Welcome to the Bumbastories Tri-Centennial June Magazine.
Let’s start with a salute to the number six. OK, OK, I know I’ve already posted stuff about the number six. Why is it I’m always talking about six? I have six on my mind. We all do. (Which reminds me to pick up another six-pack on the way home). Albert Pujos just hit his 600 th home run, a grand slammer at that. Congrats to Albert, one of the great players.
In any case, Bumbastories again celebrates the “perfect number” six. We hope, indeed we trust, that Marina Kanavaki is cooking up something special for the number six. Marina has also been infected by the number bug, and each month prepares a splendid display of amazing artwork to honor that month’s number.
The six has long been regarded as “perfect” or whole. Its factors 3, 2, and 1 add up to 6. The world was created in six days. There are six colors in the color wheel and six strings on a guitar. Six is the atomic number of carbon, the basis of life on earth, unless, of course, you’re “six feet under”. There’s the six-shooter, the six-pack, six degrees of separation, the Moon and Sixpence, and Six Flags amusement park. You can get your kicks on Rte 66, gas up on Phillips 66 or at any hamburger stand along the way, and you can always stay at a Motel 6.
Six was the uniform number for the great Bill Russell, arguably the greatest basketball player ever, also Dr. Julius Erving, arguably the most exciting. Baseball’s Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers, and “Stan the Man” Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals wore the number six. The best reserve player on a five-person basketball team is called the sixth man. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford won the “Sixth Man of the Year Award” this year for the third time (that’s half of six). We at Bumbastories just love Jamal and we love the six. Someone complained to me the other day. They said: “Six, six, six! That’s all you ever talk about, Bumba. What are you, some kind of six maniac?
The six sided figure is the hexagon, a favorite shape for bees and people alike. Bees also like fives and anything symmetrical, but any bee will wax (sorry) nostalgic and tell you that hexagons are wonderfully stable, and make a honey (not sorry anymore) of an apartment complex.
Six tesselates so easily. Six conveys completeness and order. The Star of David has six points. And while we’re feeling religious, did I mention the six pack?
Escher, inspired by the tesselations at the Alhambra palace in Grenada, often used hexagons to plot his magnificent drawings.
The radius of a circle circumscribes exactly six times in a circle! Try it: take a compass, draw a circle and then start marking off lengths of that radius. It fits exactly six times! Why this is so is a mystery. Mathematics has a number of these “coincidences”. The great Irish philosopher Yogi Berra said that “there’s too many coincidences for it to be a coincidence”.
On the L.A. scene and a song or two:
I don’t know why – after all June is supposed to be a hopeful month – but I just made up a little blues song called June Gloom. “June Gloom” is an actual southern california expression. There’s an interesting little, short movie titled June Gloom, by the way. Anyhow, people in L.A. and environs (the southland they call it) seem to think that one can get gloomy this time of year because the spring weather is often so cloudy and grey. Which indeed it is. But so what? Ya can’t complain about the weather anywaze. That’s what I say. Anyhoo, it’s a simple blues.
OK. Here’s a cheerier song. It’s Irene Goodnight, Leadbelly’ great song, played By Bumba and Maybank the other day. It will cheer you to sing along.