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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Mark  Daniels

The best post I'll read this summer? Hmmm.

For me, a house is a place where I live. I share it with the people I love. But I could live and share my life anywhere. If I could not only cover my house but my yard with plastic, that would suit me just fine. It wouldn't be aesthetically pleasing. But I could live with that state of affairs, no problem.

One exception to this indifference to having a place of my own: I do like trees and have gotten attached to them on our property. I haven't liked it when we've had to cut them down.

Other than that, it's hard for me to identify with Sippican's post. I remember when my wife and I bought our current house, the first place we've ever owned. People congratualted us. I said, "Thank you," but apart from the building of equity, I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. I still don't.



De gustibus non disputandum est.



I don't think you have to identify with the post, or the way Sippican feels about his house, to have your thoughts provoked by this comment on our culture:

According to the cult of the adolescent, to which we are all expected to pay obeisance unto death, it's the wanting phase of my life I'm supposed to prolong as long as I can manage it. I'm supposed to pretend there is no finish line, and simply ask the starter to fire the pistol over and over again, so I can know the thrill of beginning over and over again. I demur.


Mark, my blogfriend, I think this might be one of the rare, rare occasions where you've perhaps missed something. I'm thinking it's possible that you were a bit too literal in your reading? I think Sip was speaking more metaphorically, or at least using it to point to greater truths about maturity, growing older, and life itself. The "material" is just a jumping off point for addressing the more inchoate and vastly more important.

Now whether it's the best post of the summer--who knows? (No offense, Sip or Amba.) There are still a couple of months to go and ya never know.

But that doesn't take away from the wisdom of the post in any way.

Mark  Daniels

As usual, I could be wrong. Sippican is certainly a wonderful writer--far better than me, for sure-- and there is some vivid imagery in the piece.

But it seems to me that our problem isn't our longing. Hopefully, we will always have longings. Maturity can be seen in that for which we long, I think. (I can't say for sure, since I'm still growing up.)


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