Welcome to the Bumbastories Bi-annual June Magazine. This post will be a salute to the number six. After all, June is the sixth month, and it appears that I have an obsession with the six. I have six on my mind!
After all, the world was created in six days. There are six colors in the color wheel, and there are six strings on a guitar. Six is the atomic number of carbon, the basis of life on earth, including your own life, 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 at Phillips 66, 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. Here’s a tip of the hat to former Clipper Jamal Crawford who won the “Sixth Man of the Year Award” three times. Plus another tip of the hat to the Clipper’s sweet Lou Williams, the current Clipper sixth man. We at Bumbastories just love Jamal and we love Lou Williams. 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.
Escher, like the great artists who designed the Alhambra palace in Granada, often used hexagons to plot his magnificent geometrical 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, or maybe a coincidence. 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 L.A. weather and a song or two:
I don’t know why, but the term “June Gloom” is an actual Southern California expression. True, it’s often a bit hazy and cloudy in the spring. Not very sunny. People feelk disappointed. But, gee whiz, it ain’t the end of the world. No cause to get gloomy. Ya can’t complain about the weather anywaze. That’s what I say. Anyhow, I wrote this little blues called June Gloom.
OK. Here’s something more cheerful. It’s Irene Goodnight, Leadbelly’ great song, played By Bumba and Maybank the other day. Maybe it will cheer you to sing along and not be gloomy – even if it is June.