Erma Bombeck, Funny Mom – February 21

Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite writers was Erma Bombeck.  Her columns were hysterically funny, and I loved the titles of her books, especially The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic TankThis talented humorist started writing at 13 when she was in junior high and continued to do so throughout high school, including work at The Dayton Herald.  While she was still a junior in high school, Erma had the privilege of interviewing Shirley Temple for the paper.  After graduation, Erma worked for two years to earn money for college and possible scholarships.  When she finally made it to Ohio University at Athens, she was rejected for the university newspaper and failed a good deal of her literary assignments.  When she ran out of money, she had to leave after only one semester.  Despite this setback, which would loom large in the eyes of most young adults, she later enrolled in the University of Dayton and wrote for their student publication.  After she graduated and married, she took ten years off from writing to concentrate on raising her family, and then she began doing a humorous column for the local paper in 1965.  Three weeks later, her columns were syndicated by 36 papers, and she was so popular she appeared on Arthur Godfrey’s radio show.  By 1978, over 900 newspapers were running Erma’s column, she secured both a million-dollar contract for her book If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? and a 700,000-copy advance for the next one.  Who would have guessed that the young lady who failed in her first college experience would become so successful?!

Other notable people born on February 21 include:

  • Alan Rickman, actor (Sense and Sensibility, Harry Potter, Galaxy Quest)
  • Hubert de Givenchy, fashion designer
  • Charles-Marie Widor, organist and composer
  • Rue McLanahan, actress (Golden Girls, Maude)
  • Mary-Chapin Carpenter, folk singer-songwriter (Passionate Kisses)
  • Anthony Daniels, actor (C3PO in the Star Wars saga)
  • Nina Simone, jazz singer
  • Andres Segovia, classical guitarist
  • Kelsey Grammer, comedic actor (Cheers, Frasier)
  • Leo Delibes, composer
  • Thomas Yawkey, owner of the Boston Red Sox
  • Celia Lovsky, actress (T’Pau in Star Trek)
  • Anais Nin, writer and diarist
  • David Geffen, Dream Works executive
  • Charlotte Church, youth singing sensation
  • Gary Lockwood, actor (2001:A Space Odyssey, classic Star Trek)
  • Sam Peckinpah, film director (Straw Dogs)
  • Tyne Daley, actress (Cagney and Lacey)
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt, singer-songwriter and actress (Party of Five)

Funny quote from Erma Bombeck: “Seize the moment. Think of all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”

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