David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families, Volume 2 — Children

Children

• When Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, was nine years old, he started collecting Buck Rogers comic strips. However, when some schoolmates started teasing him about his collection, he tore it up. He felt bad about doing this, and he cried — and he decided to follow his bliss from then on and not worry about what other people thought of him.

• As a student, Arthur Mitchell once happily danced a Military Tap Salute at his public school; unfortunately, midway through the number, he forgot his routine. He handled it well. He simply told the audience, “You’ll have to excuse me. It could happen to anyone. It’s because I’m not a professional.” (Later, of course, he became a professional.)

• Michelle Trachtenberg, young co-star of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, knew at an early age that she wanted to be an actress. When she was three years old, she watched a TV commercial in which a little girl braided Barbie’s hair. She told her parents that she wanted to be on television, and, she says, “I wouldn’t move until I was told I could be.”

• One of the closest Presidential elections in history took place when John F. Kennedy defeated Richard M. Nixon. Even after Mr. Kennedy went to bed and awoke the morning after election day, no one was sure who had won — except for Caroline, Mr. Kennedy’s young daughter, who greeted him with, “Good morning, Mr. President.”

• Children love to be read to. When the young grandson of young people’s author Judy Blume learned how to read (on his own!), he tried to keep it secret because he was afraid that no one would read to him anymore. Of course, Judy and others reassured him and kept on reading to him, including every night before he went to sleep.

• Many dancers got started in dance for the same reason that Martha Graham dancer Jane Dudley did. She was an energetic young girl, and her mother hoped that dance lessons would use up some of that abundant energy. In fact, when Jane was a little girl, her mother’s nickname for her was “Janie Wiggle.”

• When she was a child, Merrill Ashley took the study of ballet seriously and wore her hair in a bun even at school. Her school newspaper once made a list of notable personalities among the students, including Miss Popularity, Miss Congeniality, and Miss Hospitality. Young Merrill was Miss Bun.

• When Jackie Bouvier (later known as Jackie Kennedy Onassis) was very young, she wandered away from her nanny and baby sister in New York City’s Central Park. A police officer asked her, “Are you lost, little girl?” Young Jackie replied, “No, but my nurse and baby sister are.”

• Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury loved children, and children loved him. One little girl heard that he was coming for a visit, so she ran home and shouted, “Mother, I want my face washed and a clean apron on, for Bishop Asbury is coming and I am sure he will hug me up.”

• In his book More Funny People, comedian Steve Allen tells a story about a time when David, his then-four-year-old son, caused trouble and Mr. Allen asked him, “What do you think you are anyway, a little baby?” His son replied, “I’m not a little baby. I’m a big baby.”

• When he was a child, the parents of comedian Chris Rock took in foster children, and they treated them like their own children. One day, young Chris came home, and a strange kid in the yard told him, “I’m your brother.” Chris asked, “Who are you?”

• Each morning, Linda Pace and her young children prayed. One morning, her three-year-old son prayed, “God, please help Sissy not to suck her thumb.” Hearing that, Sissy prayed, “And, God, please help my brother to stop reminding me.”

• J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, was born in South Africa. Shortly after he was born, a family servant “borrowed” him so he could show him to his friends and neighbors — they had never seen a white baby.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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