The concert impresario, Sol Hurok, liked to say that Marian Anderson hadn’t simply grown great, she’d grown great simply. He says: “A few years ago a reporter interviewed Marian and asked her to name the greatest moment in her life. I was in her dressing room at the time and was curious to hear the answer. I knew she had many big moments to choose from. There was the night Toscanini told her that hers was the finest voice of the century. There was the private concert she gave at the White House for the Roosevelts and the King and Queen of England. She had received the $10,000 Bok Award as the person who had done the most for her home town, Philadelphia. To top it all, there was that Easter Sunday in Washington when she stood beneath the Lincoln statue and sang for a crowd of 75,000, which included Cabinet members, Supreme Court Justices, and most members of Congress. Which of those big moments did she choose?
“None of them,” said Hurok. “Miss Anderson told the reporter that the greatest moment of her life was the day she went home and told her mother she wouldn’t have to take in washing anymore.”
Alan Loy McGinnis in The Friendship Factor, p. 30
• We have got but one life here…It pays, no matter what comes after it, to try and do things, to accomplish things in this life, and not merely to have a soft and pleasant time. – Theodore Roosevelt
• Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing. – John Henry Jowett