Day in History 23 September – Vincenzo Bellini – Chief Dan George

Vincenzo_belliniOn this day in 1835, opera composer Vincenzo Bellini died in Puteaux, near Paris of acute inflammation of the intestine at the age of 33.  Born Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini on 3 November 1801 in Catania, at the time part of the Kingdom of Sicily.  His greatest works are I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (1830), La sonnambula (1831), Norma (1831), Beatrice di Tenda (1833), and I puritani (1835).  Known for his long-flowing melodic lines, for which he was named “the Swan of Catania”, Bellini was the quintessential composer of bel canto opera.  He had a sequence of affairs with married women, including Giuditta Turina.  But he resisted any emotional commitment, and never married.  When Turina proposed to leave her husband, Bellini bridled: “with so many commitments, such a relationship would be fatal to me“.  vincenzobelliniThe Final Footprint – Bellini was entombed in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris but his remains were removed to the cathedral of Catania in 1876.  Catania Cathedral,  dedicated to Saint Agatha, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Catania, Sicily.  It was the seat of the Bishops of Catania until 1859, when the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese, and since then has been the seat of the Archbishops of Catania.  Bellini’s cenotaph remains in Père Lachaise.  The Museo Belliniano housed in the Gravina Cruyllas Palace in Catania preserves memorabilia and scores.

ChiefDan_GeorgeOn this day in 1981, Native Canadian, poet, Academy Award-nominated actor, humanitarian, Chief of the Squamish Band of the Salish Indian Tribe of Burrard Inlet, Chief Dan George died in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Born Geswanouth Slahhot on 24 July 1899 in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia.  I very much enjoyed his performance alongside Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales.  His best-known written work is his poem “My Heart Soars.”  The Final Footprint – George was buried in Burrard Cemetery in North Vancouver, British Columbia.  His grave is marked by two flat granite engraved markers on a raised concrete base and a concrete border around his grave.  Along with his name and birth and death dates the inscriptions on the markers read:  HIS HEART SOARED LIKE THE EAGLE and In Loving Memory of Our Dad Daniel Paul.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Day in History, Extravagant Footprints, Hollywood Footprints, Musical Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in History 22 September – Irving Berlin

irvingBerlinPortrait1On this day in 1989, Tony and Grammy winner, songwriter, composer, lyricist Irving Berlin died in New York City at the age of 101.  Born Israel Isidore Baline on 11 May 1888 in Tyumen, Russia, now Belarus.  In my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters.  Among the many songs he wrote; God Bless America, White Christmas, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, There’s no Business like Show Business, Blue Skies, Puttin’ on the Ritz.  Composer Douglas Moore sets Berlin apart from all other contemporary songwriters, and includes him instead with Stephen Foster, Walt Whitman, and Carl Sandburg, as a “great American minstrel”—someone who has “caught and immortalized in his songs what we say, what we think about, and what we believe.”  George Gershwin called him “the greatest songwriter that has ever lived”, and Jerome Kern concluded that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music—he is American music.”  In 1912, he married Dorothy Goetz.  She died six months later of typhoid fever, which she contracted during their honeymoon in Havana.  The song he wrote to express his grief, “When I Lost You,” was his first ballad.  In 1925 he married Ellin Mackay.  Their marriage remained a love affair and they were inseparable until she died in July 1988 at the age of 85.

The Final Footprint – Berlin was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.  His grave is marked by a half ledger granite marker inscribed with his name and the birth and death dates.  On the evening following the announcement of his death, the marquee lights of Broadway were dimmed before curtain time in his memory.  Other notable Final Footprints at Woodlawn include; Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Fiorello La Guardia, Lionel Hampton, Rowland Macy, Bat Masterson, Herman Melville, J. C. Penney, and Joseph Pulitzer.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in American Icon, Day in History, Musical Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in History 21 September – Sir Walter Scott

