It was April 6, 1889, in Victoria’s England. Robert Browning, aged 76, was attending a party hosted by artist Rudolf Lehmann.
Colonel Gouraud brought out an Edison Talking Machine. At the company’s behest, Browning began reciting his poem, “How They Brought the Good News From Ghent To Aix”, but his memory lapsed.
“I’m sorry,” he stated. “I can’t remember me own verses, but one thing that I shall remember all me life is the astonishing…by your wonderful invention.”
He died on December 12 that year at the home of his son . Browning was the first poet whose voice was recorded for posterity.
The photo prompt was provided by Roger Bultot. As always, Rochelle guides us weekly through Friday Fictioneers.
Saturday evening, after 5:00 p.m. Mass at St. Mary of the Isle in Long Beach, New York, was Father Brian Patrick Barr’s big party for the twenty fifth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Here is just one of the highlights of the momentous occasion.
Over the course of my lifetime I’ve gotten many compliments about my speaking voice. I’ve often been told that it’s quite distinctive. Once I’ve spoken to someone on the phone at least once he always recognizes my voice, from then on, whenever I call him. Over the course of the past two decades, I’ve always been a lector at the churches I’ve attended. My looks are not necessarily to everyone’s liking but I’ve gotten some compliments about them. It’s hard to say whether I’m forced to cringe more because of a video recording of me, or a recording of my voice. I should have to say, though, that my voice has such a distinctive quality about it that it always leaves me quite seriously taken aback. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a video of me that would a representative example of my appearance. You can, however, very easily see my profile picture on my blog. I have a youtube video, though, that demonstrates quite clearly the offbeat nasal timbre of my speech. Ever since I was a kid, during the days of reel to reel and cassette tape recorders, I’ve always noticed that my voice has a one of a kind property to it. My parents were both from northeastern Pennsylvania and I was raised in Queens and on Long Island. Because of that, especially in my young days, I had an accent that was a combination of both places. As far as I can see my speech and appearance are like an underground cult movie or musical group. Not everyone can figure them out but there are people who find them quite exceptionally hep.
It most certainly wasn’t an absolute matter of life or death. I’ve been known to get more desperately insatiably interested in many other things throughout my lifetime. A while ago, though, I promised myself that if it turned out to be so much as the least bit possible, I should really like, by the end of this year, to get a nice digital camera in order that I could start taking pictures and making videos. Last Christmas Mary Anne, Steve and the kids got me a really nice Samsung computer with Google chrome. That may not have been quite their single smartest move considering that I’ve always been quite inordinately interested in that kind of thing. Since then I’ve always really wanted to take every possible advantage of it by getting a nice camera. I’ve been looking forward to taking some especially nice pictures and videos. Over the course of the past few weeks I’ve been going to the Radio Shack on Park Avenue every once in a while to see what they have. A while ago my cousin Gary told me on the phone that Canon makes exceptionally good cameras. Yesterday I got one. The price was originally a hundred and forty dollars. The salesman said it was marked down to only a hundred dollars. Unfortunately he said the memory card that was required for it to work wouldn’t be available until tomorrow. Then I shall be all set. Knowing me I can count on being quite deliriously happy once I have everything I need. I can go down to the beach and take lots of nice pictures and videos there now that the weather is so warm. Besides that I also really want to see how it works for traveling, parties and vacations. If ever I should have been entirely unable to get one, I could very easily have gotten over it. Not counting all the extreme annoyance of the short-term disappointment, I could have gotten along quite as well as I always had so far anyway.
As far as I can remember I’ve never once deleted an entire blog post. There’s no reason to have to bother to stoop to anything like that. Frequently I put inappropriate things onto my blogs. When that happens I often, after having seriously thought it over for a while, eliminate the unwelcome passage before the blog entry is published. I generally put things onto my blogs only after having carefully thought them through. People are so defiantly ignorant and self-absorbed these days. They have nothing to do but to scour around throughout cyberspace and anywhere else they can possibly go, trying to find one excuse right after another to be offended. Today I just read something about the famous singer Avril Lavigne who’s being tarred and feathered because of her supposedly racist “Hello Kitty” video. They claim it’s supposedly racist. A bunch of complete fools who specialize in kissing the Orientals’ butts in Macy’s window have found all sorts of gestures, smirks, articles of clothing, et cetera, in the video that, according to their sick mindset supposedly prove she’s a racist. That mentality nauseates me thoroughly. Liberals, from one tine of their forked tongues, condemn censorship. From the other tine, though, they censor everything that happens. I try to be as decent and as accurate as possible in all my blog posts and I refused to let anyone else get away with dictating to me the terms of what I may and may not be allowed to say or to do.