It’s September 20, 2016, and you know what that means: it’s Sophia Loren’s 82nd birthday! (It’s also National Rum Punch Day, but that’s a much inferior holiday.) Below are three pictures of my father and other Army officers with La Loren in Athens; she was there to film Boy on a Dolphin, released in 1957, also starring Alan Ladd and Clifton Webb. It was the first Hollywood movie shot in Greece. The photos below were probably taken in 1956, which would make Loren only 22. The occasion for the pictures? My dad helped the movie company get vehicles and gasoline, still hard to procure 11 years after the war, from the Army motor pool. In return, Ladd and Loren schmoozed with the officers. In the first shot below, my dad is second from left. The photos are taken on the Acropolis, in a toy shop, and on a balcony, respectively.
Everything else is anticlimactic. On this day in 1519, Magellan set out on his voyage west, leading to the first circumnavigation of the globe. Sadly, Ferdinand didn’t make it, as he was killed by a local tribe in the Philippines. And, on September 20, 1962, James Meredith was refused admission to the University of Mississippi because he was black. He finally got in, but was shot four years later during an anti-segregation march; luckily, he survived.
Notables born on this day, besides Sophia Loren, include Upton Sinclair (1878) and the great editor Maxwell Perkins (1884), who “discovered” Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe. Those who died on September 20 include Jim Croce (1973; plane crash), Steve Goodman (1984; leukemia), and Simon Wiesenthal (2005). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is prowling by the Vistula, trying to look graceful:
Hili: Did you notice the elegance of my movements?A: Of course.Hili: Try to capture it in the picture.
Hili: Czy zwróciłeś uwagę na elegancję moich ruchów?
Hili: To spróbuj to uchwycić na zdjęciu.
And in the wilds of Winnipeg, where walruses waddle, Gus is playing with his staff:
One of Gus’s games. He loves to hide in the slot between the wall and the tv stand. Then I slide toys past and he snags them.