The Joys of Celebrating Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day (Traditional)

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Those of you old enough to remember, remember this: Columbus Day is celebrated every year on October 12th. It’s not the second Monday of October, but a specific date. We’re not the only country to celebrate Columbus Day, although the exact date of celebration may be different. The specific date varies for the same reason the specific date of George Washington’s birthday varies. Based on the Julian Calendar, widely in use in 1492, Columbus and his crew finally sighted the sandy shores of San Salvador on the morning of October 12th, five days after they observed flocks of birds, indicating they were near land.

A century after Columbus discovered America, Pope Gregory XIII decided he had had Continue Reading “The Joys of Celebrating Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day (Traditional)”

Solar Eclipse, 1970 – A True Story

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Saturday, March 7, 1970 – Leisure Lanes, Camp Road, Hamburg, New York. I’ll never forget that day. It was the first time I remember having to make a very difficult choice. It was a wrenching choice. It was an agonizing choice. It was the kind of choice no one ever expects a nine-year old boy to have to face.

Yet I did. And I can blame no one for it except for myself, the expectations I had placed on myself, and the subsequent expectations I had encouraged others to, well, expect of me. Nonetheless, the way I approached the decision appears, in retrospect, to have become the template I have since used for all such future conundrums.

By that point in the latter half of fourth grade, I had become the de facto astronomer of the class. Yes, there was actually a competition of this exalted position, and I was determined Continue Reading “Solar Eclipse, 1970 – A True Story”

How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?

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Last week, a good friend of mine wrote a piece called “Don’t Be a Social Media Debbie Downer” (see MarkFrisk.com). In it, he says “overdoing it on the negative 400129_8598_Christopher_Columbus_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300is maybe not the way you want to go.” While ostensibly written for the social media space, he quickly adds the lesson applies to any space.

Today is Columbus Day. No one has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous Debbie Downer Syndrome more than the man who discovered America. Almost every event, person, place or thing in the human record stands as a glass either half empty or half full. Throughout history, we’ve taken the “half full” approach when defining our heroes. Why?

The best answer I’ve seen lies within a 60+ year old movie directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda called Fort Apache. In this classic western, Ford both unmasks and makes the Continue Reading “How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?”