I was raised with Thomasina the cat.
Most children of my generation were.
Like Greyfriars Bobby,
Or National Velvet,
it was a combination of animal legend, morals to live by, and a just plain good children’s story.
I had no idea at the time it was the work of Paul Gallico.
Many years later, home for Christmas from college,
I watched the Snow Goose with my family.
A beautiful story that many still, to this day, think was a legend,
written down by a reporter.
The legend was actually invented by:
Several years later,
home on a visit from my job overseas,
my family and I watched The Posidon Adventure.
And, to my embarrasment,
the penny still didn’t drop when,
after our wedding and moving into a new apartment,
I took time out,
out of exhaustion,
to have a cup of tea,
and watch a much pre-publicized tv film with
the beloved German actress
and “mother of the nation,”
Mrs. ‘Arris Goes To Paris.
And just recently?
Recovering from an unexpected serious illness?
I took out a book I had found in a second-hand book shop in London,
and dragged back here to Gutenberg Land,
just because it sounded like my kind of book.
Removed as a film critic because his reviews were too “smart alecky”
sent as a sports reporter to the training camp of Jack Dempsey,
where he let himself be knocked out to get a better story,
writer for the Saturday Evening Post,
correspondent from England, Mexico, Lichtenstein, and Monaco.
First generation New Yorker
of Italian-Austrian parents.
And the book that I chose,
dragged back home,
and am still thoroughly enjoying?
The Adventures of Hiram Holliday-
The fairy tale-like story of a newspaper proof reader
due to his meticulousness,
helps his newspaper save millions in a lawsuit,
then takes his huge bonus,
and travels the world,
battling Nazis, spies, evil princes and counts,
winning swash-buckling sword fights on the Appian way,
and all with the attitude of:
I read all about it in an article-
I should be able to do this.
perfect for life changes.
I hope someone finally reprints Paul Gallico
before my next major birthday arrives.
Ps: while checking facts for the above, I additionally discovered that:
Peter Capaldi, of Dr Who fame,
co-starred in the film version of Mrs. Caldicot’s Cabbage War,
written by: Paul Gallico, of course.
Harry Potter’s mother,
counts Manx Mouse by Gallico as among her favorite books.
his books have a couple of lives left in them yet.
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