Day in History 18 June – Djuna Barnes – Larry Doby – Jack Buck – Clarence Clemons

DjunabarnesOn this day in 1982, writer Djuna Barnes died in New York City at the age of 90.  Born in a log cabin on Storm King Mountain, near Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York on 12 June 1892.  In my opinion, Barnes played an important part in the development of 20th-century English-language modernist writing and was one of the key figures in 1920s and ’30s bohemian Paris after filling a similar role in the Greenwich Village of the teens.  Her novel Nightwood became a cult work of modern fiction, helped by an introduction by T. S. Eliot. It stands out today for its portrayal of lesbian themes and its distinctive writing style.  As a roman à clef, the novel features a thinly veiled portrait of Barnes in the character of Nora Flood, whereas Nora’s lover Robin Vote is a composite of Thelma Wood and the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.  Since Barnes’ death, interest in her work has grown and many of her books are back in print.  Barnes apparently said she was not a lesbian, she just loved Thelma.  The Final Footprint – Barnes was cremated and her cremains were scattered in Greenwich Village.

Larry_Doby_1953On this day in 2003, Hall of Fame baseball player Larry Doby died in Montclair, New Jersey at the age of 79.  Born on 13 December 1923 in Camden, South Carolina.  Doby was the second black player to play in the modern major leagues and the first to do so in the American League.  A center fielder, Doby appeared in seven All-Star games and finished second in the 1954 American League MVP voting.  Appointed manager of the Chicago White Sox in 1978, Doby was the second African-American to lead a Major League club.  He signed with the Cleveland Indians eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League.  The Final Footprint – Doby was cremated.  When Doby died, President George W. Bush released the following statement;

“Larry Doby was a good and honorable man, and a tremendous athlete and manager. He had a profound influence on the game of baseball, and he will be missed. As the first African American player in the American League, he helped lead the Cleveland Indians to their last World Series title in 1948, became a nine-time All-Star and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. Laura joins me in sending our condolences to Larry’s family during this difficult time.”

Requiescat in pace.

JackbuckOn this day in 2002, American Hall of Fame sportscaster, best known for his work announcing Major League Baseball games of the St. Louis Cardinals, the father of Fox Sports lead NFL and MLB announcer Joe Buck, Jack Buck died in St. Louis’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital from a combination of illnesses at the age of 77.  Born John Francis Buck 21 August 1924 in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  The Final Footprint – Within two hours of his death, fans were leaving flowers at the base of his bust outside Busch Stadium even though it was the middle of the night.  The flags at St. Louis City Hall and the St. Louis County Government Center were lowered to half-staff, the local television news anchors all wore black suits for the next several days, and a public visitation was held in the stadium before the next baseball game after his death, with free admission to the game for all the mourners who filed past his coffin.  Buck was interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in south St. Louis County.  Requiescat in pace.

Clarence_Clemons_Nov_20,_2009On this day in 2011, The Big Man, American musician and actor, from 1972 until his death a prominent member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band playing the tenor saxophone, Clarence Clemons died from complications caused by a stroke in West Palm Beach, Florida at the age of 69.  Born Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr. on 11 January 1942 in Norfolk County (later the city of Chesapeake), Virginia.  The Final Footprint – Clemons was cremated and his cremains were scattered in Hawaii.  Requiescat in pace

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