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In recent times I find myself writing much more than drawing. Currently, I have two book projects under way and have written several scripts. Seems strange for a person who has been a professional artist for so many years.

Those who know me, know I have always had a penchant for telling stories. All artists are storytellers of a kind. Art Babbitt used to say it's all about expressing thoughts from my heart to yours.

But it's funny how it's taken me so long to finally getting around to it. Now, I find as my silver hair advances, writing comes very easily. Perhaps it is the transition from the active life to the contemplative. Maybe I had to have a certain number of years under my belt before I could see things clearly in retrospect. Like Xenophon the pupil of Socrates and friend of Plato who became a general, but is known for his written memoirs of his life Oeneaomicus and the March of Ten Thousand, written in a late age. In Rabbinical Law, they say you could not teach about life until you have lived.

Or maybe it's just Spellcheck. I was always a lousy speller!

I know many who have been writing since a young age. I envy their skill and imagination. But in the end, everyone follows their own path.

The message for you, dear reader, is there is always time to change gears if you wish. If you want to write, write. If you want to draw, draw. Life is like a big XIX Russian novel, and everyone wants to check ahead to the last page and see where you wind up. As Tacitus told his friend Pliny the Younger:"But let us continue along the road we have followed, for if it lifts few to the full light of fame, it brings many out from the shades of obscurity."

Just don't give up your day job! Now if you excuse me, I have a storyboard to draw.

Question: What are the modern names of these cities? Peking, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Salisbury Rhodesia?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered Below: What are the old names of these cities? Yangon, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City?
History for 6/9/2008
Birthdays: Ernesto "Che" Guevara- Serna, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cole Porter, John Bartlett of Bartletts Familiar Quotations, Boy George O’Dowd, Les Paul, Burl Ives, Lash LaRue,Robert MacNamara, Major Bowes, Carl Neilsen, Donald Trump, Jerzy Kosinski, Pierre Salinger, Steffy Graff, Marvin Kalb, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, physicist who formulated Coulomb's Law, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, Aaron Sorkin, Michael J. Fox is 47, Johnny Depp is 45, Natalie Portman is 27

68 AD- " Oh, what an artist dies in me!" Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide.

1358- The Massacre of Meaux. In a France already ravaged by the Black Death and the Hundred Years War, a violent peasant revolt broke out called the Jacquerie -Poor Jacques. On this day two top knights, one from the English side and one from the French- Gaston Phoebus and the Captal De Buch, took time out from their war to join forces and chop up dozens of rebellious peasants in the town of Meaux. Phoebus later became a character in Hugo's novel the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

1798- Napoleon's fleet, on the way to Egypt, stops to attack the strategic island of Malta. The keepers of the Island fortress, the once valiant Knights of Malta, had become so stodgy and decrepit that the French easily burst in. When Napoleon inspected the massive defense works, capable of holding an attacker at bay for months, he said: " This conquest is embarrassing." After the Napoleonic Wars Britain took over Malta until the 1950's. The Knights went from an order of warrior-monks, to a jet-set club, with members like Prince Rainier and Sir Frank Sinatra and charity work like Saint John's Ambulance.

1834 - Sandpaper patented by Isaac Fischer Jr., Springfield, Vermont

1860- DIME NOVELS & PULP FICTION. Mr. Erastus Beadle (don’t you love 19th century names?) published the first dime novel, Maleska, Indian Wife of the White Hunter by Anna Stephens. Sometimes called the Penny Dreadfulls, pocket-sized stories printed on cheap pulp paper became popular reading. They fantasized the West, extolling two-gun chivalry and virtuous maidens, roaring desperadoes and wild savages. This early form of mass media made celebrities out of fringe yahoos like Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, Billy the Kid and Belle Starr.

1918- Louella Parsons began her Hollywood Gossip column in the LA Examiner. Louella became one of the most powerful and widely read columnists in Hollywood’s golden age. Agents called her column " The House that Fear Built." Stories say Louella got as much pull as she did in the Hearst newspaper empire for helping cover up the death of director Thomas Ince and also trying to stifle the release of Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane.

1920- King George V dedicated the new Imperial War Museum, comprising artifacts from the recently concluded Great War. In 1936, the War museum moved to its present home in the former building of the infamous mental asylum, Bedlam.

1930- Chicago Tribune reporter Jack Lingle was shot and killed by Al Capone’s hoods. The hit was done right in broad daylight on Michigan Ave and Randolph St at the Illinois Central underpass at the height of rush hour. It was first thought that Lingle was going to do some kind of courageous crusading journalist expose, but Big Al had him rubbed out because he welched on a $100,000 gambling debt.

1934- Happy Birthday Donald Duck! Walt Disney's short cartoon"The Little Wise Hen".

1934- The film the Thin Man with William Powell, Myrna Loy and Asta the dog.

1938 - Chlorophyll isolated by Benjamin Grushkin

1938 - Dorothy Lathrop wins the 1st Caldecott Medal for outstanding childrens books.

1941- First day shooting on the film, the Maltese Falcon. It was John Huston’s first directorial effort and the budget Warner Bros gave them was so cheap, Humphrey Bogart had to provide his own wardrobe.

1950- After all appeals fail the first of the Hollywood Ten, screenwriters Dalton Trumbo, Philip Dunne, Alvah Bessie, Waldo Salt, Edward Dymtytrk, David Ogden Stewart, Ring Lardner and John Howard Lawson are sentenced to prison. In the L.A. Municipal Jail one felon greeted the leftist writers with a smile and said: "Hi Ya, Hollywood Kids!”

1976 – Chuck Barris’ the" Gong Show" premiered. Where’s Jean-Jean the Dancing Machine?

1992- Congress passed the Internet Communications Act, opening up the Internet to the public. The act was sponsored by Tenn Senator Al Gore, hence the claim that he was one of the inventors of the Internet. At this time,only defense contractors had been using it, the Internet had 50 websites; by 2000, it had 77 million websites, now in the hundreds of millions.

2160 - Montgomery Edward Scott, called Scotty or Mr. Scott, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the engineer of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek. “ Cap’n, Ah dunno know how much more the engines can take!”
Yesterday’s Quiz: What are the old names of these cities? Yangon, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City?

Answer: Rangoon, Bombay, Saigon