Enterprise High School teachers/administrators in the 1950s and 1960s never knew everything school custodian George Gordon did toward providing an everlasting key to students’ well-being.
In Miss Mary Dunlap’s freshman English class, we learned about writers Raymond Chandler, Charles Dickens and Robert W. Service, among others.
Service wrote “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” a favorite poem Miss Dunlap, in her last year before becoming Mrs. Claude Bauer, presented during dramatic readings at local literary clubs and in her classes.
She also introduced us to George Gordon Byron, familiarly known as Lord Byron, whose all-too-brief life ended at age 36.
Had we learned how GGLB lived, we might’ve taken his words more seriously.
People are also reading…
Naturally, some of us scholars began calling EHS’s George Gordon, “Lord Byron.”
By either name, our George Gordon asked male students, who greeted him on campus, the same question, day after day, “What’cha got on it, man?”
“Got on what, Lord Byron?”
“Your mind, man, on your mind. You gotta have your mind on your business here!”
Thought about the above reviewing historical events of Jan. 22, when this appeared from 1816: Lord Byron completed poems “Parisina” and “Siege of Corinth” on his 28th birthday.
Note: We’ll wait right here if you want to look up and read these poems.
Sorta rough reading, ain’t they?
Says here, Charles (John Huffam) Dickens arrived in Boston, with wife, Catherine, for some reason, Jan. 22, 1842.
Exactly 15 years later, the National Association of Baseball Players was founded in New York City.
Wonder if those organizers, and/or Ebeneezer Scrooge, would believe today’s poorest rookies on Major League teams earn a meager $750,000, minimum?
And Adam Duvall may get $10 million.
Jan. 22 has hosted important musical events, like formation of Columbia Phonograph in Washington, D.C. in 1889. Jazz trumpeter Clyde McCoy recorded “Sugar Blues” on Columbia in 1931; it sold 14 million copies.
Soulful Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, “The Golden Buckle on the Cotton Belt,” Jan. 22, 1931, some 33 years before he was shot dead at a Los Angeles motel on Burns Whittaker’s 1964 birthday.
Woefully, the message in Sam’s posthumous civil rights hit, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” is apparently being completely ignored throughout America nowadays.
Jan. 22, 1968, saw the release of Aretha Franklin’s must-have “Lady Soul” album, even though Carla Thomas was the reigning “Queen of Soul.”
Backtracking to 1944, the Allied invasion at Anzio began Jan. 22. Six months later, Uncle Ed Adams died on the Italian mainland as World War II raged.
Uncle Ed’s remains arrived in his hometown of Decatur, Michigan, in February 1949 …
Two Jan. 22 civil rights events Sam missed singing about:
Katie Mulcahey was arrested and fined $5 for lighting a cigarette, one day after the “Sullivan Ordinance” banned women from smoking in public (1908).
Mulcahey told the NYC judge, “I’ve got as much right to smoke as you have. I never heard of this new law, and I don’t want to hear about it. No man shall dictate to me.”
Then, in 1973, the SCOTUS legalized most abortions settling Roe v. Wade, which, though overturned last year, ain’t forgotten.
Like the premiere episode of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” (Jan. 22, 1968) taught viewers, “You can bet your bippy on that …”