David Bruce Anecdotes
• Texas actor Marco Perella once performed in a children’s show featuring a dog named Wishbone. Since the dog is the star, the show is named after it. Mr. Perella once made a mistake on the scene: He started to pet the dog. Quickly, he learned that the major rule on the set was DON’T TOUCH THE DOG. Of course, there is a reason for the rule. So many people are around Wishbone all day that if everyone petted him he would soon have bald spots all over his body.
• Throughout her career, Nikki Giovanni has dedicated her many books of poetry and essays to people she has known and admired. She dedicated Spin a Soft Black Song to Wendy, her female cairn terrier, so the dog wouldn’t feel left out.
• When her father, Theodore Roosevelt, was President of the United States, Alice, his young daughter, ran around the White House with Emily Spinach, her pet snake, wrapped around her neck.
• James Howe wrote his first book, Bunnicula, about a vampire bunny, just for fun. (What does a vampire bunny attack? Vegetables!) No wonder. When he was 10 years old, he was a founding member (with his two best friends) of a club called the Vampire Legion. As a professional writer, he gets to write at home, where his wife, Betsy Imershein, a professional photographer, has an office next to his. Another member of the family with an “office,” which was really a playroom, was Zoe, their daughter (when she was very young). She used to frequently visit her parents’ offices, and they would frequently take breaks with Zoe so they could go outside, sit on the “reading rock,” and read stories out loud. (By the way, Betsy is James’ first editor. She will read the pages he has written, attach a paperclip to a page she wants to discuss, and then give her husband her opinion of and advice about what he has written. When he lifts a manuscript he has given her and notices that it is heavy (because of the weight of the paperclips), he knows that he is in for a lot of discussion — or, as he calls it, “trouble.”
• Children’s book author Ann M. Martin, creator of the Babysitters Club series of books, loved books and libraries even when she was a child. In fact, she set up her own lending library in her bedroom for the children in her neighborhood. She lent her own books to other children — and she collected fines when the children returned overdue books!
• When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island, he knew he was writing for children, so he didn’t put in any profanity, although some of his main characters were pirates. In addition, he didn’t put any women in the story — at the express wish of his young stepson, Lloyd.
• Following a New York-Baltimore baseball game, Jerry Coleman interviewed two baseball wives on his show titled The Yankee Wrap-up. In particular, he asked about whether it was difficult having a family when the husband was on the road so much traveling with his team. One wife said, “When he’s away, I have to take charge of everything. I have to be pretty much the man in the family.” Mr. Coleman commented, “I suppose you do have to wear the pants in the family at that time.” The wife then added, “Yes, but when he comes home, I take them off.”
• Jack Olsen, author of Over the Fence is Out, remembers playing baseball as a kid. In kids’ baseball when he was growing up long ago, if you owned the baseball (and usually there was only one baseball per group of kids back then), you were the pitcher. In one game, young Jack had given up 12 runs in one inning, so his catcher came out and told him, “I think you’re losing your stuff.” Young Jack asked, “Whose ball we using?” The catcher was forced to admit, “It’s yours.” Young Jack said, “Then I ain’t losing my stuff,” and he continued to pitch.
• Some kids start out in sports very early. Seattle Mariner Alex Rodriguez was given his first baseball when he was only two years old. Alex’ older brother motivated him to become a better ballplayer. When playing together, his older brother would let Alex get ahead, but at the end of the game he would pull ahead and win. Losing made young Alex cry and want to be a better ballplayer — he also cried when he had to stop playing baseball for the day.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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