"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
He has cooked up some good ones before. Among them: Ain't Misbehavin', I've Got a Feelin' I'm Fallin', Keepin' Out of Mischief Now. Waller has collaborated with many a lyricist. Some of his best results he turned out with Andy Razaf, his favorite poet next to Longfellow.* During one rewarding session in retreat at Asbury Park, N.J., the two men turned out Zonky, My Fate Is in Your Hands and Honeysuckle Rose in two hours. Razaf had enticed Waller into his mother's Asbury Park home for a productive session away from the nightspots. Says Razaf: "She's a wonderful cook and Fats loves to eat. We had a show to write and I figured that would keep Fats away from the bars. He could set the telephone book to music."
Keeping Tom Waller away from bars is a difficult feat. His capacity for both food & drink is vast. A Waller breakfast may include six pork chops. It is when he is seated at the piano that he most relishes a steady supply of gin. When his right-hand man, brother-in-law Louis Rutherford, enters with a tray of glasses, Tom will cry, "Ah, here's the man with the dream wagon! I want it to hit me around my edges and get to every pound."
In 1932 Fats balked the depression with a rapid month in Paris. There his enthusiastic friends included Marcel Dupré, onetime organist of Notre Dame Cathedral. With Dupré, Fats climbed into the Notre Dame organ loft where "first he played on the god box, then I played on the god box." In Paris Fats also came into cultural contact with a fellow pianist and expatriate named "Steeplehead" Johnson. Fats got home from the French capital by wiring Irving Berlin for funds.
Few who had funds could ever refuse him. With a piano, a bottle of gin, and a hot weather handkerchief, he is one of the most infectious men alive. With his wife Anita and their two musically gifted sons, Maurice, 15, and Ronald, 14, he lives in an eight-room English brick house in St. Albans, L.I. The house has a Hammond organ, a size B Steinway grand and an automatic phonograph with 1,500 records. Next to Lincoln and F.D.R., Fats considers Johann Sebastian Bach the greatest man in history.
Once a dewy-eyed young thing stopped Fats and inquired, "Mr. Waller, what is swing?" Said he: "Lady, if you got to ask, you ain't got it."
* Razaf's real name: Andrea Razafinkeriefo. He is the nephew of Ranavalona III, last Queen of Madagascar. #
Blossom Dearie, who died on February 7 aged 82, was one of the great interpreters of American song in the post-war era. She did not like to be described as a jazz singer (although she grew up in a jazz milieu), nor as a supper-club singer (although she often entertained in supper clubs); a mixture of the two, she preferred to call herself "a songwriters' singer".
The New Yorker critic Whitney Balliett once said that Blossom Dearie's tiny wisp of a voice "would scarcely reach the second storey of a doll's house".
Marguerite Blossom Dearie was born on April 29 1926 at East Durham, near Albany, New York, where, it is said, the locals are noted for their clarity of diction. Surprisingly, her name, so unusual and so perfectly suited to her fragile, blowaway voice, was also completely genuine. Dearie is an old Scottish name, and her father, a barman of Scottish-Irish extraction, hit upon Blossom after seeing some peach blossom shortly after her birth.
In cooking, as in fashion, where one knockoff leads to another, the road to Boston Cream Pie seems fairly straightforward. The pie, or cake-pie as it was originally called, started out as a cake batter baked in a piecrust. This makes sense because most Colonial cooks had pie pans, not cake pans. At some point, the crust was eliminated, and the batter was poured directly into the pie pan. The transition from pie pan to cake pan is unclear, but once the pie officially became a cake, the real tinkering began.
The first variation, called Washington Pie, was a two-layer cake filled with jam and topped with powdered sugar. This was followed by Boston Cream Pie, with pastry cream replacing the jam. Next, in a moment of can-you-top-this, a three layer extravaganza with jam and pastry cream was created. Finally, in 1854, a chef at the Omni Parker House hotel in Boston transformed the dessert into Chocolate Cream Pie by topping it with chocolate.
These days, two pastry chefs at the Omni are kept busy making Boston Cream Pie.
