“I Faced It All and I Stood Tall and Did It My Way.”-Paul Anka

  Edward Munch     Lillian Smith

Frank Sinatra

Three people who certainly did things their way were born today: the Norwegian painter, Edvard Munch (1863); Novelist and Segregation and Lynching critic, Lillian Smith (1857) and yes, Ol’ Blue Eyes, the Man himself, Frank Sinatra (1915).

Munch was quite ill as a youngster and endured the deaths of his mom, sister when he was really young and then later on, while a young man, his dad and his brother. One of his sisters suffered from a mental illness. At 45 Munch had a nervous breakdown and he also was an alcoholic. Much personal turmoil went into his famous painting, “The Scream.”   

“For as long as I can remember I have suffered from a deep feeling of anxiety which I have tried to express in my art. Without anxiety and illness I should have been like a ship without a rudder.” -Edvard Munch

Lillian Smith’s slim novel, “Strange Fruit” with its black hardcover stood on the book shelf in my home as a youngster and I read it as a teenager.  The book was published in 1944 years after Abe Meeropol’s song with the same title was released and became associated with Billie Holiday. Smith’s book, in spite of being banned in some cities, went onto become a bestseller and was translated into several languages. Lillian Smith came from a comfortable southern family; went to Peabody School of Music; taught in China; Ran a camp; founded a literary magazine in North Carolina that published writings by both black and white authors and continued throughout her life to speak out on racial injustice, segregation, lynching and never backed down.

“When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new question, then it is time to die”-Lillian Smith

Ol’ Blue Eyes was a favorite of my dad’s and he had many of his LPs. My husband and I inherited some of those LPs and also enjoy listening to Frank Sinatra croon a tune…there is no better. Frank Sinatra was active in supporting Civil Rights…”In 1945, he appeared in, produced and won an Oscar for the 1945 short film “The House I Live In,” a plea for tolerance. Later, he put his own career at risk when he refused to play hotels in Las Vegas that would not allow blacks to stay there. He was, actress Angie Dickinson recalled, “a very powerful, subtle force in civil rights not only in Las Vegas.”  The repercussions never worried him. “When I believe in a person or an idea or a cause,” Sinatra once said, “I go all out in my efforts regardless of possible consequences.”Steve Pond, Sinatra.com

December 12th, 2013…3 creative individuals born today and did it their way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Plays by Ibsen Worth Rereading (or reading for the first time!)

“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.” -Ibsen

When I was a teenager, I read all of Henrik Ibsen’s plays. For some reason, I remember seeing Steve McQueen on Broadway in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, but when I googled it, it said McQueen was only in the movie. (If you click onto “movie,” you’ll enjoy a clip from the movie with a good monologue by McQueen.)  I know I’ve seen a live production!   Henrik Ibsen was a man who truly stood alone, he spoke out on issues of the day through his plays. An Enemy of the People highlighted pollution. A Doll’s House highlighted women’s rights and a woman’s choice of staying married/striking out on her own and so much more. And…who can forget Hedda Gabler?  Oh well…On this day, 2/24/13 in 1876, Ibsen’s play, Peer Gynt opened in Oslo.  Henrik Ibsen’s plays are relevant today, check them out online or at your local library!  Ibsen demonstrated the role of freedom and was compelled to speak his mind and didn’t seek admiration or agreement, just freedom.

“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”- Henrik Ibsen

When I was a teenager, I read all of Henrik Ibsen’s plays. For some reason, I remember seeing Steve McQueen on Broadway in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, but when I googled it, it said McQueen was only in the movie. (If you click onto “movie,” you’ll enjoy a clip from the movie with a good monologue by McQueen.)  I know I’ve seen a live production!   Henrik Ibsen was a man who truly stood alone, he spoke out on issues of the day through his plays. An Enemy of the People highlighted pollution. A Doll’s House highlighted women’s rights and a woman’s choice of staying married/striking out on her own and so much more. And…who can forget Hedda Gabler?  Oh well…On this day in 1876, Ibsen’s play, Peer Gynt opened in Oslo.  Henrik Ibsen’s plays are relevant today, check them out online or at your local library!  Ibsen demonstrated the role of freedom and was compelled to speak his mind and didn’t seek admiration or agreement, just freedom.