Raeburn’s portrait of Sir Walter Scott 1822

On this day in 1832, Scottish novelist, playwright and poet, Sir Walter Scott died, under unexplained circumstances, at the age of 61 at his home Abbotsford House near Melrose in the Scottish borders.  Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America.  His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature.  His best known works include the novels, Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor and his poem The Lady of the Lake.  Scott married Charlotte Genevieve Charpentier (or Carpenter), daughter of Jean Charpentier of Lyon, France.  Born on 15 August 1771 in College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh.  The Final Footprint – Scott is buried in a pillared side chapel of the Dryburgh Abbery ruins in Melrose.  During his lifetime, Scott’s portrait was painted by Sir Edwin Landseer and fellow-Scots Sir Henry Raeburn and James Eckford Lauder.  In Edinburgh, the 61.1 metre tall Victorian Gothic spire of the Scott Monument was designed by George Meikle Kemp.  It was completed in 1844, 12 years after Scott’s death, and dominates the south side of Princes Street.  Scott is also commemorated on a stone slab in Makars’ Court, outside The Writers’ Museum, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, along with other prominent Scottish writers; quotes from his work are also visible on the Canongate Wall of the Scottish Parliament building in Holyrood. There is a tower dedicated to his memory on Corstorphine Hill in the west of the city and as mentioned previous Edinburgh’s Waverley railway station takes the name of one of his novels.  In Glasgow, Walter Scott’s Monument dominates the centre of George Square, the main public square in the city.  Designed by David Rhind in 1838, the monument features a large column topped by a statue of Scott.  There is a statue of Scott in New York City’s Central Park.  The annual Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction was created in 2010 by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, whose ancestors were closely linked to Sir Walter Scott.  At £25,000 it is one of the largest prizes in British literature.  The award has been presented at Scott’s historic home Abbotsford House.

In My Defens God Me Defend!

 

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Day in History, Extravagant Footprints, Literary Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On This Day 20 September – Jim Croce – Steve Goodman

Jim-Croce-r01On this day in 1973, singer, songwriter Jim Croce died at the age of 30 in the crash of a chartered Beechcraft E18S upon takeoff from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  Born James Joseph Croce on 10 January 1943 in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and 11 singles.  His singles “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle” were both number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.  The Final Footprint – Croce is buried at Haym Salomon Cemetery in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Steve_GoodmanOn this day in 1984, singer and songwriter, Chicago Cubs fan, Steve Goodman died of leukemia at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington at the age of 36.  Born Steven Benjamin Goodman 25 July 1948 on Chicago’s North Side.  The writer of “City of New Orleans”, made popular by Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson, Goodman won two Grammy Awards.  In 1974, singer David Allan Coe achieved considerable success on the country charts with Goodman’s and John Prine‘s “You Never Even Call Me By My Name”, a song which good-naturedly spoofed stereotypical country music lyrics.  In 1984, Goodman wrote the official Chicago Cubs team song and the official Cubs victory song, “Go Cubs Go!”.  The Final Footprint – Goodman was cremated.  Four days after Goodman’s death, the Cubs clinched the Eastern Division title in the National League for the first time ever, earning them their first post-season appearance since 1945, three years before Goodman’s birth.  Eight days later, on October 2, the Cubs played their first post-season game since the 1945 World Series.  Goodman had been asked to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before it; Jimmy Buffett filled in, and dedicated the song to Goodman.  In April 1988, some of Goodman’s cremains were scattered at Wrigley Field.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Musical Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On This Day 19 September – Gram Parsons

