Monday, February 4, 2013

February 5: Weathermen, Nutella, and the birthdays of Hank Aaron and Andrew Greeley

We can make short work of Weatherman's Day and Nutella Day, two of the micro-est of microminiholidayettes ever, and both slated for Tuesday, February 5.

Granted, the science of meteorology has advanced significantly in recent decades, especially once satellites were devoted to watching weather develop and move. However, the bride who picks a June date has no way of knowing more than a couple of days in advance whether to expect sunshine or rain; the folks who draw up high school baseball schedules in Illinois can't avoid rainy -- or even snowy -- days. Celebrate weathermen? These are the men and women who tell us -- too late to change our plans -- that Saturday's barbecue is likely to be washed out. Phooey. And, besides, 'meteorology' is just too darned hard to spell.

As for Nutella Day, who the heck eats that stuff anyway? Usual Suspect Days of the Year tells us Nutella is a paste made from chocolate and hazelnut. Apparently on purpose.

Celebrate at your own risk.

For our part, we'd rather remember Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Henry Aaron was born on February 5, 1934; he turns 79 Tuesday. That's his Hall of Fame plaque shown here.

Fr. Andrew Greeley turns 85 on Tuesday. Usual Suspect tells us Greeley was born in Oak Park, Illinois on February 5, 1928.

An unusual combination of academic (professor of sociology at the University of Arizona and a Research Associate with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago) and popular author, Fr. Greeley has been in poor health since a taxi accident a few years back. Some Catholics find that their blood pressure skyrockets at the mention of Greeley's name: His newspaper columns were often stridently partisan and his popular books contained steamy passages that some though inappropriate for a priest to write (or even imagine). However, we've always liked the disclaimer (credited to Rev. Ron Rolheiser, O.M.I) on so many of Greeley's book jackets: "Nobody has ever left the church because of an Andrew Greeley novel, but many have been attracted back to it by him."

That's not a bad legacy for a gadfly.

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