I read somewhere that more babies were born in August than in any other month. From personal example, I would argue the researchers may be on to something. Out of my parents’ six children, five of them were born within the middle two weeks of this sultry month.
It stands to reason then, that there have been lots of exciting events that have occurred in Augusts past. Here are a few things that stand out for me from the 8th through the 15th:
On Aug 08, 1974, President Nixon resigned — that’s my earliest TV “where were you, when?” moment. My mother insisted that my brothers and I sit and watch the whole thing, from his scratchy resignation speech, to the last take off in the helicopter — “it’s history, it’s important — what’s his buzzy-headed wife doing…..” Yeah, my mom wasn’t a fan of Pat — looking back, I think she seemed a pretty strong woman, Mom and Pat.
Today, August 11th, seems to have been a day of cultural watersheds — Alex Haley, the other “event-meister” of my childhood, was born in 1921, American Graffiti opened in 1973, and on the same night, Hip Hop came into existence at a birthday party in the Bronx.
Did you watch Roots when it came out? Were you glued to the TV — I saw it years later. My mother objected to the character Ralph Waites portrayed — John Walton would never be such a brute…. and would we have had Han Solo, Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi without AG?
And speaking of watersheds, my mom-in-law made her appearance into the world on August 11th — happy birthday, Barbara! Hope your day was delight-filled!
I thought I would give a little shout out to August 14th — I love my birthdate! I usually ask for rain, and a temperature drop — and once in a while that happens. Sipping champagne and listening to a wild thunderstorm is a fantastic way to spend an August evening!
I always associate my day with peace, prosperity and laughter — mostly because of VJ day (8.14.45) and the incredible picture of the “kiss” in Times Square (the reason I collect kisses). As I’ve been doing my research on the 1930s, I discovered that FDR signed the Social Security Act into existence in 1935 — much less controversial at the time, believe it or not. And in another shout to my early memories — Nixon ordered the bombings of Cambodia to cease in 1973. Dan Rather probably reported it — I remember his Texas drawl, clad in olive jungle fatigues telling me about Vietnam. Of course, that image is interspersed with Mr. GreenJeans on Captain Kangaroo….
I get to share the day with several fan favs (or maybe just my favorites): Magic Johnson (basketball), David Crosby (music, and maybe someone should remind him about his birthday), Gary Larson (“Midville School for the Gifted” is my absolute favorite Far Side), and Steve Martin (my favorite movie is probably LA Story or maybe My Blue Heaven or….. )
I can’t forget two more folks born on the 14th — my friend Will, who is one of the kindest, most creative and definitely the most-MacGyverish people I’ve ever met. He and I laugh, because we also share the day with James Gettys, the founder of Gettysburg — which links my day so terrifically!
Way Back Down Deep: The Crow • Steve Martin: Happy Birthday on the 14th to the coolest Jerk ever!
Daddy played the Banjo (with Earl Scruggs); Pitkin County Turnaround; Hoedown at Alice’s (written for John McEuen’s wife and because he loves the name, Alice — which I just think is cool); Late for School (this is pure fun & ever so timely, with Jerry Douglas); Tin Roof; Words Unspoken (with Dr. Banjo, Pete Wernick); Pretty Flowers (with Wernick, Scruggs, Vince Gill & Dolly Parton); Wally on the Run; Freddie’s Lilt; Saga of the Old West (from the Hindu backwoods); Clawhammer Medley (traditional songs, kickass arrangement); Calico Train (with Irish singer, Mary Black); Banana Banjo; Blue River Waltz; The Crow (I wanted the album after I watched Steve play this one with Béla Fleck on Letterman — wow!); and Calico Train (instrumental — chicken & egg 1st, the instrumental was before the lyrics)
If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all –> Billie Holiday