Gram_Parsons_promoOn this day in 1973, singer, songwriter, musician Gram Parsons died in Joshua Tree, California, at the age of 26 from an overdose of morphine and alcohol.  Born Ingram Cecil Connor III on 5 November 1946, in Winter Haven, Florida.  Parsons is best known for his work within the country music genre; he also popularized what he called “Cosmic American Music”, a hybrid of country, rhythm and blues, soul, folk, and rock.  Besides recording as a solo artist, he also worked in several notable bands, including the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers.  His relatively short career is described by Allmusic as “enormously influential” for both country and rock, “blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other.”  Parsons apparently developed an interest in country music while attending Harvard University.  He founded the International Submarine Band in 1966, and after several months of delay their debut, Safe at Home, was released in 1968, by which time the group had disbanded.  Parsons joined The Byrds in early 1968, and played a pivotal role in the making of the seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. After leaving the group in late 1968, Parsons and fellow Byrd Chris Hillman formed The Flying Burrito Brothers in 1969, releasing their debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, the same year.  The album was well received but failed commercially.  After a cross-country tour, they recorded Burrito Deluxe.  Parsons was fired from the band before its release in early 1970.  He soon signed with A&M Records, but after several unproductive sessions he canceled his intended solo debut in early 1971.  Parsons moved to France, where he lived for a short period at Villa Nellcôte with his friend Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.  Returning to America, Parsons befriended Emmylou Harris, who assisted him on vocals for his first solo record, GP, released in 1973.  Although it received enthusiastic reviews, the release failed to chart; his next album, Grievous Angel met with a similar reception, and peaked at number 195 on BillboardThe Final Footprint – Parsons’ body disappeared from the Los Angeles International Airport where it was being readied to be shipped to Louisiana for burial.  Prior to his death, Parsons stated that he wanted his body cremated at Joshua Tree and his ashes spread over Cap Rock, a prominent natural feature there; however, Parsons’ stepfather, Robert Parson, arranged for a private ceremony back in New Orleans and neglected to invite any of his friends from the music industry.  To fulfill Parsons’ funeral wishes, his friend Phil Kaufman stole his body from the airport and in a borrowed hearse drove it to Joshua Tree.  Upon reaching the Cap Rock section of the park, they attempted to cremate Parsons’ corpse by pouring five gallons of gasoline into the open coffin and throwing a lit match inside.  What resulted was an enormous fireball.  The police gave chase but, as one account puts it, “were encumbered by sobriety,” and the men escaped.  The two were arrested several days later.  Since there was no law against stealing a dead body, they were only fined $750 for stealing the coffin and were not prosecuted for leaving 35 lbs of his charred remains in the desert.  Parsons body was eventually buried in Garden of Memories of Metairie, Louisiana.  The site of Parsons’ cremation was marked by a small concrete slab and was presided over by a large rock flake known to rock climbers as The Gram Parsons Memorial Hand Traverse.  The slab has since been removed by the U.S. National Park Service, and relocated to the Joshua Tree Inn.  There is no monument at Cap Rock noting Parsons’ cremation at the site.  Joshua Tree park guides are given the option to tell the story of Parsons’ cremation during tours, but there is no mention of the act in official maps or brochures.  Fans regularly assemble simple rock structures and writings on the rock, which the park service sand blasts to remove from time to time.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow us on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Musical Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in History 18 September – Katherine Anne Porter – Jimi Hendrix

On this day in 1980, journalist, essayist, author, poet and Pulitzer Prize recipient, Katherine Anne Porter died in Silver Spring, Maryland at the age of 90.  Born Callie Russell Porter on 15 May 1890 in Indian Creek, Texas.  Her 1962 novel Ship of Fools was the best-selling novel in America that year, but her short stories received more critical acclaim.  She is known for her penetrating insight.  Her work deals with dark themes such as betrayal, death and the origin of human evil.  She was married and divorced four times and never had any children.  The Final Footprint – Porter was cremated and her ashes were buried next to her mothers in the Indian Creek Cemetery in Indian Creek.  Her grave is marked by an upright granite marker.  In addition to her name and birth and death dates, the monument inscription reads; IN MY END IS MY BEGINNING.  One of my favorite writers, I commemorate her birthday every year by reading some of her short stories.  In 1990, Recorded Texas Historic Landmark number 2905 was placed in Brown County, Texas to honor the life and career of Porter.  One of my very favorite writers.  Each year on her birthday I read some of her short stories.

Jimi_Hendrix_1967_uncroppedOn this day in 1970, musician, singer, songwriter, one of the greatest electric guitar players, member of the Forever 27 Club, Jimi Hendrix died in London in the flat of his girlfriend Monika Dannemann in the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, apparently from an accidental overdose of prescription medication, at the age of 27.  Born Johnny Allen Hendrix on 27 November 1942 in Seattle, Washington.  In 1946 his parents changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix, in honor of his father, James Allen Ross, and his late brother Leon Marshall.  Despite a limited mainstream exposure of four years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.  In 1964, he earned a spot in the Isley Brothers‘ backing band and later that year he found work with Little Richard, with whom he continued to play through mid-1965.  He then joined Curtis Knight and the Squires before moving to England in late 1966.  In 1967, Hendrix earned three UK top ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze”, and “The Wind Cries Mary”.  Later that year, he achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.  The world’s highest paid performer, he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.  Inspired musically by American rock and roll and electric blues, Hendrix favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, and was instrumental in developing the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback.  He helped to popularize the use of a wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock, and pioneered experimentation with stereophonic phasing effects in music recordings.  Hendrix was the recipient of several music awards during his lifetime and posthumously; the Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.  Rolling Stone ranked his three non-posthumous studio albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland among the 100 greatest albums of all time and they ranked Hendrix as the greatest guitarist.  Other members of the Forever 27 Club include; Kurt Cobain, Rolling Stone Brian Jones, Robert Johnson, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Alan Wilson and Amy Winehouse.  The Final Footprint – On 29 September, Hendrix’s body was returned to Seattle.  After a service at Dunlop Baptist Church on 1 October, he was interred in Greenwood Memorial Park (a Dignity Memorial property), Renton, Washington , the location of his mother’s gravesite.  Hendrix’s family and friends traveled in twenty-four limousines.  More than two hundred people attended the funeral, including several notable musicians such as original Experience members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, as well as Miles Davis, John Hammond and Johnny Winter.  As the popularity of Hendrix and his music grew over the decades following his death, concerns began to mount over fans damaging the adjoining graves at Greenwood, and the growing, extended Hendrix family further prompted his father to create an expanded memorial site separate from other burial sites in the park.  The memorial was announced in late 1999, but Al’s deteriorating health led to delays and he died two months before its scheduled completion in 2002.  Later that year, the remains of Hendrix, his father Al, and grandmother Nora Rose Moore Hendrix were moved to the new site.  The headstone contains a depiction of a Fender Stratocaster guitar, the instrument he was most famous for using, although the guitar is shown right-side up, rather than the way Hendrix played it, upside down (left-handed).  The memorial is a granite dome supported by three pillars under which Jimi Hendrix and other family members are interred.  Hendrix’s autograph is inscribed at the base of each pillar, while two stepped entrances and one ramped entrance provide access to the dome’s center where the original Stratocaster adorned headstone has been incorporated into a statue pedestal.  A granite sundial complete with brass gnomon adjoins the dome, along with over 50 family plots that surround the central structure, half of which are currently adorned with raised granite headstones.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Day in History, Extravagant Footprints, Literary Footprints, Musical Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in History 17 September – Dred Scott – Tobias Smollett – Alfred de Vigny – Pat Kennedy Lawford

