Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling (1938) - #MargeryMillerWelles (Part II)

See Also: (Part I) by MMW

A founding author of Sports Illustrated, my grandma has been 
nominated to join the International Boxing Hall of Fame. 

Margery Miller Welles -my grandma- witnessed one of the 
most important sporting events in American history in 1938 at age 15 when 
her father took her to Yankee Stadium to watch Joe Louis fight Max Schmeling. 
For her Wellesley College thesis she wrote a bio of Joe titled, 
"Joe Louis: American" which was published before she graduated in 1945 and 
reviewed by Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer and Eleanor Roosevelt

An excerpt from Joe Louis: American:

[…]Below them was the ring. A lighted white square surrounded by darkness, it looked like a huge diamond set in black velvet. Now and then someone would light a cigarette, and the flame of the match would glow briefly, like a firefly, and be gone.
          Then everyone grew quiet. The silent was so profound that each of the seventy thousand might have been praying. The ring was clear. It was precisely ten o'clock, time for the main bout to begin. […]
          A cheer began at the edges of the crowd where Louis first appeared, and kept pace with him as he advanced toward the ring, growing from a shout to a roar, and from a roar to a bedlam. It beat against the sides of the stadium, ebbed back toward the ring, and then, when Louis climbed into the lighted square, it surged up around him and continued for minutes. When Schmeling climbed the ring-steps it was still filling the stadium, and was reinforced by another, briefer cheer for the German.

Photo of Margery Miller Welles taken around  the same time 
she sawJoe Louis defeat Max Schmeling (1938)
          Louis sat hunched forward on a stool in his corner, a blue satin robe falling away from this shoulders. He looked ahead into the darkness. There was no emotion on his face, no sign of either fear or courage. Schmeling turned his back to the ring and jumped lightly up and down on his toes several times. […]
          Louis, awaiting the gong, had lost his serenity. He looked lean, in spite of his town hundred pounds, and, perhaps for the first time in his career, he looked eager, even anxious.
          "Joe, remember Hitler sent him. Hitler sent him!" shrieked a voice from the outfield.
          At the bell they strode swiftly to the center of the ring, and Louis crouched a little, looking like a great tan cat. As he circled Schmeling slowly, seventy thousand people held their breath. Louis began to crowd in. Schmeling sent out a right hand punch which missed. Then the fury in Louis burst forth. He pounced on the German, and Schmeling, his face paper white, stumbled backward. Louis was on him again. He darted out a straight left, then with a twist of the wrist turned it into a cruel left hook. After that the punches came so fast no one could count them.
          "Oh, Joe! Oh, Joe! Oh, Joe!" The cry began with the Negroes in the stands and soon spread throught the stadium.
          Schmeling went down three times. When he got up the third time, his legs were sand and his hands hung useless at his sides. He looked like a grotesque drunk who could neither think nor act. It was then that the referee ended the fight and raised Louis' hand in victory after town minutes and four seconds of fighting.
          "Oh, Joe! Oh, Joe! Oh, Joe!" The crowd now came near to having only one voice. It howled and shrieked. It stood on its chairs and tore its hats to bits. It jumped up and down in its frenzy. "Oh, Joe! Oh, Joe!." It drowned out the formal announcement of Louis' victory. Seventy thousand people had gone insane.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day Trip to Decatur (08/18/12) #ATL


Today I took a day trip from my home on the Georgia Tech campus to 
a posh suburb of Atlanta called Decatur. Along the way I 
uploaded pictures and historical tidbits to my Twitter account.

Woke up early this morning, crossed the bridge from GT
and found some eggs and a bagel in ATL Midtown.
(This was the view from the bridge on my way.)
View from Subway

A round trip Marta subway ticket costs $5 plus a one-time purchase of a $1 'breeze card'.

Took these from the subway window on my way back
to Georgia Tech after Decatur. (Westbound Blue Line)

Inside the terminal waiting to change trains.
Atlanta's subway has a vertical cross pattern, I went south a few stops on
the Gold Line from GT and East on the Blue several stops to Decatur. 