The centennial of Lincoln's birth marked the largest commemoration of any person in American history. The Lincoln penny was minted, the first coin bearing the image of an American president, and talks took place in Washington about a grand Lincoln monument to be erected in the nation's capital. All across the country, and in many nations around the world, America's 16th president was extolled. An editorial in the London Times declared, "Together with Washington, Lincoln occupies a pinnacle to which no third person is likely to attain." The commander of the Brazilian Navy ordered a 21-gun salute "in homage to the memory of that noble martyr of moral and of neighborly love." The former states of the Confederacy, which less than 50 years earlier had rejoiced at Lincoln's death, now paid tribute to the leader who had reunified the nation. W. C. Calland, a state official in Missouri-which, during the Civil War, had been a border state that contributed 40,000 troops to the Confederate cause-barely contained his astonishment in a memorandum reporting on the festivities: "Perhaps no event could have gathered around it so much of patriotic sentiment in the South as the birthday of Abraham Lincoln....Confederate veterans held public services and gave public expression to the sentiment, that had 'Lincoln lived' the days of reconstruction might have been softened and the era of good feeling ushered in earlier." (1)
In a ceremony at Hodgenville, Kentucky, at the old Lincoln 110-acre farmstead, President Theodore Roosevelt laid a three feet square cornerstone for a granite and marble neo-classic memorial building to enshrine a symbolic replica of the log cabin at the site in which Lincoln was born.
Seven thousand people showed up for the dedication. When Roosevelt began his speech he hopped onto a chair and was greeted by cheers. "As the years [roll] by," he said in his crisp, excitable voice, "...this whole Nation will grow to feel a peculiar sense of pride in the mightiest of the mighty men who mastered the mighty days; the lover of his country and of all mankind; the man whose blood was shed for the union of his people and for the freedom of a race: Abraham Lincoln." The ceremony in Kentucky heralded the possibility of national reconciliation and racial justice proceeding hand in hand. (1)
It was long known that Roosevelt greatly admired Lincoln. “Lincoln, he said, led the formation of a new Republican party when the old Whig party ceased to 'help the people'; Roosevelt followed in his footsteps. Lincoln hated slavery and fought against it all of his life; Roosevelt hated and fought the idea that 'it is one man's duty to toil and work and earn bread and the right of another man to eat it'.” (2) He also said about Lincoln, “Lincoln was the first who showed how a strong people might have a strong government, and yet remain the freest on the earth.” Roosevelt saw Lincoln as honest and reforming and was often guided by Lincoln's philosophy, wisdom and politics.
The cornerstone remained suspended in the air in the grasp of a big derrick and immediately after the speeches was lowered into its place at the signal from the President, who applied the first trowelful of mortar to hold it into place. Concealed in the stone laid a metallic box containing copies of the Constitution of the United States and some other important historic documents. After that, Isaac Montgomery, a former slave of Jefferson Davis, deposited into this box a copy of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, referring to himself as,”...one of the former millions of slaves to whom Lincoln gave freedom.”
The memorial building was completed in 1911 under the administration of President Taft and has 56 steps leading up to the building, representing his age at the time of his death.
Boston University freshman ANDREW RASMUSSEN (third from left), texting at the conclusion of the Terriers' 4-3 first-round Beanpot win as referees review -- and wave off a Harvard goal that came after the buzzer, Feb. 2, 2009 --
"I'm sitting up top, and my friend Chuck, who goes to Northeastern, is sitting right across in the Northeastern section. My friend was texting me all game, telling me how Harvard was going to win and how BU was going down. He sent me a message saying, 'Hey, fun fact for you, Harvard's winning this game.' I couldn't let the reputation of my school be debated. So I sent him back a message saying, 'No way. BU owns the Beanpot ' It was so clearly not a goal -- it was like five seconds after. I didn't get to enjoy the moment but putting him in his place was well enough enjoyment for me. I look terrible. It makes me look like one of those people that go to the game just because it's the Beanpot. It's so embarrassing, but it's pretty funny, too. I'm definitely not a nerd. I'm going to be there Monday night to watch BU win; but I'll probably leave my phone home."