The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday August 5th, 2015
Episode 291
Previous episode: 2015-08-03
Next episode: 2015-08-07


Today we recall an influential Royal Poet Laureate. It is also the birthday of the potter Nagoya. Is is the Feast Day of Chimes, and in the garden, there are bees.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is August 5th, 2015.

It was on this day in 1963 that the book Mule Skinning Gods was published. This book was the story of a young black woman’s coming of age in the Glass Quarter in the city. It was a classic for many years, and eventually made into two rather bad movies and one very good one. The author, Aisha Goodman, had given up prose by that point and worked only in poetry. “It was a book for my youth,” she said. “We should write books for the young and poems for the old.” She was named the Royal Poet Laureate in 2004 and again in 2010. Mule Skinning Gods is listed as one of the hundred best books of the last century.

It is the birthday, in 1898, of the potter Nagoya. In an era of extremely baroque craftsmanship, his pots were simple, well-balanced, and had understated glazes. Occasionally one would have a handle or a lid. The pots were widely copied but rarely duplicated. His work sold for extraordinary prices in the city, but he nevertheless took his wares to the local farmer’s market and sold them for five and ten dollars apiece, because he felt that to do otherwise would be to give the pots more grandeur than he was comfortable with. He died at the age of 97.

It is the Feast Day of Chimes. Windchimes must be fed five drops of breath today, or they will disappear in the night. We do not know where they go, or when they will return.

In the garden, the enormous carpenter bees are out in force. Carpenter bees are often treated as a pest by those who seem to believe that if you leave wood outside, it should be exempt from the forces of nature. But they are largely harmless creatures, easily deterred by a few coats of paint, and provide important pollination services in return for cosmetic damage. They are also very large, rather slow, and have a constant air of good-natured befuddlement. The males are incapable of stinging and the females are opposed to it on philosophical grounds. They like all sorts of flowers, particularly bee balm.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat --- “We Dig Tea.”

Also brought to you by Fran’s Cleaners. Got skunk-ape funk in the garden? Call Fran’s cleaners today! We’ll fumigate with earth friendly products that won’t harm your plants. Bonded and insured.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for August 5th, 2015. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013 through 2015, Ursula Vernon.

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