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Happy! - Nov 6 (Queen Joan the Mad)

Abby Sale 06 Nov 05 - 10:28 AM
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Subject: Happy! - Nov 6 (Queen Joan the Mad)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 10:28 AM

Happy Birthday!

In Castille:

Queen Joan the Mad
(You remember - Juana La Loca, queen of Castile & also the daughter of Isabella)

was born 11/6/1479
(d. Apr 11, 1555)

Well, I don't have a single folk thing about her (perhaps someone from Spain does.) We know from the October 12th "happy?" that there might be a song about Mad This or Mad That or Mad Michael but none I know of about Mad Joan. Nevertheless, I've posted her several times over the years just 'cause I like the name. Can you imagine? Hello there, And I'd like you to meet my chum, Queen Joan the Mad. Now I admit I uster introduce my wicked stepmother as And this is my wicked stepmother, but that's just traditional. I finally met not one, but two people thus named: Mad Alex and Mad Marie when I lived in North Beach, San Francisco in 1959. Mad Alex was a nice feller and a sad situation I wouldn't speak lightly of which but Mad Marie was a witch of a different color. No one called her Mad Marie to her face but me but she thought I was kidding and was my Best Buddy. I'm not clear when she got the appellation but it may have been from when she was brandishing a hatchet and chasing Jay Hoppe down the street screaming. I didn't think so much of it because Jay told me he'd finally given up on some of her more exuberant outbursts in the Coexistence Bagel Shop and had permanently 86ed her so I reckoned she had a real reason, if not a very good one. Still, haven't we all done things without a very good reason? Anyway, the way we got to be Best Buddies was maybe typical of Mad Marie. And who knows, maybe of me, too. One night I was in one of those Poetry Reading places. They were what the Beach was largely about but I usually spent my time at cheap red wine parties or listening to folk music. (You see, there is a folk music connection.) But there I was and it was in one of the larger "coffee" houses and relatively crowded. I was standing towards the back when a minor whirlwind in the skinny form of Mad Marie whirled in and the crowd eagerly parted for her. Suddenly she had a bar stool in her hands (I never saw who may have decided to sit on the floor) and she skidded to a stop immediately in front of me, plopped down the stool and herself on it. As you know, I'm not very tall and now I couldn't see and I'd had a nice tunnel of a view to the stagelet, too. With righteous indignation (but silent and dead pan for I Was Cool, of course) I picked up the stool with her still aboard and moved it a foot to the right. She could still see but so could I. Mad Marie was utterly stunned. After all, when one enjoys the reputation of a homicidal maniac, one tends to expect people to keep a certain distance and gets used to that but I felt she was abusing her important position. She thus decided I was "different" and a super hero or something and instantly became my Best Buddy, as I said. So we'd hang out if/when we met which wasn't that often even in that small community since I hung out in the Bagel, off limits to her. I admit, I did take some care never to be alone in a room or empty alley with her and I could never quite check myself from a quick glance to note if any sharp objects happened to be in her hands.

Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic was born 11/6/1787 (d. Feb 6, 1864); the father of Serbian folk-literature scholarship.

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
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Mudcat time: 16 October 7:23 PM EDT

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