Friday, July 12, 2013

Jul 12 (1899, 1914) E.B. White & The Bambino Share One Day, Two Cities

On this day in 1899, author E.B. White, had completed his first day of life (born on July11).

On this day in 1914, Babe Ruth relished his first victory as a Major League Baseball pitcher. "The Bambino" started with the Boston Red Sox winning his first game on July 11.

Boston and New York featured prominently in both men's lives. Ruth started his career in Boston, but then "cursed" the city when he was traded to the New York Yankees in 1919.

White, an editor for The New Yorker, wrote the Boston poem, entitled "Boston Is Like No Other Place in the World Only More So," first published in The New Yorker in 1949. President Obama read from it at the memorial service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Excerpted below.
There’s something in the Boston scene
     So innocent, so tranquil,
It takes and holds my interest
     The same as any bank will.
For Boston’s not a capital,
     And Boston’s not a place;
Rather I think that Boston is
     A sort of state of grace.
The people’s lives in Boston
     Are flowers blown in glass;
On Commonwealth, on Beacon,
     They bow and speak and pass.
No man grows old in Boston,
     No lady ever dies;
No youth is ever wicked,
     No infant ever cries.
No orthodox Bostonian
     Is lonely or dejected.
For everyone in Boston
     With everyone’s connected.
E. B. White, “Boston Is Like No Other Place in the World Only More So,” October 1, 1949
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Flannery O'Connor

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.