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Thursday, September 22, 2005

 

A Red-tailed Hawk at Coal Mine Creek

Odds and Ends on Autumn Solstice
Gore Vidal, Peter Jennings, Sidney Bechet
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Welcome autumn. Yesterday, JHL and I walked at Coal Mine Creek. Trails still damp from the rain on Tuesday; the air smelled fresh and sweet of bay laurel and eucalyptus leaves on the ground. We sat near the hammock between two eucalyptus trees to have our sandwiches. Shared a bottle of Mission St. Pale Ale and watched a red-tailed hawk circling overhead. I don't know a read-tailed hawk from any other raptor but JHL has recently joined a bird watching group and she was equipped with binoculars. The hawk kept circling over the area for a while as if it knew it was being watched. Then the circles widened and we could no longer follow it.

Gore Vidal Speaks

It was a pleasure to read Emma Brockes' interview with Gore Vidal in The Guardian. Nearing 80, he pulled no punches in talking about G.W. Bush and his administration.

Excerpts:

"............was he surprised by Bush's inadequacy in dealing with the floods in Louisiana?

"No." He musters a little smirk. "It's a corrupt administration" - Vidal's voice begins to rise magesterially, and his whole body to inflate like a hovercraft - "as they have proven to the whole world. I was just watching television; Bush has for the first time admitted that he might be culpable."

Was he convincing?

"No-o-o. What was convincing was that his handlers said you get out there and apologise."

"Age Cannot Wither Him" - Emma Brockes, The Guardian,UK
*

Tributes to Peter Jennings (1938-2005)

Friends and admirers of the late Peter Jennings assembled at Carnegie Hall on September 20th to pay homage. In addition to being a great journalist, Jennings was a lover of jazz and "......attracted to women".

David Bauder, AP,who had covered Jennings in the past, wrote a great piece about him and the gathering at Carnegie Hall.

"Jennings, ABC's chief news anchor for more than 20 years, was also "famously attracted to women," Koppel said. "Even so, he only married four of them."

A handful of homeless people were also in the hall. Jennings' widow, Kayce, was startled recently when a homeless man approached to express sympathy for her loss; Jennings had befriended him during walks in Central Park.

Jennings frequently served meals to the homeless after leaving the ABC News studio and that night's broadcast of "World News Tonight," said Mary Brosnahan Sullivan of the Coalition for the Homeless.

"The Peter I knew was somebody of concrete action," she said."

"Peter Jennings Honored at Carnegie Hall", David Bauder AP

*
The late, great Sidney Bechet

Listening to Sidney Bechet on a CD. He breezed through the melancholic "Summertime"; jumped into "Muskrat Ramble", and is now playing "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans". He was described as a "clarinet virtuoso" but was equally good with soprano saxophone. It is his clarinet that is making the sweet sound that is evocative of the French Quarter, jazz and all that New Orleans stood for.

Bechet is accompanied by superb artists:
Art Hodes - piano
Wild Bill Davison - cornet
Pops Foster - bass
Fred Moore - drums

Sidney Bechet (1897-1959)
Blue Note CDP 7243 8 28991 20 @1994 (Originally recorded 1953).

*****

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