It is Friday and the weather has completely turned around since last week. The days are sunny and relatively warm. The birds are chirping away merrily. I saw two flickers in the oak tree in the front yard. Everyone is out and about. It is a veritable traffic jam of walkers in my neighborhood. We can see our shadows!
As usual, I have no plans for the weekend. Why break precedent?
In the Quelle Coincidence Dept. I read this article about Robinson Crusoe shortly after blogging about it.
I will also note that I watched Kit Carson (1940) with John Hall (on YouTube) and really enjoyed it. The plot reflects very little historical accuracy, but who cares? Kit Carson is depicted accurately (if hyper-romantically) and Hall is quite engaging. It is a mystery why he didn’t have more of a career. He is ably supported by Ward Bond and Dana Andrews. Next up: John Hall in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944).
Sunday is the birthday of the actor Charles Durning (1923-2012). You may recall him in The Sting (1973) or Tootsie (1982) or Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for both The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and To Be or Not To Be (1983).
But did you know that during WWII Durning was in the first wave of American troops that landed on Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy? As it turned out, he was the only survivor of his unit that arrived in France on D-Day. After being wounded by a German anti-personnel mine, he spent six months recovering. Durning was then reassigned to the 398th Infantry Regiment with the 100th Infantry Division and participated in the battle of the Bulge. He was discharged in 1946. For his valor and the wounds he received during the war, Durning was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery. I discovered this when I did a little research on the Silver Star, the third highest military decoration for valor in combat, after reading MacKinlay Kantor’s Glory For Me. Amazing. Wow. We salute you, Charles Durning.
This Sunday the gospel lesson is Mark 8:31-38:
Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Hard words from our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Peace, brother. Have a good weekend.