Sunday, December 18, 2011

34 Years of Christmas Poems: Christmas 1988

Back to the Mac with a different layout for publishing the poem and a slightly different cadence of rhyme. I was gaining confidence working in the digital realm (antiquated as it was in light of what we can do today) and would begin to strive for more rigorous applications the following year.

The country had just elected George H.W. Bush as President in November and he had pledged during his acceptance of the nomination to lead America to be a kinder and gentler nation. That's where the tone of the poem came from as I sincerely hoped that he would be accurate in that prediction. History would seemingly lurch in that direction the following year.

Christmas 1988
Richard Perrotti

Can the hardest of hearts be turned
by a certain time of the year
and the milk of human kindness overflow?
As sure as “It’s a Wonderful Life”
will bring a tear to the eye
the legend of Christmas continues to grow.

Sure, we moan and groan, “Never again,”
in our annual upstream swim,
swearing that next year we’ll start this come June.
But with the first carol’s echo
all frustration seems forgotten
and a guest named Christmas walks into the room.

Have you noticed that each December
we’re a kinder and gentler nation
in the truest and noblest spirit of the words.
We hear it all across the land,
booming loud or whispered softly,
the voice of Christmas calls out and joyously is heard.

Is it evergreens and cookies
that makes this time so special
or some magic sent from above?
Like most basic truths,
the answer is simple;

It’s only Christmas…
and Christmas is love.

December 1988 doings:
1st - 596 dead after cyclone hits Bangladesh, half a million homeless
1st - Benazir Bhutto named 1st female PM of a Moslem country (Pakistan)
1st - Chinese minister of Foreign affairs Qian Qichen visits Moscow
1st - NBC bids record $401M to capture rights to 1992 Barcelona Olympics
1st - NY Islanders greatest shutout lose (8-0) vs St Louis Blues
2nd - "Naked Gun" premieres, a movie based on TV's "Police Squad"
2nd - 5 gunmen who hijacked Soviet Aeroflot jet, surrender in Israel
2nd - STS-27 Atlantis launched (Secret military mission)
2nd - UN votes 151-2 (Isr & US) to move PLO debate to Geneva, Brit abstains
3rd - 54th Heisman Trophy Award: Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State (RB)
3rd - NY Lotto pays $45 million to twelve winner (#s are 1-8-13-18-28-48)
4th - Actor Gary Busey critically injured in motorcycle crash
4th - Amy Benz/John Huston wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
4th - Orioles trade veteran 1B Eddie Murray to the Dodgers
4th - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
5th - NC fed grand jury indict PTL founder Jim Bakker on fraud & conspiracy
5th - Shuttle Atlantis launches world's 1st nuclear-war-fighting satellite
6th - Arafat meets prominent American Jews in Stockholm, Sweden
6th - Carlos Andres Perez re-elected president of Venezuela
6th - Merv Hughes takes 13 wickets v WI at the WACA but Australia lose
6th - Milwaukee Bucks win their 1,000th NBA game (2nd fastest)
6th - Nelson Mandela is transferred to Victor Vester Prison, Capetown
6th - STS-27 Atlantis lands in Calif after secret mission
6th - Agnes Neil Williams purchases Baltimore Orioles for $70 million Eli Jacobs becomes CEO of Balt Orioles
7th - 6.9 earthquake in Spitak, Armenia (>25,000 killed, 5,000,000 homeless)
7th - Gorbachev announces 10% unilateral Soviet troop reductions at UN
7th - Mikhail Gorbachev cheered by Wall St crowds upon arrival in NYC
7th - NY Islanders fire Simpson, Arbour new coach
7th - Rangers sign free-agent pitcher Nolan Ryan to a one-year contract
8th - Knick's set NBA record of 11 3-pointers & sink Bucks, 113-109
9th - NY Yankees sign 12-year television contract with MSG for $500M
9th - The Michael Hughes Bridge in Sligo, Ireland is officially opened.
10th - Washington Capitals 1st NHL scoreless tie, vs Mont Canadiens
12th - 3 trains collide in London, 40 die
12th - NYC Subway system adds new stations (Z line)
12th - PLO leader Yasi Arafat accepts Israel's right to exist
12th - Sandra Miller of Queens sues Mike Tyson for sexual harassment
13th - 3 men end 29-hr all-466-station subway ride in NYC
13th - Arafat addresses UN in Geneva
14th - CBS' $1.1 B bid wins exclusive 1990-94 major-league baseball rights
14th - NBA's Miami Heat wins 1st game ever, 89-88 (Clippers), after 17 loses
14th - Spanish General strike to protest austerity measures
14th - US agrees to talk to Palestine Liberation Org (1st time in 13 yrs)
15th - Lori Davis of Long Island sues Mike Tyson for grabbing her buttocks
16th - Political cult leader Lyndon LaRouche convicted of tax, mail fraud
17th - 77th Davis Cup: Germany beats Sweden in Gothenburg (4-1)
17th - Bryan Murray becomes 17th NHL coach to win 300 games (Wash Caps)
17th - NY Islanders break 12 game losing streak, beat Devils 5-2
17th - USS Tennessee, 1st sub to carry Trident 2 missiles, commissioned
17th - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
18th - 5th meeting of Giants-Jets, Jets win & eliminate Giants from playoffs
18th - Seattle Seahawks win their 1st ever division title with 9-7 record
19th - NASA unviels plans for lunar colony & manned missions to Mars
19th - Oklahoma's College football team gets 3 year probation
19th - Unexploded WW II bomb found in Frankfurt, Germany-5,000 evacuated
20th - Animal rights terrorists fire-bomb Harrod's dept store, London
20th - NBC signs lease to stay in NYC, 33 more years
20th - Premier Ranasinghe Premadasa elected pres of Sri Lanka
21st - Drexel agrees guilt to security felonies, pays a $650 million fine
21st - NY bound Pan Am jumbo jet explodes over Scotland all 258 aboard die
21st - Vladimir Titov & Musa Manarov return to earth (a year) with Chretien
22nd - 2 robbers wearing police uniforms rob armored truck of $3 M in NJ
22nd - South Africa signs accord granting independence to South West Africa
22nd - Tug hits oil barge, spreads 231,000 gal on 300 mi of WA & BC coast
22nd - Chico Mendes, a Brazilian rubber tapper, unionist and environmental activist, is assassinated.
26th - "Legs Diamond" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 64 performances
26th - Anti African student rebellion in China PR
27th - Bulgaria stops jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades
28th - John Tarrant, 1st Aust born Zen teacher, receives Dharma Transmission
28th - US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Yonkers is guilty of racism
28th - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
29th - Soviet Red Army Team edges NY Islanders, 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum
29th - Victorian Post Office Museum in Australia closes
30th - Canadian Senate OK's free trade pact; with US
30th - Former Soviet Pres Brezhnev's son-in-law sentenced to 12-yr (bribery)
30th - Mercedes-Benz pays $20.2-M fine failed to meet '86 government fuel standard
30th - North subpoenas Reagan & Bush as defense witnesses for upcoming trial

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