On this day in 1858, African-American former slave, Dred Scott died in St. Louis from tuberculosis at the age of about 59.  Born about 1799 in Southampton County, Virginia into slavery.  He unsuccessfully sued for his freedom in the Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Sandford of 1857.  He was formally freed by Henry Taylor Blow on 26 May 1857, about three months after the court decision.  The Final Footprint – Scott is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Saint Louis.  His grave is marked by an upright granite marker and a flat granite marker.  Along with his name and the birth and death dates, the upright monument is inscribed; Freed from slavery by his friend Taylor Blow.  The flat granite marker inscription includes; In memory of a simple man who wanted to be free.  Another notable Final Footprint at Calvary is Tennessee Williams.

Tobias_Smollett_c_1770On this day in 1771, Scottish poet and author Tobias Smollett died in Livorno, Italy at the age of 50.  Born Tobias George Smollett on 19 March 1721 in Dalquhurn, now part of Renton, in present-day West Dunbartonshire, Scotland.  He is best known for his picaresque novels, such as The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748) and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), which influenced later novelists such as Charles Dickens.  The Final Footprint – He is interred in the English Cimitero in Livorno.  There is a monument to his memory beside Renton Primary School, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, on which there is a Latin inscription composed by Samuel Johnson.  The area around the monument was improved in 2002, with an explanatory plaque.  There is also a plaque to his temporary residence in Edinburgh just off the Royal Mile at the head of St John’s Street.  This states that he resided here in the house of his sister, Mrs. Telfer, for the summer of 1766.  A second plaque (dating the building at 1758, making it relatively new at that time) states that he “stayed here occasionally”.

alfreddevignyFélix_Nadar_1820-1910_Alfred_de_VignyOn this day in 1863, French poet, playwright, and novelist Alfred de Vigny died in Paris at the age of 66.  Born in Loches, a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France.  He was a major figure in the French Romantic movement.  Vigny married Lydia Bunbury, in Pau in 1825.  He had an affair with the great actress Marie Dorval.  After the death of his mother in 1838 he inherited the property of Maine-Giraud, near Angoulême, where he wrote some of his most famous poems, including La Mort du loup and La Maison du berger.  (Apparently Proust regarded La Maison du berger as the greatest French poem of the 19th century.)  In 1845, after several unsuccessful attempts to be elected, Vigny became a member of the Académie française.  In his later years he spent much time preparing the posthumous collection of poems now known as Les Destinées (though Vigny’s intended title was Poèmes philosophiques) which concludes with Vigny’s final message to the world, L’Esprit purThe Final Footprint – Vigny is entombed beside his wife in the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.  Other notable final footprints at Montmartre include composer Hector Berlioz, singer Dalida, artist Edgar Degas, author Alexandre Dumas, fils, poet Théophile Gautier and composer Jacques Offenbach.

