While you are enjoying the previous post, which you should really print out and read carefully, here are two gems from Garrison Keillor’s delightful daily “A Writer’s Almanac.” I have been warned never to refer to him or his work, but I believe in redemption. And I post what I want.


You may have to be as old as me to remember the first item. We mourn today for the legendary sports star Kobe Bryant, tragically killed just days ago in a helicopter crash. In 1959, teens everywhere mourned for the musicians killed in a plane crash, immortalized as “the day the music died.”


It’s “the day the music died,” the day in 1959 when Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, along with Ritchie Valens (who sang “La Bamba”) and J.P. Richardson (known as “The Big Bopper”). Buddy Holly’s career as a rock star only lasted a year and a half, but he recorded “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “That’ll Be the Day,” “Oh, Boy!” and many more hits. Buddy Holly was 22 years old when he died.


It’s the 199th birthday of the first woman to graduate from medical school, Elizabeth Blackwell (books by this author), born on this day in Bristol, England, in 1821. She wanted to become a doctor because she knew that many women would rather discuss their health problems with another woman. She read medical texts and studied with doctors, but she was rejected by all the big medical schools. Finally, the Geneva Medical College (which became Hobart College) in upstate New York accepted her. The faculty wasn’t sure what to do with such a qualified candidate, and so they turned the decision over to the students. The male students voted unanimously to accept her. Her classmates and even professors considered many medical subjects too delicate for a woman and didn’t think she should be allowed to attend lectures on the reproductive system. But she graduated, became a doctor, and opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.