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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Sissy Willis

And yonder all before us lye
Highways of vast Eternity . . .

Let us roll all our Strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one Blog . . .

Thus, though we cannot make our Sun 45
Stand still, yet we will make him post.


Going to my 25th this summer. Based on the listserv my class has been gabbing on, I expect to see dozens of masters of the universe at the peak of their powers. There's also been lots of heartache (the death of children, devastating illness -- in a word, Life), and more than a few classmates have passed on. The main theme has been . . . yep: the accelerating pace of Time.

michael reynolds

The Floyd:

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.


amba, my eyes filled as I read this. Perhaps because it is oh, too true. Perhaps because I've been wrestling with this devil myself a lot lately. Perhaps because of loves and fortunes and lives lost. I do not fear death, but I am not done with living yet. I fear it may be done with me...


I doubt it, Winston. I hope not. It's the ironic fate of most of us to be here for 20 to 30 more years, it's just that they're going to go by at warp speed.


It makes me sad, too- the way, in a way- I can't wait for a certain day to end. Knowing that's stupid- I'll never get another like today.

I just get tired.

Then, to counter Floyd (which I find phenomonal):
Life is like a roll of toilet paper... the closer to the end you get- the faster it goes.

Winston- I hope it's a phase you're feeling- i will be thinking of you and praying for you're health. We just can't quit, you know?


It's a natural mathematical fact of accumulating years and experience.

For a person just turning five years old, the past year was 20% of their total time out of the womb, and most likely better than half of the time they really remember.

Take that same person at their fifty-fifth birthday and that past year is but a small fraction (less than 2% now) of all their years and experience.

So as a percentage of what you've already experienced, yesterday was shorter than the day before, and tomorrow will be shorter still.

So in other words chalk it up to observational bias, and really it beats the alternative.

(Karen's quip about the toilet paper roll is a more easily observed (and funnier) illustration of the same mathematical phenomena)


Amba, this is a wonderful piece. It reminds me that time is all illusion anyway. It reinforces for me that each moment I have is precious. I became aware a while back that whenever I have a conversation with someone it could be my last ... and so I make sure to tell my loved ones that I love them.

" is on my side" ... or is it?

I love you, Amba ...

Richard Lawrence Cohen

A moving and true post and comments. I've found an exception in my own life, though, to the rule that time goes faster as you age. Although I find it's true when I'm looking ahead, or just looking where I am and watching days pass under my feet like the ground under a train, when I look backward the distance from now to any past point seems vast. It's March but December seems like ages ago. Maybe this has something to do with failing memory -- I'd have to strain to remember what I was doing last December -- but it also feels like I've been doing a lot, changing rapidly, the time has been full.


That's the other side of it that I have also observed but didn't mention. Thank you for mentioning it. I'm going to add it.


Oh my God, I can't believe how much I relate to every word in this piece. It's so scary to me how fast the weeks, months, and years seem to be passing by. I often feel like I'm in one of those montage scenes in a black-and-white Busby Berkely movie where the pages of the calendar are flying away in quick succession. Then I start playing these mind games with myself: if the time from when my 11-year-old daughter was born up until now seems like 10 minutes, then 10 minutes from now she'll be 22. This causes me to panic and start grieving her lost childhood. Taken to its ridiculous extreme, I will then ignore the 11-year-old girl sitting there next to me because I'm freaking out about her being an adult. Then I will get a grip and do what it takes to stop the constantly accelerating clock in my head and appreciate the joys and realities of the here and now. I also do this with my older relatives. I look at them and immediately see them much older at their deaths like in the last episode of "Six Feet Under" which terrifies me to no end. I have never been as fearful as the future as I am these days. I'm working hard at living in the moment even as I feel time slipping through my fingers like sand.

Mata H

I am 56 and a cancer survivor (had it and cured it at age 32). This has perhaps revealed certain perspectives to me that I might not have otherwise had. I really do celebrate the advancing years. They almost didn't advance. I've been to many funerals in my life of people who would have dearly wished to be alive on this crummy, cold, misty day at any age. I know the feeling of seeing less years in front of me than behind me, but as each moment is a gift, not an entitlement, I plan to live these moments as fully as I can - despite whatever limitations face me. And if the limitations of this life become unbearable, I will happily snuff my own life's candle. Sure, time goes quickly, and sure I am attending more funerals than I used to, and yes, I feel the limitations of time. But I guess I just feel so damned lucky to have any time at all that I thank God I have the chance to see things through. So many do not.


Danny- you mention your older relatives... mine are all gone; my Dad's the youngest of 10 kids and all those French-Canadian gatherings are gone. He's the last of his line. The relatives that had all moved away to the cities- who would visit w/their citified kids and snappy poodle in the summers- gone.

So, as you grip the present and future- I grasp the past in futility. They were a wild, drinking foolish bunch and- what a treasure of memories. I feel badly for my kids- no great memories of crazy relatives.

My Mom, though- she would probably feel the opposite of me :0). She played hostess.


Mata -- thank you for the perspective!!

I felt that way when Dana Reeve died.


Karen -- share as many of those memories as you can. Shape them into great legends for your kids -- Write them down or tape record them before you get to our age and forget !! :)



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