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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Wow, is that irritating. We're either atomizing or atrophying; dying from our inability to distinguish between liberty and freedom.

I feel about marriage and kids the way our dad seems to feel about the Army: a sometimes disturbing, always difficult human condition that was the most vivid chapter of his life.

As Jacques once famously said, in a plaintive voice: "I miss Fort Dix..."

These people sound as though they're trapped in a hell far worse than most commitments could concoct.


What David said.


Catholics get it wrong, too, sometimes. I know. I did.

It's our ideal that's so high. The closer to that ideal- the closer to God, i guess.

I like that philosophy :0).


I think the guy in that last link was drunk.


I read Jones's essay as a humor piece but then this wouldn't be the first time I took for comedy something meant in earnest... or vice versa.

Sincere thanks for the links to the superb posts by Ruth Anne, Tak, and Sip -- top shelf writers each.

Tom Strong

Generally, I think mountain climbers are one of the worst subsets of people to go to for wisdom. And yet, I've always loved this quote.


I embarked on this journey less than a year ago, terrified (because of insidious cultural subtext like this) and yet terrified not to (because I had found my person, and I knew it.) I did not expect this first little stretch to be so very full of potholes and dead ends and closed gas stations and empty wallets and overheated engines, stalled out by the side of the road. But there is no other road I want to be on, and no other person to help with the flat tires and share the stale sandwiches while watching the sunrise.
I read stuff like this now, and finally recognize that it *does* miss the point. I'm glad I've learned better.

Tom - Great quote. I usually don't trust mountain climbers' advice either.


Tom -- hasn't your last year or two borne that right out?!

meade - Tak had one or two other posts about marriage that were even closer to Sip's in spirit, but I don't know where they are -- probably lost with his former incarnation. Actually, I had a quote from one of the vanished ones in a post of mine -- in order not to blow what's left of his threadbare cover, I'll re-post the quote with incriminating details deleted:

I mutated when I became a father. The old [M.Tak.] -- let's call him calm, well-rested [M.Tak.] -- went away and was replaced by this new [M.Tak.]: the screaming crazy person. But I changed when I met my wife, too. One minute I was skirt-chasing guy, and then suddenly I was committed guy. I was pretty much happy in all those various conditions. But -- and I think this is why married people annoy single people, and breeders annoy non-breeders -- I was happy as different people, living with different sets of facts. It wasn't ever just [M.Tak.] + Wife =. It wasn't [M.Tak.] + Kids =. If it's math, then "wife" and "kids" are each entire blackboards full of complex equations.

maria -- part of my trouble was that I wasn't sure I had "found my person." I had romantic notions of what that meant. It was more like my challenging and sometimes terrifying fate had found me, and I rebelled against it -- within it -- for an amazingly long time. (At this point I often think of the plaintive, nasal honking of the duck, played by the oboe, from inside the wolf in "Peter and the Wolf."


I didn't believe that anyone had a person to find before Pete - and I'm not exactly sure I do always for everyone. Except that I'm here now, and he is my person now for better or worse, as they say. There is still lots of yelling and anger around wrong turns and blown tires. But sometimes I think it's all a bit like the Calvinism vs. Armenianism debate in Christian circles. If the commitment is there, you end up in the same place regardless of route.

Oboe honking from inside the wolf. Wonderful image. Well. Not wonderful in *that* way ...

m. takhallus

Someone needs to tell my wife that I'm being quoted approvingly on the topic of marriage and child rearing. The woman could use a good laugh.

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