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Friday, August 29, 2003

Friday August 29, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:07 PM

The Shining of Park Place

Today is the birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., writer, dean of Harvard Medical School, father of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and author of at least seven hymns.

It is also the feast day of Saint Lewis Henry Redner, author of the tune now known as “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  Redner was church organist for Phillips Brooks, who wrote the “Bethlehem” lyrics but then published the hymn under the facetious name “St. Louis,” a deliberate misspelling of Redner’s name.

Redner died on August 29, 1908, at the Marlborough Hotel in Atlantic City.

Since Holmes Sr. was both a poet and the father of a famous lawyer, a reference to poet-lawyer Wallace Stevens seems in order.

To wit:

“We keep coming back and coming back
 To the real: to the hotel
                   instead of the hymns….”

— Wallace Stevens,
   “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven

From Best Atlantic City Hotels:

Bally’s Park Place, located at Park Place and Boardwalk, partially stands on the site of the former Marlborough Hotel.

For some background on the theology of hotels, see Stephen King’s classic The Shining and my own note, Shining Forth.

Let us pray that any haunting at the current Park Place and Boardwalk location is done by the blessed spirit of Saint Lewis Redner.

Atlantic City

Bally’s
Park Place

Wallace
Stevens

Postscript of 7:11 PM —

From an old Dave Barry column:

“Beth thinks the casinos should offer more of what she described as ‘fun’ games, the type of entertainment-for-the-whole-family activities that people engage in to happily while away the hours. If Beth ran a casino, there would be a brightly lit table surrounded by high rollers in tuxedos and evening gowns, and the air would be charged with excitement as a player rolled the dice, and the crowd would lean forward, and the shout would ring out…

‘He landed on Park Place!’ “

Charles Lindbergh seems to have done
just that.  See yesterday’s entry

Spirit

and today’s New York Times story

Lindbergh the Family Man.

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