Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Blogging Milestone!

A Nice Round Number

A short time ago, Three States Plus One reached a goal that I thought would take a while longer to achieve. We have now recorded over 2500 Page Impressions on this blog! That is pretty amazing considering that what we do here is a "niche" kind of thing and it took just shy of two and a half months to do it. Your support in this, my first blogging endeavor, has been a real blessing to me. I shouldn't be surprised, though, because I know most of you who read my ramblings, and I knew some kind of support would be there from the beginning of this project. But the level of your dedication has truly overwhelmed me. I can not thank you enough for being a loyal reader and, in many cases, a great friend. I am, as always, humbled by your response to Three States Plus One. God bless you all.


Maine Minutiae : Famous Spider Writer

Famous Spider Writer
Hello. My name is Toby and I'm an info-holic. I love to read and to gather information on just about anything. As they say, luck favors a prepared mind. I don't read books very often at all, but I love to read articles from magazines and web sites. Having said that, I do remember my favorite book from when I was a kid. Hands down, without a shadow of a doubt and otherwise without reservation, it is Charlotte's Web by Eldwyn Brooks White. His homies just called him E. B. If memory serves me correctly, in the copy of  Charlotte's Web that I read in first grade, Charlotte died on page 163. Almost fifty years later, I still remember that. I'd read the book again if I had a copy of it. In 1939, E.B. White bought a farm in North Brooklin, Maine and preferred to spend as much time there as he could. White was a shy and modest man and once said in an interview that he "lives in a small coastal community on the East Coast somewhere between New Brunswick, Canada and Cuba." He relished his privacy that much. White had quite a varied resume. At one time or another he wrote for : The Cornell Daily Sun while attending Cornell University, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The New Yorker. Still, his best-known and most enduring work was that of a spider named Charlotte and a pig named Wilbur, written in 1952. As I write this post, in my mind's eye, I can envision that wise spider, Charlotte, weaving the message "some pig" into her silky web for all the world to see. Especially Wilbur. And millions of me. Odd, that. Almost a half century later, I still remember that. That and page 163. You know? I think I'll order Charlotte's Web for myself  for my two daughters and maybe fifty years from now, they, too, will remember "some pig" and page 163.

Texas Tidbits : A Guy Named Buddy

Lubbock has produced some pretty famous people over the years. Waylon Jennings comes to mind. Even though he was from nearby Littlefield, he made his name in Lubbock. There is only one name that jumps out at me when I think of famous folks from this West Texas city. You may have heard of this fellow - Charles Hardin Holley. Yes, Holley with an "e". Little did Ma and Pa Holley know that on that September 7 in 1936, the son whose birth they celebrated, would soon change American pop culture. Of course, young Charles went on to be one of the most famous and influential musicians of the 20th Century as Buddy Holly. A critic named Bruce Elder described Holly as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll". Holly's tenure as a superstar last less than two years, yet here we are almost sixty years later still recalling him and his music. I mean who over the age of 40 does not know at least some of the words to Peggy Sue? "Peggy...Peggy sue-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo". I wonder how many of you right now have this strong urge to go to YouTube and find that song. Stay put, I am at your service. Buddy Holly was a pioneer not only in his style of music, but also the production techniques he used, like overdubbing, to bring the song to life were equally ahead of their time. His insight and imagination were something one is born with, not something one learns. On February 3, 1959, Holly was at the pinnacle of his creative genius and singing career. After playing a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy boarded a plane bound for his next concert, along with Ritchie Valens and fellow Texan J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper). They never made it. Waylon Jennings, then a member of Holly's band, the Crickets,  gave up his seat on that ill-fated flight to Richardson, who had the flu and didn't want to ride on the not-so-heated tour bus. That decision eventually reverberated through the country music scene, when Jennings went on to his own brand of super stardom. Febraury 3, 1959 was memorialized in the Don McLean classic, American Pie, as 'The Day the Music Died". Today, Buddy Holly would have been a couple of weeks away from his 74th birthday. Can you imagine the impact and innovation he would have brought to Rock and Roll over the last fifty years? Sadly, we'll never know. I do know this, however. The music did not die in that snow-covered Iowa cornfield when that plane went down on that frigid February night. It lives still. OK, you may go to YouTube and look up some Buddy Holly music now.

Dedicated to Reggie Robinson, R.I.P.

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