ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View

Rudy's Views: Spring Package

Real Audio Listen with RealAudio help Need audio help?

Cherry Blossoms
Finally, we're officially into spring and I say it's none too soon. It's been a rough winter all around. Plus, this is a great time of year in my hometown of Washington D.C. because we start gearing up for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. If you've never seen it, it's a gorgeous sight when those trees start blooming. But as well known as Washington is for its cherry trees, my producer Michelle Kholos tells me we're not the cherry blossom capital. Michelle, why don't you fill everyone in?

cherry blossoms Michelle: "Well, this is a story about the making of a cherry-blossom capital. In 1952, a guy in Macon, Georgia named William Fickling discovered a beautiful pink-blossomed tree on his property. The following spring he took a trip to Washington D.C. and saw thousands of Yoshino cherry trees that looked suspiciously familiar. He put two and two together and from then on, Fickling was hooked. He began a sort of personal quest, taking cuttings of the Yoshinos and giving them to anyone and everyone to plant in neighborhood parks and at public buildings.

So, before he died, Fickling had donated a whopping 170,000 trees, and in 1982 Macon started its own Cherry Blossom Festival in his honor. A Georgia congressman even declared Macon the "Cherry Blossom Capital of the United States" and it's in the 1983 Congressional Record to make it official."

Thanks Michelle. If cherry blossoms aren't your thing, here's a few other ways to herald the coming of Spring:

Equinox Time
Down in Chichen Itza, Mexico, thousands of visitors gather for the vernal equinox to watch the shadow of the afternoon sun darken the pyramid... except for a zig-zag strip of light that looks like a serpent slithering down the north staircase. The same thing happens in the fall, by the way, during that other equinox.

There's Poetry in the Air
A bit closer to home, the students at Lake Superior State University in Michigan hold the annual Snowman Burning to bid farewell to winter. Events include the sacrificial blazing of a 10- to 12-foot snowman effigy, and a poetry contest.

But if you miss that poetry reading, you can still hit New York City April 9th through 11th for the first People's Poetry Gathering. Pros and beginners alike will recite and discuss poetry at more than 50 different events, including midnight readings of Edgar Allan Poe. Participants will even write a collaborative 36-stanza poem.

The Savvy Traveler's getting in the feel-good, poetry spirit too. We'd like to hear your poems in celebration of travel, and we just might do a little reading of our own. Tap into your travel muse and send your submissions to:

The Savvy Traveler
c/o USC Radio
The University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California, 90007

Or send your poem via email.



{ View Index }


American Public Media
American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
©2004 American Public Media |
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy