressed to be told that the major reason for this was due to “no-shows,” customers who make reservations and simply don’t show up.
Our perfect spring is quickly melting into the sauna that is summer. It won’t be long before Chris and I will be forced to abandon our late-afternoon alfresco chats with the neighbors, cultivating friendships.
“If I had your hand, I’d throw mine in.” Those are the words of encouragement I gave one of my best pals a few days ago during what turned out to be a pretty somber visit. His job is going away. I had to remind him that he is super intelligent and has a laundry list of accomplishments he couldn’t fit on a four-page resumé.
Let me introduce you to my grandson, Douglas McRae, who is serving a 27-month assignment in Peru as a health volunteer. I thought my readers might like to know something about what it is like to do that, so I asked him to share his experiences with us. It is new to me, too. What he sent me follows.
In the South we are known for our warmth and hospitality. It doesn’t matter if someone asks for directions, or advice on where to get great barbecue, or just says “hi” as they walk through our lovely streets. In this part of the world, and especially in Columbus, we are eager to respond. In fact, we sometimes wish there were more opportunities to illustrate why we are called “The Friendly City.”
First, an addition to my column on coconut. Marleen Hansen has told me you can purchase lemongrass in Columbus from Lemon Grass Oriental Foods at 153 Priscella Circle (off Mike Parra Road). I haven’t been there, but I thought I’d pass this tidbit on. For that matter, Joy’s next to the Sunflower across from Lee Middle School may also have lemongrass.
There are days when the news seems surreal. So often we wonder if we really understood what we heard or read. “Pirates Off the Coast of Somalia.” “Airliner Lands on the Hudson River.”
Before you begin reading this Sunday’s interesting and informative “Strummin’,” you should know that I’m lucky.
In my last column I passed along a story of Tom Hardy illustrating how an incident can be seen from two points of view. Coincidentally, about the same time Linda Lodato shared with me an illustration of how time can produce two different points of view.
I have had the great good fortune of loving two cities that other people find fascinating. Both Columbus and New Orleans are beautiful, and rich with history. They are much desired destinations for those who live in generic places where life has a sameness and the houses are unnamed.
For the past week or two coconut cake has been on my mind, and I’m not quite sure why. Not just any old generic coconut cake, but my mother’s. She did not bake cakes often, just the rum cakes for Christmas presents and a cake for birthdays.