Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of ‘The Giver’: the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.
From The USPS Website:
The Sarah Vaughan Commemorative Forever Stamp
“Sarah Vaughan was one of America’s greatest singers, successful in both jazz and pop, with a talent for improvisation and skillful phrasing and a voice that ranged over several octaves.
The stamp art is an oil painting of Vaughan in performance based on a 1955 photograph by Hugh Bell. A few lines of selvage text explain her importance as a Music Icon. The cover side of the pane features a larger version of the stamp art, a list of some of Vaughan’s popular songs, and the Music Icons logo. Bart Forbes was the artist and Ethel Kessler was the art director. The 11 a.m. First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony will take place March 29 in Newark, NJ, at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall.”
Happy Birthday- Sarah Lois Vaughan
March 27, 1924-Forever
On your birthday today, I’d like to say, thank you.
Thank you for being a truly wonderful role-model to girl to who you helped turn into a woman.
While the world thinks you’re pushy, bitchy, and person who will compromise everything to get ahead I know who you really are.
That’s what is important, that the people who love you truly know your true self.
I know, and you taught me this too, that you would never hurt, but alway help.
You stand tall, and try to get ahead, but you never give your integrity away.
You don’t play by the rules others dictate to you, but you don’t break them either (you just find another way).
You’re an honourable woman.
You’re a feminist. But that doesn’t make you a man hater. All you want is equality for all.
You’re a lover.
You play hard ball.
And you’re stern.
Your morals are unwavering.
But you’re open minded to that flying guy in a cape showing you something else. (It’s why he’s so in love with you)
You are the essence of the capacity for greatness in humanity.
You’re compassionate, and you can kick ass.
You also taught me good spelling is an option not a prerequisite.
You taught me that I should call out injustices, and praise justice.
You taught me to stand up for those who can’t… Including myself.
You taught me to be sassy as heck, and not take any bullshit.
You taught me it’s okay to be wrong (even if we’re right 99.9% of the time)
You taught me it’s okay to be strong and confident, but it’s also okay to be scared.
You taught me emotions can be shown to the world, or kept hidden inside.
You taught me it’s okay to be sexy, and a clumsy dork.
You taught me to swear… Like a lady.
You taught me to drink… Like a lady. (Whiskey neat!)
You’re career woman who can also make a home.
What you are, dearest Lois, is a lady of many talents and faults.
You’re a real woman, with complexities and as many facets as a diamond.
And you taught me that being different is okay.
What you taught me is to accept both my positives and negatives and live with who you are.
Because once you love yourself, even a Superman can fall in love with you.
Happy Birthday Lois Joanne Lane. Don’t ever change. And a thousand thank you’s.
I will be forever grateful for all you have taught me.
Lois Lowry was born on March 20th, 1937. Today she will be 77 years of age. In those 77 years she has written over 30 books, and received two John Newberry Medals among many other awards for her fiction and biographical books. Her topics are broad and all well done. They’re mainly aimed at the Pre-Teen and early Young Adult audiences but are universal in their themes and easily cross generations.
In 1994 I was given a book called The Giver as a reading assignment for my middle school literature class. The cover boasted an old man and trees, to say that I was not interested would be an understatement. I tucked it down into my book bag and let my larger books fall on top of it, hoping that if I damaged it enough I wouldn’t have to read it. It didn’t work. As the due date for my book report loomed ever closer I begrudgingly put aside my over-used copy of To Kill A Mockingbird and opened the new book about some strange place where everything in life is decided for the inhabitants by the governing elders.
“It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen.”
That’s all it took. The first four lines on page one welcomed me to the new book. If only I had known then that the book was going to follow me everywhere for, at least, the next twenty years, I may have not used a sparkly gel pen to scribe my name in it. I would have taken the time to read it more thoroughly. I would have taken every word as the motivation for which it is meant. To have my first reading back would be a great gift, but that won’t happen. Now I know the book and the book knows me. I know that pages 28 and 29 are where the spine split and that it’s where we first meet Fiona. Page 78 is where I put a little purple glitter inked star beside, “He rested for a moment, breathing deeply, ‘I am so weighted with them,’ he said.” Page 91 is where my mind was blown and I had to go back and start all over upon the realization that Jonas’s world doesn’t even have color. I know that all of chapter 23 is hanging on by some tiny bit of 21 year-old glue at the top of the pages. I know that my parents scraped together $5.50 of what very little money they had and purchased me The Giver. For that $5.50 I am grateful.
The Giver introduced me to thinking. It took me gently by the hand and showed me that maybe what we know about life isn’t really all there is to know. Windows of new thought were opened, that eventually lead to doors being cracked open, and then walls being taken down. The Giver changed my life. It may be a simple book, but sometimes that’s what you need – a simple book to strike the match of thought against.
Here I sit, a thirty year-old, wife and mother of three, crying tears of extreme gratitude for the little book that sits to my left, battered and worn and broken. Thank you, Lois Lowry, for the gift of curiosity, the spark of rebellion, the first seeds of free thought, a perfect example of bravery, a protagonist made of selflessness, and an adventure into a world not so unlike ours after all. Thank you for putting your imagination, hope and heart onto paper, and being strong enough to see it through to publishing. Thank you for the words of hope and strength that I now get to share with my children. Thank you, for writing. Thank you for continuing to write. Thank you.
Thank you for the book that changed my life. Happy birthday, Lois.
“How many women do we know who were continually kissed by Clark Gable, William Powell, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy and Fredric March? Only one: Myrna Loy… And to meet whom did Franklin D. Roosevelt find himself tempted to call off the Yalta Conference? Myrna Loy. And to see what lady in what picture did John Dillinger risk coming out of hiding to meet his bullet-ridden death in an alley in Chicago? Myrna Loy, in Manhattan Melodrama.”