By Don Stuart
---- — I guess it’s no secret that we Americans are fond of hyperbole, always looking for ways to designate something as distinctively colossally unique – “It’s the (name the event) of the CENTURY!” and stuff like that. However, an event this week actually qualifies as one that really does only happen once every 100 years – Tuesday, November 12, when given the numerical “month/day/year” treatment, is 11/12/13.
Hasn’t happened since November 12, 1913. Won’t happen again until November 12, 2113.
I know, I know, if you’re from just about any other country in the world other than the USA, this isn’t how you render November 12, 2013 numerically – it would be 12/11/13 ... day first, month second, year third. I don’t want to create a diplomatic uproar by saying this is wrong on so many levels. So I won’t. Even though it is. However, the really good news for me is that I will get to re-publish this exact column all over again, with the excuse that “It’s for my non-American friends and readers” to commemorate December 11, 2013, when the REST of the world recognizes “11/12/13.”
Unfortunately, this kind of waters down the “won’t happen again for a HUNDRED YEARS!” hyperbole in which I intended to saturate this column. But rather than put a fork in it, I’ll soldier on by sharing a few tidbits of November twelfths past, in the style of DeWitt Wallace.
“DeWho What-ace?” you say? DeWitt Wallace, says I, who was born November 12, 1889, and was the co-founder of Reader’s Digest, the publication that invented “the sound bite” before the world even had sound. It’s been proven without a shadow of a doubt that, in our short-attention-span world, people just don’t have time for anything more than Reader’s Digest style reporting. Thus, the wonderfulness of Reader’s Digest content, which is condensed, even rewritten – like most of my columns! This makes news easier to consume, and thus infinitely more digestible, even on the relatively spicy paper that The Republican is printed on.
u 11/12 is the birthday of Anne Hathaway, the actress who starred in the 2012 film “Les Miserables,” and also played Catwoman in the last Batman movie (so far). I’d ask those of you with an interest in numerology, or just with longer attention spans than mine, to determine if there’s any significance to Anne Hathaway turning 31 in ‘13.
u It appears a lot of people think 11/12/13 a great day for exchanging wedding vows. A website for Viva Las Vegas Weddings says it’s a “fun and memeroable” day to get married. USA Today says a big bridal retailer in Pennsylvania has calculated something like 2,250 weddings happening that day.
I’d ask those of you with an interest in numerology, or just with longer attention spans than mine, to determine what the “penalties” will be exacted on any husband who manages to forget this anniversary date.
u On November 12, 1911, the jazz and big band trumpeter Buck Clayton was born. He was one of the key players in orchestras led by the famous Count Basie before and after World War II. But it turns out November 12th is worth more than one Buck – because on that date in 1947, the baby who would eventually become guitarist and singer for Blue Öyster Cult was born ... Buck Dharma.
Okay, okay, so neither of these guys was actually christened “Buck”; Buck Clayton’s given name was Wilbur, and Buck Dharma’s birth certificate reads Donald Roeser. (The “Buck Dharma” thing started when Blue Öyster Cult’s manager decided each member of the band should have an unusual stage name; the idea was rejected by every member of the band except Roeser. Although he did reject the first name suggested the the manager: “Soft White Underbelly.”)
Anyway, I’d ask those of you with an interest in numerology, or just longer attention spans that mine, to determine if there’s any significance to two prominent musicians named “Buck” being born on the same day. AND, while you’re at it, please advise on the cosmic impact of this: exactly 18 years after Clayton was born, and exactly 18 years BEFORE Dharma was born, on November 12, 1929, a family in Philadelphia welcomed a new child who would become a super-famous and glamorous actress – Grace “Buck” Kelly.