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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Peter Hoh

I love these little stories. Thanks!


If I had labels, or categories, this one might be "Fun With Dementia."

Randy (Internet Ronin)

If she rings back, I assume that you'll let us know.

Randy (Internet Ronin)

If she rings back, I assume that you'll let us know.

Theo Boehm

Not to creep you out, but the first thing I thought of is the Twilight Zone episode "Long Distance Call"—you know, the one where the little boy is talking to his dead grandmother on the toy phone.  The moment that really got me is when Mom grabs the toy phone and hears grandma.

Anyway, like most Twilight Zones, it has a hopeful ending.  It also has a rather classical view of death, not as an end but as the Other Side.  It's an obvious variant of the Orpheus story:  Instead of persuading the gods to allow a live person to try to bring back a dead one to rejoin him in the land of the living, this show has live people persuading someone dead to not take a live child with her to her world.  And, in this case, everyone presumably lives (or is dead) happily ever after.  No phone bills, either.

Most endings of Orpheus stories are a lot messier, with the Maenads tearing him to pieces during a Bacchic orgy.

Imagine that on 1961 television.

Theo Boehm

Pardon the correction, but I should have said, "...hopeful or at least ambiguous ending. We are often left hanging or unresolved, but complete tragedy is the least preferred conclusion."

Damn cut and paste. Sorry.

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