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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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January 19, 2010

This morning, Willie almost earned an "A" on his morning walk, but the distance, at least today, between an "A" and a "D+" was slender. He was practically perfect for the entire walk, until the very end when he disappeared into the darkness of the pre-dawn morning and went into ninja mode (no sound, no acknowledgment of his own existence). I eventually went to the house for a flashlight and reinforcements.

After some searching, Walter found and leashed him, and together we walked back up the road. We met up with Caroline and Clara, just starting their walk. Clara remembered that today was Walter's birthday, and asked if it was a milestone date. Walter said, "At this point, they are all milestones, but this year is not a big one."

Time does move on whether we want it to or not. As a boy, Walter, who shares his birthday with Edgar Allen Poe and Robert E. Lee, thought that the holiday from school he had on his birthday every year was just for him. He later learned that Texas celebrated General Lee's birthday alongside Jefferson Davis's birthday (June 3) on January 19, as Confederate Heroes Day, and thus the break from school. Now the closest he gets to a day off for his birthday is when he celebrates with Martin Luther King, as we did yesterday.

For the second year in a row, my morning paper disappointed me by not printing the text of the "Dream" speech on the editorial page in its entirety (actually not even in its brevity either) so that I could easily read it out loud at the breakfast table. I complained about this last year, but since I had influence that approaches the isymptotic value of zero, there was no place in the paper for the speech again this year either. Why would the paper want to print it? It is only the single greatest speech of the Twentieth Century, and don't just take my word for it:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/top100speechesall.html
http://www.faqs.org/shareranks/1071,Top-Speeches-of-the-20th-Century
http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/007256296x/student_view0/top_100_speeches_.html
http://www.news.wisc.edu/misc/speeches/
http://www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/2008/10/10-best-political-speeches-of-the-20th-century/

So here it is (it runs a bit over five minutes):



I spent at least part of the day with some fine young women doing their own small part to have a day of service. This is my young friend, Alyssa Lumpee with Erin (at a petting zoo. . .at night?):


She chose Erin's project of funding a cure for neuroblastoma for her birthday celebration this year. She invited her entire soccer team and entire volleyball team to U-Paint It and instead of gifts asked for donations to CNCF.


I guarantee these lovely ladies are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Thank you, Alyssa and thanks to all of your friends for the generous donations. These gifts are so meaningful to me in light of struggles and challenges that so many of my internet friends (Sam H., Erik, Sam F., and Syndey, just to name four) have right now.

3 comments:

  1. I agree about the MLK speech. I also love his "Mountain top" speech, from the day before his murder. (also available from American Rhetoric site). Such a wonderfully gifted communicator.

    It'd be nice if every year papers reprinted one or more of his speeches, on the very day that we are supposed to honor him. Oh well.

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  2. NPR played his speech in its entirety on Monday. It was awesome, and I loved that you could hear the crowd respond to what he had to say. :)

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