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16 June, 1998

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Photograph by Bob Gentry 8/5/99

A Thought for Today

There are no shortcuts to the destination, only false roads that waste your time.

 

"Dear Rod, Will you please reprint the Flight Plan where you spoke of your love for books?" Betty Ann. 

Dear Betty Ann, Done. Thanks, Rod

BOOKS 

I love books. The look. The smell, the feel of books; the paper and the binding of as much importance as the boards that hold them. The word inside them is a plus. Poetry, philosophy, medicine, archaeology, romances, political tracts, biographies of the gifted and the ordinary. The Bible and the Oz books. The Republic, The Riders of the Purple Sage, Leaves of Grass and Gravity's Rainbow. Chap Books and encyclopedias. The Four Horsemen, The Seven Deadly Sins, The Tale of One Thousand and One Nights, Five Thousand Things to Do on A Rainy Day. How To, Haiku, empty books with fine blank paper in them. (I buy such books but always find them too perfect to be written in.)

When I had little education and the prospect of the classroom on a regular basis eluded me, I haunted libraries. I could, right now, walk into the library of most Western American cities and go directly to the Science and the - small in those days - science-fiction section, find the reference shelves in darkness, go right to Geography and Architecture books. The former on the low shelves, the latter easier to reach. Of course I'm assuming that libraries haven't changed much in thirty years or so. Few do because learning has been kicked far down the ladder of priorities. I'm not completely sure of who's responsible for the loss of libraries and with it a general lack of literacy. Certainly not teachers.

-Excerpted from a speech given to The American Booksellers Association - first published 6/16/98. 

16 states have primary elections today. Don't forget to exercise your right to vote. If you live in California, please strike a blow against bigotry and vote NO on Proposition 22. See you tomorrow when our loveable webmaster Ken presents his weekly This One Does It For Me feature. Sleep warm.

                       
           - RM 3/7/2000 

notable birthdays                               MARDI GRAS
Kobo Abé
o Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowden) o Tammy Faye Baker o Luther Burbank o Taylor Dane o Michael Eisner o  Anna Magnani o Alessandro Manzoni o Rick Mayall o Barry McGuire o Piet Mondrian o Donna Murphy o Maurice Ravel o Willard Scott o Lynn Swann
Rod's random thoughts I am not sure what waits beyond the block but I'll travel down the street to have a look if need be.

Never be afraid to say, What is it?

Could be our appetite will go till even memory's not a feast.

Slander is the coward's bible.

WAITING IT OUT

Who hears the lone bark
                       of the dog
without a master or a hearth,
The cat cry in the shadow
of the unattended house
The moan of lovers when they learn
courage is not quite enough.
Who listens? Not the wind.
And sometimes-even God seems deaf
                         to the abandoned.
Be not afraid.
Life is not measured by the give and take,
the yardstick's only life itself.

                     
-from "Suspension Bridge",1984
© 1970, 1984, 1998, 2000 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan
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