Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for May 28th, 2014

Poet, Renaissance Woman Maya Angelou Dead at 86

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Poet, Actress, and Renaissance woman Maya Angelou has died, according to the Associated Press. She was 86.

Ms. Angelou wrote many poems, several autobiographies (her best-known was probably I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS), acted in the original ROOTS TV mini-series and appeared, as herself, in Tyler Perry’s MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION, where she recited a poem that discussed true love and its timeless nature.

In reading her obituary, I was struck by how many different things Ms. Angelou did during her life. She was a singer, an actress, a dancer, once owned a brothel . . . writers often kid each other about how many different jobs we’ve held, but it sounds like Ms. Angelou had all of the rest of us beat on that score.

All of that experience went into her writing, deepening and broadening it immensely. She was unafraid to be who she was, and admitted to several very bad things that had happened to her early in life. Somehow, she rose above those awful things, and became her best self.

It’s rare when a writer or poet gets to know a President. Ms. Angelou got to know at least three: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. All three men have said in the past that they felt inspired by her, so I cannot believe it would be any different now that she’s passed on.

I hadn’t been aware of half of the things Ms. Angelou did during her thoroughly extraordinary life. But I honor her for everything she did, everything she said — even if I didn’t always like it — and for living a life that inspired millions.

May her Afterlife be everything she hoped it would be.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 28, 2014 at 9:36 am

Posted in Poetry, Public figures, Remembrance

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Milwaukee Brewers Beat Orioles in Thriller…and other Brewers News

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Folks, last night the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Baltimore Orioles in ten innings, 7-6. The Brewers sent up Yovani Gallardo, a pitcher scheduled to start Wednesday night’s ballgame, to pinch hit for closer Francisco Rodriguez, who’d been sent out at the top of the 10th to keep the game tied. Gallardo got a ringing double, missing a home run by maybe a foot, which drove home the winning run (Mark Reynolds, who’d been intentionally walked and was standing on first base).

This was a great game for the Brewers.

They weren’t perfect, but they got the job done. Jonathan Lucroy, of all people, tied the game up with an infield single in the bottom of the ninth (Lucroy is known for his clutch hitting and currently has a nine-game hitting streak, but he rarely gets infield hits). The bullpen was stellar, again, after starting pitcher Matt Garza fell apart in the 7th (though, admittedly, an error by SS Jean Segura didn’t help matters and prolonged the inning).

Still, what did I find when I went to look at the sports section at various Internet sites this morning? In addition to this fun story, there was something much darker.

According to Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin, OF Khris Davis actually had a threat made against his life via Twitter back when the Brewers were playing the Cubs in Chicago. (This was about ten days ago, give or take a few.) Davis said he reported it to Major League Baseball, and Melvin says it’s “been handled.”

No one should threaten anyone with death. Period. Not via Twitter, and not via any other means, either. This behavior is reprehensible. It cheapens every fan, everywhere, when someone makes death threats against a player for any reason.

In short, I’d like to see some common sense when it comes to baseball fans.

Yes, criticize the players for their play on the field when they make mistakes. Definitely compliment the players when they do something right — or better yet, something unexpected, like Gallardo’s walk-off double. Go ahead and exercise your freedom of speech as much as you like . . . but do not make death threats against players.