Patricia_Kennedy_Lawford_-_circa_1948On this day in 2006, socialite, the sixth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald, sister to President John F. Kennedy, Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy, wife of Peter Lawford, Patricia “Pat” Kennedy Lawford died at the age of 82 in her Manhattan home from pneumonia.  Born on 6 May 1924 in Brookline, Massachusetts.  The Final Footprint – She was survived by her four children and 10 grandchildren, as well as, at the time, her sisters Eunice and Jean, and her brother Edward.  She was buried in Southampton Cemetery in Southampton, New York.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Day in History, Literary Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in History 16 September – Maria Callas

On this day in 1977, beautiful, temperamental, tragic, turbulent opera soprano, La Divina, Maria Callas died at the age of 53 in her Paris apartment from a heart attack.  Born Sophia Cecelia Kalos in Manhattan on 2 December 1923 to Greek parents.  She was christened Maria Anna Sophia Kalogeropoulou.  Callas married wealthy Italian industrialist Giovanni Battista Meneghini, who was about 30 years older than her.  She made her official debut at La Scala in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani.  In my opionion, Callas is one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century.  Critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic gifts.  Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini; further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner.  Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.  In 1957, she met Aristotle Onassis at a party.  They began an affair which resulted in Callas leaving her husband and lasted for nine years until Onassis left Callas for Jacqueline KennedyThe Final Footprint – Callas was cremated and her ashes were placed in a niche in the cemetery of Pere Lachaise in Paris until 1979 when the ashes were removed and scattered over the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece in accordance with her wishes.  A niche plaque remains at Pere Lachaise to memorialize Callas.  Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris and one of the most visited cemeteries in the world.  Other notable Final Footprints at Père Lachaise include; Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Jean-Dominique Bauby, Frédéric Chopin, Colette, Auguste Comte, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Molière, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Marcel Proust, Sully Prudhomme, Gioachino Rossini, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Oscar Wilde, and Richard Wright.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow us on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Day in History, Musical Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in History 15 September – Thomas Wolfe – Robert Penn Warren

Thomas_Wolfe_1937_1On this day in 1938, novelist Thomas Wolfe died from miliary tuberculosis of the brain at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at the age of 37.  Born Thomas Clayton Wolfe on 3 October 1900 in Asheville, North Carolina.  Haled as either a genius or merely a writer of bad prose.  Wolfe wrote four lengthy novels, plus many short stories, dramatic works and novellas.  He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing.  His books, written and published from the 1920s to the 1940s, vividly reflect on American culture and mores of the period, albeit filtered through Wolfe’s sensitive, sophisticated and hyper-analytical perspective.  He became very famous during his own lifetime.  After Wolfe’s death, his chief contemporary William Faulkner reportedly said that Wolfe may have had the best talent of their generation.  He remains one of the most important writers in modern American literature, as he was one of the first masters of autobiographical fiction. In my opinion, he is North Carolina’s most famous writer.  The Final Footprint – Wolfe is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville.  His grave is marked by an upright slanted granite monument.  In addition to the birth and death dates the monument is inscribed:  TOM,  SON OF W. O. AND JULIA E. WOLFE, A BELOVED AMERICAN AUTHOR, “THE LAST VOYAGE, THE LONGEST, THE BEST” LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL, “DEATH BENT TO TOUCH HIS CHOSEN SON WITH MERCY, LOVE AND PITY AND PUT THE SEAL OF HONOR ON HIM WHEN HE DIED” THE WEB AND THE ROCK.  The Thomas Wolfe Society was established in the late 1970s to promote appreciation and study of the works of this famous American author. The Society meets annually in May at locations in the U.S. or Europe visited by Wolfe. Recent conferences have been held in Greenville, South Carolina, Paris, France, and Saint Louis, Missouri. The Society issues an annual publication of Wolfe-related materials, as well as its signature journal, The Thomas Wolfe Review, featuring scholarly articles, belles lettres, and reviews. The Society also awards prizes for literary scholarship on Wolfe.