Upon Arrival in Decatur

Rode the subway w/ several @georgiatech football players on my way to visit Decatur. Trial run for the Labor Day #bookfestival

Took a self-guided tour of the local churches and I found that there are 
two different buildings named "Decatur First United Methodist Church" located about a block apart. 
A local woman told me that these buildings belong to the 
same congregation, but hold different services. 

Impressive churches here in #Decatur GA "Decatur First United Methodist Church" http://yfrog.com/h26hccufj 
#Decatur First United Methodist Church #ATL http://yfrog.com/esr0utlj 

Decatur First United Methodist Church
Decatur First United Methodist Church

Holy Trinity Episcopal in #Decatur Has outdoor stations of the cross.#ATL http://yfrog.com/h05kptfj 

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

DeKalb Co courthouse. Named for "Baron J. DeKalb, native German fought gallantly for American freedom." #ATL http://yfrog.com/eslorhjj 

DeKalb County Courthouse 
The Varsity

Stopped by the Varsity on my way home, known to be the 
biggest drive thru hamburger place in the world. 
(Myself, I'm partial to Cali's In N Out Burger.)

A small section of the windows where patrons order.
The Varsity is located near All Saints Episcopal Church
near the North Ave. Marta station. 

The Varsity has abnormal combo meals -
you can get a burger AND a hotdog, etc. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Russia: Pussy Riot's Guilty Verdict

          Russian and anglophone Twitter users responded to the guilty verdict and two-year prison sentence handed down to Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich on August 17, 2012.
          The women were arrested last March after a February performance inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, just before Vladimir Putin retook the Russian Presidency amid charges of election fraud. 

Russia's Pussy Riot found guilty, Moscow, 17 August 2012 by Maria Pleshkova, copyright © Demotix. 

Setting the stage

          It took the judge several hours to read out the guilty verdict fully, before announcing the two-year sentence. Prosecutors had requested as many as seven years in prison for the women, two of whom are mothers to small children.

Journalist and former New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief Glenn Kates tweeted:
@gkates: Great, great photos by @hegtor of #pussyriot before this incredibly long reading began. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=450091
Specialist in Russian politics, Francesca Mereu tweeted:
 ‏@francescamereu:  The theater of absurd:three beautiful young women handcuffed like criminals; judge reading swear words #freepussyriot
Radio Freedom (Радио Свобода) tweeted a link to an article highlighting the now global awareness about the trial [ru]:
‏ @SvobodaRadio: Полсотни городов мира - для Pussy Riot http://goo.gl/nVivO
‏ @SvobodaRadio [ru]: 50 cities of the world - for Pussy Riot http://t.co/WBJHlpWb

Verdict announced

          Blogger and activist Alexey Navalny reported that music heard during the reading of the verdict originated somewhere outside on the street, but succeeded in reaching the inside the courtroom. Some Twitter users observed that the three defendants began smiling.
‏@navalny:В зале заиграла песня PR. С улицы, но очень громко.
‏@navalny [ru]: In the hall, a [Pussy Riot] was played. From outside, but very loudly.

          A Twitter account representing the anglophone 'Free Pussy Riot' LiveJournal blog added to its regular courtroom updates a note about the music:
‏@Eng_Pussy_Riot: In the courtroom song of #PussyRiot is playing. From the street, but very loud. #Freepussyriot
Mental health issues

          The Guardian's Moscow correspondent, Miriam Elder, provided live updates throughout the reading of the verdict:
@MiriamElder: We're now talking about the women's psychological health. Have entered hour three.
Denis Parfenov responded to debate about the defendants' sanity:
‏@parfenov_:Dear #pussyriot's judge: "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." ~ Krishnamurti @MiriamElder
Other twitter users detailed the judge's psychological assessment, highlighting choice absurdities:
‏@ioffeinmoscow: Psychological expertise determines Tolokonnikova has "partial personality disturbance," bc "makes decisions based on personal experience."
The sentence is read
‏@TelenL: Толоконниковой - 2 года, Самуцевич - 2 года, Алехина - 2 года. #Хамсуд.
‏@TelenL [ru]: Tolokonnikova - 2 years, Saumtsevich - 2 years, Alyokhina - 2 years. #verdict

