Near the Old Man of Storr, Scotland I took this in 2004

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

3 mournings

Ok, so we have the magic number three in our death toll.

Beginning with Mary Daly, who died, either January 3rd or January 6th,
of "natural causes", though she was ill for quite a while. I hate the damn internet, nothing is certain, one article says one date another something else, forcing me to put both down. But if January 6th was the real day it would be quite ironic. Because she was born catholic, and the 6th is the epiphany. Perhaps the irony was not lost on her, and she had her own final epiphany as she went. She was 81.

Then Howard Zinn, January 27th, at 87

And finally Jerome David Salinger also on January 27th. He was 91.

I heard nothing anywhere about Mary Daly's death.

A People's History of the United States changed my whole perspective about who writes and tells histories.

Outercourse was almost a private diary from feminist, lesbian scholar, Daly. Recounting the struggle with Boston College who didn't want to give her tenure.

"That winter I was given a one-year terminal contract; that is, I was fired. I did not get an attorney, nor did I compromise in any way. Though I did not yet have the vocabulary to describe the demonic phenomenon of assimilation, I knew the danger and somehow side-stepped it. Although the university never bothered to give nay reason for the termination of our happy relationship, the press and just about everyone else put two and two together. An uppity Second Sex was just too much for the church."
(95-96, Daly,HarperSanFrancisco,1992)

And my favorite short story penned by Jerome will probably always be A Perfect Day For Bananafish.
"Sybil, he said." "I'll tell you what we'll do. We'll see if we can catch a bananafish."
"A what?"
"A bananafish." (
13, Salinger, Little Brown and Company, Nine Stories)

Mary, Howard and Jerome , thank you for giving us more to think about and strive towards. We who loved your work will mourn you deeply.

These three passionate writers, two of whom were also professors, were courageous, brilliant and determined to speak up.

Mary Daly was fired from Boston College for her book "
The Church and the Second Sex, ... but student and public outcry led the Jesuit college to rehire her. She taught there for 33 years."(taken from

Jerome David's Catcher in The Rye was constantly being banned by small-mined biggots who took offense at the language used.

And dear old Howard with his forward thinking, allowed us to see the "other" as us.
Interestingly enough they all resided in the east coast of the U.S.

A typically very liberal area, though, with respect to lesbian and gay rights still being denied in those parts of the U.S., maybe the liberal badge is fading fast.