What is it about the number 100 that makes it so special? Is it because in percentages it equals “all,” so we use it as a quantifier?

Three items of news found “ink” last week using the “100” benchmark in the fields of music, art and politics.

In the music world, Ella Fitzgerald would have celebrated her 100th birthday. Many stories of her talent and tenacity were run. While never confining herself to one style of music, she is often referred to as “the queen of jazz.” Oh, how she could sing! Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal music and popular cultural writer, ended his feature about her this way, “Long before her centennial, it was clear that the contributions of Ella Fitzgerald to the world’s cultural legacy is vast and incalculable.”

In the world of art, an event entitled “100 Days of Art” is currently underway. I just love this concept. To promote and encourage artists to enrich all of our lives, the event asks for the creation and posting of art each day for 100 days running. Beginning April 4 and running through July 12, line drawings, paintings, photography; silly, whimsical, serious; anything that allows the artist to express something each day is welcomed. With all of the insanity in the world; check out #The100DayProject “to soothe your soul!”

And of course, President Trump has reached his “first 100 days in office.”

First 100 days: the term was coined in a July 24, 1933, radio address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It has since become an important benchmark for a new president. Has he/she the ability to get things done quickly? Are bipartisan relationships being forged? The first 100 days are regarded as a harbinger of the new administration’s priorities and it is the first glimpse of the new administration’s governing vision.

The President wanted to turn the event into a celebration of all that was accomplished in his first 100 days, but a damper was put on the occasion. His budget proposal was tied to the looming government shutdown deadline. To prevent that disaster, an agreement was reached. But the terms have most republicans up in arms and most democrats sitting with Cheshire cat grins on their faces. Then, he gave a few interviews to mark the occasion. But, instead of focusing on his accomplishments, he said some pretty bizarre and, frankly, untrue things. Not the celebration he had hoped for.

The number 100 …

While I never heard Ella sing in person, nor am I participating in the 100 days of art; I do have my own opinions on the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Controversy, conflict and confusion seem to reflect our president’s first 100 days for me. But, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t some method to, if not all, at least some of the seeming madness?

Oh, well. I’m going to turn on some Ella tunes and look at some artistic creations and be glad that it will be several years before a “presidential first 100 days” roils around again.

Wendy J. Levenfeld is a published novelist, playwright and columnist. Send comments to wendylevenfeld@gmail.com. Visit wendy’s website at www.wendylevenfeld.com.

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