          Some microbloggers recalled a statement President Putin made at #London2012, where he expressed his hope that the women would not be "judged too harshly:"
‏@RusPoliceWatch: So Putin's "not too harshly" translates into two years in jail. #PussyRiot
Other Twitter users speculated about the trial's historical significance:
@ioffeinmoscow: The judge said one of the reasons for a "real sentence" was to "caution others." And now you know. #PussyRiot
‏@ForeignPolicy: Pussy Riot: already the most politically influential punk rock group ever http://bit.ly/MVh8DL
          Wisconsin-based Jacob Turk tried to remind readers that the Pussy Riot members are not the only Russians facing prosecution for political activism:
‏@randomdijit: Deserves a RT. Not all of Putin's "guests" are photogenic young women. And some get much worse than 2 years rferl.org/content/russ … @RFERL
          Finally, an American expat living in Russia, Timothy Post, caustically observed that the duration of the sentence means that Pussy Riot could incite more controversy during the 2014 Sochi Olympic games:
‏@timothypost: So that means #PussyRiot will STILL be in jail during the #Sochi2014 Winter Olympics. Does NOBODY on Putin's team understand modern PR?!?!!
          RuNet Echo coverage of the Pussy Riot trial and the social context surrounding the case can be found here and here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Charles Owen Jr. Obit - University of Connecticut's Advance

Charles Owen married my great-aunt, Mabel DeGeer Welles Owen
(Aunt Mab was my grandpa - Sam Welles' sister.)
Here is his obit as found in the University of Connecticut Advance (1998). 

          Charles Abraham Owen, Jr., 84, a professor of English at the University for 35 years and cofounder of the Medieval Studies Program, died July 24 in Portland, Maine.
          He was an internationally known Chaucer scholar, recognized as one of the world's foremost experts on Chaucer's manuscripts. After his retirement, he continued to take an active part in Chaucer scholarship and academic conferences. Among his published works are Discussions of the Canterbury Tales (1961), Pilgrimage and Storytelling in the Canterbury Tales (1977) and The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales (1991). At the time of his death, he was completing a compilation of his earlier works on the development of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
          Owen was a member of the Modern Language Association, the New England Medieval Conference, the Medieval Academy of America, and the New Chaucer Society. A lifelong member of the Democratic Party, he was also a member of the Mansfield Democratic Town Committee for many years and president-elect of the Mansfield chapter of the United World Federalists, an organization dedicated to promoting world peace and world law.
          Born in Johnstown, Penn., in 1914, Owen graduated from Princeton University in 1935. After receiving a B.Litt. from New College, Oxford, he began his teaching career as a professor at the University of Buffalo in 1938.
          During World War II, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery. From 1946 until his retirement in 1981, he taught in the English Department at UConn, where he was a full professor.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mabel Welles Owen, four children and two grandchildren.
          A memorial service will be held at St. Mark's Chapel in Storrs on September 26, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the United World Federalists, c/o Mrs. Albert Bollen, 10C Sycamore Drive, Storrs, CT 06268.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Russia: USA's Hammon Leads Russia to Basketball Semis

Twitter user @zhenya_jane wrote on the U.S. native Becky Hammon's contribution to #London2012: "She's 35 years old, 168 cm tall. Becky Hammon is in the starting lineup of the Russian national basketball team. Thought they wouldn't take her." In 2008, Hammon faced ridicule from Americans when she gained Russian citizenship in the hope of playing on the international stage. Today she led her team in scoring (19 points, 5 assists) as Russia defeated Turkey (66-63) in a quarterfinal match. Team USA and Russia could meet in the final if Russia defeats France and if Team USA defeats Australia in the semis. Hammon's Facebook fan page is here.

Разыгрывающий защитник баскетбольной команды ЦСКА,
член сборной России по баскетболу Ребекка (Бекки) Хаммон