Wednesday, July 13, 2022
National Magazine Awards rounded up this list of grants, with opportunities from coast to coast to coast. The roundup includes grants for emerging artists and students pursuing a career in the arts, to professional artists practicing in various disciplines. Well worth a look.
Monday, March 28, 2022
Did you know that spaghetti grows on trees?
It’s April Fool’s Day!
Inspired by the Egyptian legend of Osiris and Seth, Romans celebrated Hilaria at the end of March. People dressed up and joyfully mocked important people.
In 1582, France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. A lot of people were slow to get the news that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March, leading to a lot of laughs on and about April 1. Paper fish were fastened to the backs to symbolize how these gullible people were easily “hooked.”
In the United Kingdom, during the 1700s, people were sent on phony errands searching for gowks (a word for cuckoo bird, which became the symbol of a fool. The following day became known as Tailie Day, when pranks were played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.
April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, the symbol for a fool.) Tailie Day, which followed, involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.
This year, may you enjoy your April fools day and, if you are out and about, remember to watch your back!
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Today, April 7, is the birthday of the innovative African American, social activist, jazz and swing music singer Eleanora Fagan (April 7 1915 – July 17, 1955.) She was known professionally as Billie Holiday.
After a troubled life, Holiday died handcuffed to a hospital bed. Posthumously, she won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
At the end of her show each night, the lights would go down, all movement and chatter stopped, and Holiday would sing the piece called "Strange Fruit." In 1999, Time magazine declared that song “song of the century.” The song was originally written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish school teacher, poet, and activist from New York City. A photograph of a lynching in Indiana some years earlier had deeply disturbed Meeropol, inspiring him to write “Strange Fruit,” and the song eventually made its way to the Greenwich Village nightclub where Holiday sang.
The lyrics of "Strange Fruit." Not a pleasant story but one that must not be forgotten!
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin' eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin' flesh
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather
For the wind to suck
For the sun to rot
For the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Black Cats: Beware!
With hallowe'en soon upon us, perhaps, for the safety of all, we should concern ourselves with such topics. Black cats have featured in stories for over 2,000 years! In Celtic folklore, it was believed that black cats turned into fairies and back. In Great Britain, as in Egypt and Japan, having a black cat would bring you luck and good fortune. In the English midlands they make the ideal wedding gift that will bring luck and happiness to the bride. In Japan, it is believed that a single woman who owns a black cat will attract more suitors. On the other hand, in Europe, in the Middle Ages, they decided that black cats were evil and foreboding; that they were really witches or demons. Many black cats were destroyed. People caught with a black cat were severely punished. When European settlers took over North America they declared that if a black cat crossed your path it would bring bad luck.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Come out of the weather … and share the warmth by the fire. Stories at Fern starts at 7:30, virtually!
You can sign in from 7:00 pm onward – Please come early to sort out any technical glitches before Al, our host, starts the storytelling at 7:30 pm
We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.
To register now click here
or copy and paste this link into your browser:
When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.
We are looking forward to seeing you again and having you join us for our second Fern St. of the season!