Beautifully typed and faultlessly spelled, the letter continued:
"You have been chosen to receive the 'Mary's A Grand Old Name' Award. It is presented, occasionally, only to women of outstanding merit whose name happens to be Mary. Since your name is Mary, and your accomplishments have come gently to our attention, you qualify on all counts to join the very short list of awardees. The Academy (that's me) is pleased to express its gratitude for your important contribution to our fair community through your excellence in print journalism, humor and music criticism."
A CD was enclosed with 25 Mary songs, starting with Jimmy Cagney singing "Mary's A Grand Old Name" and Bing Crosby's "The Rose of Tralee," on through Jimi Hendrix' "The Wind Cries Mary" and on and on, ending with "Mary, Mary" by the Butterfield Blues Band.
Special thanks was given to the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and there was also a notice reading: "Dedicated to the memories of Mary Lyon -- Mary Smith -- Mary Wollstonecroft."
Mary Wollstonecroft, a colleague points out, was married to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and wrote "Frankenstein." That is she at the top of this post! Mary Lyon (1797-1849) was a pioneer in women's education. She founded Mount Holyoke College and Wheaton College.
Were they, and this Mary Smith, previous recipients of this award? If so we are in good company.
It makes us think of this old Scottish ballad known as "The Four Marys."
That song was not on the CD, and we can see why. It's a lovely song but the Mary it is about comes to a bad end.
Not like us!
We will go on in glory! In this wonderful town of Buffalo, home to magical things, like anonymous awards.
Thank you, Anonymous Awarder!
taggedBooks | Current Affairs | History | Music