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,

about Dunkirk,

written down by a reporter.

The legend was actually invented by:

Paul Gallico.

Several years later,

home on a visit from my job overseas,

my family and I watched The Posidon Adventure.

Again:

Paul Gallico.

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,”

Inge Meysel

The film:

Mrs. ‘Arris Goes To Paris.

Paul Gallico.

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.

Yup.

Paul Gallico.

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

who,

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.

Joyous,

happy,

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.

And

J.K.Rowling,

Harry Potter’s mother,

counts Manx Mouse by Gallico as among her favorite books.

Who knows?

Maybe,

like Thomasina,

his books have a couple of lives left in them yet.

 

copyright Dunnasead.co 2016

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