It’s a busy day here at My Life And I’m Sticking To It. I wanted to make a simple blog listing names of people with whom I have this day in common and there were some names I just had to include while eschewing others. Then I thought, maybe it would be nice to actually see who I was talking about. That was a last minute decision, but I searched and searched….and searched for photos. And now that I’m running late for work, I present you with this not so comprehensive list of people born on this day. Maybe next year I’ll fill in with those I left out this time around and see how their stories stack up on the “interesting” scale.
1734: Sir Ralph Abercromby. No M. No Fitch, but still sylin’. He was a British lieutenant-general who served in the Seven Years’ War and The French Revolutionary Wars.
1745: Henry Rutgers, the American soldier for whom Queen’s College, Rutgers University is named. Queen’s…hmm, I wonder if that’s where the Olde Queen’s Tavern in New Brunswick down the road a piece got its name.
1798: Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, noted violin maker and invent0rwho made over 3,000 instruments in his lifetime, all of which are numbered and created the hollow steel bow and the “self-rehairing” bow. Among the notable names who have played a Vuillaume is Efram Zimbalist, Sr.
1870: Uncle Dave Macon, also known as the Dixie Dewdrop, was an American banjo player, a comedian and a singer/songwriter. Among the title of songs he played was a ditty called “The Arkansas Traveler” which strikes a note with me from a recent McGinty installment. I better look into that.
1888: Henry A. Wallace, the 33rd American Vice-President under FDR, 11th Secretary of Agriculture, and the 10th Secretary of Commerce. And the first Vice President to be on my list.
1894: Herman Dooyeweerd. He’s on the list mainly because that name is priceless. But he was a Dutch juridical scholar, a philosopher by vocation and also the founder of a new approach called ‘the philosophy of the cosmononic idea. You figure out what that means, I’m just gonna keep saying his name over and over.
1900: Heinrich Himmler, one of the most powerful men of the Nazi Regime, heading up the Gestapo who oversaw the concentration and extermination camps. Not very amusing, but an historic figure to be sure. Gotta take the good with the bad, I guess.
1905: Andrew Vabre “Andy” Devine, known for his raspy voice, was featured in more than 400 films, including Stagecoach with John Wayne and was noted for his portrayal of “Cookie” opposite Roy Rogers.
1917: June Allyson. Does anybody else remember the Depends adult diaper ads she did on TV? I’ll bet Turner Classic Movies is showing some of her films today. Betcha!
1918: Guido Aristarco, decano della critica cinematografica…. uh, never mind.
1927: Al Martino, singer of Red Roses For A Blue Lady. They do exist. Ever see the Blue Man Group? Smurfette? I rest my case. If you look real quick, don’t you see Tony Bennett?
1931: Desmond Tutu, South African cleric and activist, who during the 1980’s rose up against aparteid, and also campaigns to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, homophobia, poverty and racism. Don’t mess with my….
1935: Thomas Keneally, who wrote Schindler’s Ark, which was later renamed Schindler’s List. I still haven’t seen that movie, even though it’s been stored on my DVR for over a year.
1943: Oliver North, recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts during his combat service as a platoon leader in Vietnam…oh yeah, and he’s a NY Times best selling author, but he is best known for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. I get that one and the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas nonsense confused. Were they even around the same time?
1951: John “Cougar” Mellencamp. A little ditty about Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, John Mellencamp (is that all of it?) is also a painter who has been compared to German and French impressionists. Cougar is a stage name given to him by his agent.
1951: Carmen Rose “Tata” Vega. I just keep thinking about you, baby. She’s an American soul singer who was featured on The Color Purple soundtrack and I have a 12″ disco mix of “I Just Keep Thinking About You Baby,” from 1979 on Motown Records that was featured on 92.3 FM WKTU way back when. Now KTU is at 103.5 and isn’t what it used to be.
1955: Yo Yo Ma, world renowned cellist. I was up and down about this one. That was dumb.
1957: Judy Sams, golfer and winner of the1994 du Maurier Ltd Classic. Du Maurier caught my eye and I came to learn that even though the du Maurier cigarette was created by Peter Jackson in 1903, for Sir Gerald du Maurier, the British actor who wanted a smoother, less irritating cigarette. Sir Gerald, incidentally, is the father of Daphne du Maurier, one of my most favorite author’s who wrote Rebecca, one of the best novels I ever read.
1959: Simon Cowell. Who… the bloody hell… cares? Am I relevant, Simon?
1960: Brian K Sigley. Yep, your’s truly.
1968: Toni Braxton, singer (Un-Break My Heart) and actress (Belle) on Broadway’s Disney musical Beauty And The Beast, while enduring bankruptcy proceeding, with the distinction of being the first African American woman to play a leading Disney role on The Great White Way. She also appeared on Dancing With The Stars in season 7 and was ultimately voted off in week five.
And that’s just a small slice of the colorful and varied October 7th birthday cake.