On Veterans Day please take some time to remember and honor the sacrifices the men and women who have served in our armed forces to protect our freedom and enable us to live the lives we live today. Here is the story of one man’s service in World War Two. His name is James Principi and he served on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid during the war. Here is his story. Visit the Military Museum of Southern New England right here in Danbury.
This past summer saw Christopher Plummer appear in an acclaimed tour de force in Canada entitled A Word or Two. Mr. Plummer, who resides in Weston , Connecticut also finally won an Oscar for his superlative performance in Beginners. A Word or Two is a one man show about Plummer’s love of literature and how it has enhanced his acting career. “My parents were very well-read, and made literature quite an adventure for me…I think that’s the way all families should treat their youngsters, showing them what joys, what wonders literature can give us.”
Mervyn Peake was a British poet, writer, painter and illustrator who is sadly little known today. He had an extraordinary output of materials in all these fields. One of the most incredible pieces of work that he did as a painter was a series that he did in 1940 for the Ministry of Information. He created the paintings in the style of the art of Adolf Hitler. He showed, using his own imagination, mutilated, raped or starving victims of war atrocities as he imagined Hitler might have drawn them before these became generally known. The British government backed off from using them as propaganda but the paintings were exhibited for the first time in 2011.
Louis Untermeyer was the author, editor or translator of more than one hundred books. He is best known today as a superior poet as well as a great friend of Robert Frost. He eventually moved to Connecticut when he was older. He bought a farm in Newtown and described his love for Connecticut: “I live on an abandoned farm in Connecticut…ever since I found my native New York unlivable as well as unlovable…On these green and sometimes arctic acres I cultivate whatever flowers insist on growing in spite of my neglect; delight in the accumulation of chickadees, juncos, cardinals, and the widest possible variety of songless sparrows; grow old along with three pampered cats and one spoiled cairn terrier; season my love of home with the spice of annual travel… and I am always happy to be home again.”
Graham Green was one of the foremost novelists of the 20th Century. He was also an astute film critic. In addition to these talents he was also a collector of rare books. He was quoted as saying that if he had not been a writer, he would like to owned and run a secondhand bookshop. At the time of his death his collection numbered 3,000 volumes with as many as 500 editions signed or inscribed by the greats of modern literature.