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HARLEY HAHN NEWSLETTER
January 22, 2010
"Happiness won't make you happy."
-- Harley Hahn
Writing+Art: Claudette Bass
Last week I decided to make a list of all my
While making the list, I saw the names of many
people I hadn't talked with in a while and I
resolved to get in touch with them, one at a time,
over the next few months. For some reason, I
started with Claudette Bass, a writer whom I
hadn't talked to in several years.
Before calling her, I searched for her name online
and -- to my surprise -- found out that she had
died almost two years ago. This saddened me, and
I began to search for her work to see what I
What I came up with was a lovely poem -- "March
Wind in June"-- that reminded me of one of my
paintings, so I put them together and created a
Web page for Claudette, to serve, at least in
part, as a belated memorial.
"I met Claudette in the late winter of 1976, while
I was traveling in Europe. She had inherited some
money from her mother and was using it to see the
world. Claudette was an unusual sight, gamely
dragging several pieces of luggage across Europe,
all by herself, to the most unlikely places. ..."
"March Wind in June":
The painting by itself:
Martin Luther King and Other Interesting People
Earlier this week, the United States celebrated
Martin Luther King Day in honor of the American
clergyman and activist who, since his
assassination in 1968, has become an enduring
civil rights icon. King's birthday was January 15
and, since 1992, the U.S. has honored his memory
by making the third Monday in January a legal
Over the years, King has been widely honored.
(For example, more than 730 U.S. cites have
streets named after him.) However, memory fades
and, today, most people have trouble remembering
King and why his legacy is so interesting and
"Although the American Civil War legally ended
black slavery in America, the prejudices and
economic forces left the country with an enduring
legacy of discrimination against blacks. As late
as the 1950s, the situation of African-Americans
was still brutally oppressive..."
Interesting People: Martin Luther King
The essay on Martin Luther King is actually part
of a larger feature on my Web site called
'Interesting People'. When you get a moment, take
a look at the home page, where you'll find a list
of people I think are interesting, along with an
essay about each one.
"An interesting person is one whose life is worth
studying for three reasons. First, the person is
someone we recognize, someone whose contributions
-- for better or for worse -- have had a
significant effect on our culture. If we are part
of a culture that recognizes such people, we
should know something about them.
"Second, interesting people intrigue us. We know
their names and we wonder about them, so it makes
sense to spend a few minutes leaning about them
just to satisfy our curiosity.
"Finally, interesting people are important to
study because doing so has a positive effect on
our own lives..."
Interesting People: Home Page
-- Harley Hahn
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