Robert_Penn_WarrenOn this day in 1989, poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism, Robert Penn Warren died at the age of 84 in Stratton, Vermont of complications from bone cancer.  Born on 24 April 1905 in Guthrie, Kentucky.  Warren was a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.  He founded the influential literary journal The Southern Review with Cleanth Brooks in 1935.  He received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel for his novel All the King’s Men (1946) and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958 and 1979.  He is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry.  The Final Footprint – Warren is interred in Willis Cemetery in Stratton, Vermont, and, at his request, a memorial marker is situated in the Warren family gravesite in Guthrie, Kentucky.  Warren is one of my favorite writers.  Each year on his birthday I read some of his short stories and poems.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF

Posted in Day in History, Literary Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in History 14 September – Grace Kelly – Dom Pérignon – James Fenimore Cooper – Mickey Hargitay – Patrick Swayze

Grace_Kelly_-_High_SocietyOn this day in 1982, Academy Award-winning actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly died from a cerebral hemorrage after a car wreck in France near Monaco at the age of 52.  Born Grace Patricia Kelly on 12 November 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Between 1951 and 1956 she appeared in 11 movies alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood including; Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.  Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco on 18 April 1956.  My all-time favorite movie featuring Kelly is Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1953).  The Final Footprint –  Kelly was entombed in the Grimaldi family vault in the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Monte Carlo.  Diana, Princess of Wales attended her funeral representing the British royal family.  Prince Rainier, who did not remarry, was buried alongside her following his death in 2005.

Dom-perignonOn this day in 1715, French Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon died at the abbey of Hautvillers near the town of Epernay at the approximate age of 77.  Born Pierre Pérignon c. 1638 in the town of Saint-Menehould in the Champagne region of northern France.  Dom Pierre made important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine in an era when the region’s wines were predominantly still and red. Popular myths frequently, but erroneously, credit him with the invention of sparkling Champagne, which didn’t become the dominant style of Champagne until the mid-19th century.  The famous champagne Dom Pérignon, the prestige cuvée of Moët & Chandon, is named after him.  The Final Footprint – Dom Pierre was buried in a section of the abbey cemetery traditionally reserved only for abbots.

James_Fenimore_Cooper_by_BradyOn this day in 1851, writer James Fenimore Cooper died the day before his 62nd birthday from dropsy in Cooperstown, New York.  Born in Burlington, New Jersey on 15 September 1789.  His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature.  He lived most of his life in Cooperstown, which was established by his father William.  He attended Yale University for three years, where he was a member of the Linonian Society, but was expelled for misbehavior.  Before embarking on his career as a writer he served in the U.S. Navy as a Midshipman which greatly influenced many of his novels and other writings.  He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales.  Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans (1826), often regarded as his masterpiece.  The Final Footprint – Cooper’s interment was in Christ Episcopal Churchyard, where his father, was buried.  Cooper’s wife Susan survived her husband only by a few months and was buried by his side at Cooperstown.  Several well-known writers, politicians, and other public figures honored Cooper’s memory with a dinner in February 1852; Washington Irving served as a co-chairman for the event, along with William Cullen Bryant and Daniel Webster.  The protagonist of Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, is Nathaniel “Natty” Bumppo, whose other nickname is Hawkeye.  The character of Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H takes his nickname from Bumppo.  In both the original book and the TV series it is stated that The Last of the Mohicans is the only book Pierce’s father had ever read.  Bumppo is portrayed in the 1992 film version of The Last of the Mohicans by Daniel Day-Lewis.  The film also starred Madeleine Stowe and Wes Studi.  The soundtrack for the film features music by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman, and the song “I Will Find You” by Clannad.  The main theme of the film is taken from the tune “The Gael” by Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean.  Released on September 25, 1992, in the United States, The Last of the Mohicans was met with nearly-universal praise from critics as well as being commercially successful during its box-office run.

Mickey_Hargitay_1964On this day in 2006, bodybuilder, actor, husband of Jayne Mansfield, father of Mariska Hargitay, Mickey Hargitay died in Los Angeles on September 14, 2006, aged 80, from multiple myeloma.  Born Miklós Hargitay on 6 January 1926 in Budapest, Hungary.  The Final Footprint – Hargitay was cremated.  Arnold Schwarzenegger portrayed Hargitay in the 1980 made for television movie, The Jayne Mansfield Story, with Lonnie Anderson starring as Mansfield.

Patrick_Swayze_2006On this day in 2009, actor, dancer, singer and songwriter Patrick Swayze died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 57 with his family at his side in Los Angeles.  Born Patrick Wayne Swayze on 18 August 1952 in Houston.  He was best known for his tough-guy roles and as romantic leading men in the hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost, and as Orry Main in the North and South television miniseries.  He was named by People magazine as its “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1991.  His film and TV career spanned 30 years.  The Final Footprint – Swayze was cremated and his cremains were scattered at his ranch in New Mexico.

Have you planned yours yet?

Follow us on twitter @RIPTFF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Posted in Day in History, Extravagant Footprints, Hollywood Footprints, Literary Footprints, Religious Footprints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment