In honor of punk rock icon Henry Rollins, I will now pile on 16 tons of Henry knowledge. Germanic in origin and meaning, “Henry” is well used as a first or last name. Dozens of royals in multiple countries have been named Henry plus the Roman numerals. Thanks to Joseph Henry, science uses “the henry” (symbol H) as i, H/m (henry per meter). Many musicians have sung about the legend of John Henry and his steel-drivin’ ways. The King of Pirates, Henry Every, boosted loot on the high seas and disappeared into the mists of time with no known date of death. Major General, Henry Shrapnel, invented a hollowed-out cannon ball filled with shot, hence the word shrapnel. St. Henry is the patron saint of the childless; his feast day is July 13th. Henry Miller’s 1934 “Tropic of Cancer” was deemed obscene until 1964 when the Supreme Court ruled that the erotic novel was art. The first foreign-born kabuki actor in Japan and the only foreign-born rakugoka (story teller), was an Australian by the name of Henry James Black. And finally, as I finish typing this blog, local printmaker Bridgette Henry has put together a show called “Cemetery Polka” featuring 16 artists presenting works inspired by the music of Tom Waits. It’s on display at the Felix Kulpa Gallery in downtown Santa Cruz until February 24th.
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