Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s Thursday, July 28, which makes it the day I fly to Poland. By this evening I’ll be heading east, hoping that I won’t be an honoree at another holiday today: World Hepatitis Day. Tomorrow’s Hili dialogue will be brought to you by Grania.

On this day in 1794, Robespierre was hoist by his own petard, which happened to be the guillotine. He was executed with two broken legs and a shattered jaw, the result of a suicide attempt. In 1821, Peru declared independence from Spain. On this day in 1973, the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, New York took place, reportedly the largest rock concert in history (600,000 hippies). I was there with two friends, and heard the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and the Band; it was a fantastic experience though I’m still sad that I didn’t make it to Woodstock.

Notables born on this day include Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844), Beatrix Potter (1866), Karl Popper (1902), and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929♥). Those who died on this day include (besides Robespierre), Johann Sebastian Bach (1750), Otto Hahn (1968), Roger Tory Peterson (1968), Francis Crick (2004), and Eileen Brennan (2013), who gave a great performance as the gruff but softhearted waitress Genevieve in The Last Picture Show. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is showing the usual cat ambivalence:

Hili: I don’t know whether or not to go for a walk with you.
A: Toss a coin.
Hili: It’s not a feline tradition.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie wiem, czy iść z wami na spacer?
Ja: Rzuć monetą.
Hili: To nie jest kocia tradycja.
I will see Hili tomorrow! And, as lagniappe, I have put below the World’s Cutest Kitten, which I named after seeing all 151,277,366 kitten pictures on the Internet:


  1. Dominic
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Robespierre – “Le secret de la liberté est d’éclairer les hommes, comme celui de la tyrannie et de les retenir dans l’ignorance.”

    • Dominic
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Similarly Popper – “True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.”

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I did not make it to Woodstock either but did get to the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park in 69 after the death of Brian Jones and to Isle of Wight 1970. Seems like a long time ago because it was.

  3. E.A. Blair
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I was old enough to want to go to Woodstock but too young to actually make the trip.

    Another notable death on this day is NPR reporter Margot Adler in 2014.

  4. bluemaas
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Forty – seven 15 Augusts ago each of us with our $18.00, three – day, full – fee tickets in hand, Friend and I standing at the top of the Manhattan island stuck out our thumbs. The traffic nearer to Mr Yasgur’s acres near Bethel was such that from the backseat of Gretchen and Stony (Winston’s)’s lowrider Mercury, Friend and I just waltzed the eight more miles ! on in to Woodstock’s venue. By the end of that pilgrimage, it was crystal clear that no tickets ‘d been needed at all: fencing and gates were all down by the time we forged our wee niche onto its hillside.

    And three rain – soaked and muddied but soooo mellowed days later, … … surfaced.

    Over the intervening years I have done a few other things; but when my three sons (all in their late 30s now) introduce me to their friends for the first time, the only accomplishment that, in doing so, they make known upon my meeting these new folks is thus, intoned with the kiddos’ purposefully stoned – sounding twang, “And this is my Mama. She w a s at Woodstock.”


    ps Come to find out: Gretchen and Stony lived inside Manhattan only three blocks from Friend and me. When Stony returned, he invited us over for sort o’a barbeque: into his fireplace he pitched .all. of his phd program’s – everything, burnt it all up into ash and smoke, never looked back on his thinkings and doings of that previous endeavor … … and moved on.

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