Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beethoven's Birthday

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Ludwig Van Beethoven: Born December 16, 1770 A German composer in the classical/romance eras, publishing numerous sonatas and symphonies. Many of these were after he was totally deaf. You are familiar with some of these wonderful musical pieces, as Moonlight Sonata, Fur Elise and Ode To Joy, among others. It is believed Beethoven died of lead poisoning March 26, 1827.
I had a wonderful Spanish teacher in high school, Wilma Johnson. She was dedicated to teaching us Spanish. Beginning the first day of class, all we spoke was Spanish, no English allowed. No nonsense. Except on December 16th. December 16th was a big day for Mrs. Johnson. She had poinsettias adorning the bulletin boards, had Beethoven's music playing and wonderful home baked treats in class. We learned about Beethoven--all in Spanish! I thought this was rather peculiar. But being 15, I thought most teachers were peculiar. Mrs. Johnson and I became friends. Long after I graduated and was a newlywed, my new groom and I had Mrs. Johnson and her husband over for dinner. I asked her why she was so taken by Beethoven. She said, "Beethoven and I share something very special, our birthday, December 16th." Mrs. Johnson, here is to you and Beethoven, Happy Birthday!

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