Rudy's Views: Spring Package
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?
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:
There's Poetry in the Air
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.
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
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
The Savvy Traveler
c/o USC Radio
The University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California, 90007
Or send your poem via email.
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