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[h-e-w] Clipping for Today
[h-e-w] Clipping for Today
Thu, 23 Apr 2009 16:42:42 -0700
My maternal grandmother gave me a NYT clipping in 1978, and it is still on my
wall. It is
appropriate for today:
"Arthur Weyne's sister used to take the Avenue A bus from
10th Street to Houston almost every work-day morning. "At
Fifth Street," he recalls her telling him, "almost every
morning, a short, frowzy, chunky shlump of a woman would
be waiting for the bus and board it with groans, glowers,
protests, and have exertions. She carried bundles --
always. They were of a clumsy dimension, varying sizes
and divers degrees of vulnerability; there were never
fewer than four."
"She always paid her fare grudgingly, then flopped into a
seat at the front, sometimes commandeering one with an
authority no one ever disputed, and sat there frowning,
creaking and giving off emanations of menace. Since she
had started her cascade of complaints on the step of the
bus, and went on from her seat, haranguing the driver: he
stopped too far from the curb; the step was much too
high; the fare was unreasonable; he drove like a wild
Indian. She went on beyond Houston, so my sister never
knew whether she ever stopped caterwauling.
"One day in April, as my sister's bus was approaching
Fifth Street, she was relieved to see that Complaining
Cora -- as of course she known: her name was Cora -- was
not at the curb. But a woman was waiting for the bus, and
the driver stopped to take her on. Lo and behold! -- my
sister insisted this was the only way to express it --
the woman was Cora: bundleless, dressed in a lovely
frock, a flowered hat and long white gloves. More
startling than her costume was her face. She was beaming
-- pleasant, jovial, gay.
"Cora didn't merely board -- she made an entrance. She
paid her fare, even the coins tinkled gaily. Then the
startled passengers began to call out, 'Is that you, Cora
-- really you?' The driver pulled the bus to the curb,
stopped and faced her, 'What's "hoppen", Cora?'
"'Nothing is "hoppen"', she said, as though proclaiming
an amnesty. "'Today is Shakespeare's birthday.'"
Note: Shakespear was baptized on 26 April 1564.
Baptism in the 16th C took place 3 days after birth as a general rule.
If he was Jewish, and equivalent calculation might expect that he was
born 18 April, but let's
nip that in the bud...
Therefore the traditional date for Shakepeare's birthday is 23 April
1564. Interesting, he
died on that date (Julian Calendar) in 1616, that date on the Gregorian
calendar would be
represented as 3 May 1616.
- [h-e-w] Clipping for Today,