Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."



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Damozel

A very insightful article. I do think that we boomers and tag ends of the boomer generation are victims of the youth culture we created. I had counted on seeing an elder culture develop---so many of us, so relatively few of them---but alas, too many of our peers are clinging to the same standards, beliefs, and pursuits of their younger days.

I must say, I find the landscape to be much richer and various and beautiful than you describe. For me, it's been more like approaching some unexplored highland from which---as you say---everything looks different. I feel I'm a bit closer (only a bit) to reaching an accurate perspective. As you say, the world looks different from 50; to me it feels as if things are assuming their right proportions. Nothing looks as overwhelming as it used to.

The so-called youth culture has always struck me, even when I was young, as unbearably exhausting and limiting: it depends on getting more and more of the same thing, and I don't want more of any of that; I want something different. I look at the 20-somethings under my immediate jurisdiction with compassion and pity; what they are doing looks so hard to me (and seemed hard when I was in their place).

I feel little of the ambivalence you mention... It is pure relief to be freed from being judged based on how well I fit within conventional notions of "allure" and to be able to fall back on my inherent authority. I do think it's tricky to get from seeing oneself as eroticized object to formidable subject---the culture overvaluing women as sexual objects before anything else (cf. Donald Trump) as it does---but I am finding the experience enormously liberating.

Walrus

"Just think, you can live on the edge without even leaving home!"

That, and raisins d'être had me hooting out loud. Good stuff!

Despite the fact that the demographic bulge has shifted far to the right, the youthcentricity of our culture continues, and there are some very practical reasons for that. Advertisers. Teens and young adults are still the prime demographic, for the simple reason that they are more easily influenced. Older people are more set in their ways, and more cynical, eying attempts to woo them with distrust. And where the advertisers go, the programming goes, for direct and obvious reasons.

I myself can see 50 barreling at me down the highway, and I'm rather enjoying it. Empty nest syndrome sounds wonderful to me, as I put aside the consuming passion that raising my children was and contemplate new projects. In some ways, I feel like I'm back in the same stage of life as my kids. Now if only I could persuade my back to adopt the same outlook...

amba

Walrus! You're back!! I was just missing you . . .

Walrus

:o) Maybe because you knew I was born in '57?

I don't know how "back" I am; but I'm going to try to stick my nose in occasionally at least.

amba

to get from seeing oneself as eroticized object to formidable subject

I love that!

But does one ever get to be a formidable erotic subject?

Icepick

But does one ever get to be a formidable erotic subject?

Let me tell you about a man name John Hol....

Ah, nevermind.

Icepick

Incidentally, perhaps it's my training as a mathematician, but the older I get the less the numbers mean to me, in an emotional sense. 50 is just 2x5x5. 51's no more than 3x17. 53 is somewhat impressive, because it's just 53.

When I was younger the numbers did mean more. When one is a child the difference from one year to the next is quite notable. And young adulthood has a few interesting numbers. (21 turned out to be disappointing. By the time the birthday came I already knew how to get alcohol without a problem, and I didn't drink that much anyway.)

The last time a birthday meant something to me was when I turned 30. Oh, how I hated that one! I dreaded and hated that one. It seemed that I hadn't accomplished anything in life by that point - that I had wasted three whole decades. (That view was partially, but only partially, correct, BTW.) But then the day came and went, and nothing essential had changed. Turning 30 sucked. Being 30 was okay.

Now my own birthdays don't really mean much to me, except when they fall on a Friday, and that only for the fun of the superstition. (I was born on the 13th of a month.)

Now the birthdays that matter belong to my wife. We haven't had children yet, and aren't entirely sure if we will. But a day of reckoning looms on the horizon, coming all too quickly, and if we haven't acted by then decisions will have been made for us. So I turned 39 this year, and it was nothing more than an occasion for fun with numbers and superstitions. (39 = 3x13, and it was on a Friday the 13th! Woohoo!) But my wife turns 36 in a few weeks. That sound we're hearing is a ticking clock....

amba

Ice: two facts that may encourage you.

1) The 13th, including Friday the 13th, has long been my lucky day. I have signed book contracts, gotten good news and windfalls, etc., with some reliability. It might even have some mojo for you and your wife.

2) The only time(s) in my life I ever got pregnant was at age 36 (and possibly at 35, that wasn't clear).

Icepick

No worries, I love the number 13, and Friday the 13th has always been a good day for me. (Born on a Saturday, though. Dang.) And I'm not worried about the wife's clock yet, so much as I'm worried about our propensity to procrastinate.

amba

Or your procrassity to propensitate . . .

Icepick

Or your procrassity to propensitate . . .

Ow. That makes my head hurt.

Rhea

I am in my late 40s and trying to stretch out the days. I know once I get there I will be OK with 50. Many of my friends, after all, are already there or close behind.

W. M. Mitchell-Samuel

I think turning 50 plus is wonderful, hang ups are gone,it's all about how you embrace aging. The positive outlook on life is worth the beautiful glow of 50 plus that I am sporting. I learned how to swim at the age of 48 when I had my hyster surgery, take and teaches water excercises,also I've just started kick boxing. All of this is exciting and there is a lot more that I am willing to learn and teach.
P.S. I am 56 years old and a grandmother of six.

More power to the 50's!!!!!

W. M. Mitchell-Samuel

I think turning 50 plus is wonderful, hang ups are gone,it's all about how you embrace aging. The positive outlook on life is worth the beautiful glow of 50 plus that I am sporting. I learned how to swim at the age of 48 when I had my hyster surgery, take and teaches water excercises,also I've just started kick boxing. All of this is exciting and there is a lot more that I am willing to learn and teach.
P.S. I am 56 years old and a grandmother of six.

More power to the 50's!!!!!

W. M. Mitchell-Samuel

How great the number 13 is. I was born on Friday 4/13, fifty six years ago. Maybe that's why I am so blessed.
All Friday's the 13th is my lucky day.

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