Arab Today, arab today mulberry street may fade
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Mulberry Street May Fade

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Arab Today, arab today Mulberry Street May Fade

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He meant the real Mulberry Street, the one that inspired the first of Dr. Seuss’ 44 children’s books. I started to think what I might see on Mulberry Street. Truffula trees? Gerald McGrew? Gertrude McFuzz? A Once-ler or two? That’s the thing about Dr. Seuss. He gets in your head and stays there. I was listening to the radio last week when I heard an announcer say that this year is the 75th anniversary of the publication of “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” Dr. Seuss has sold 600 million books, so I figured there had to be something going on Mulberry Street. Springfield is where Ted Geisel was born in 1904 and thought his formative thoughts, before going off to Dartmouth in 1921 and becoming Dr. Seuss. I planned to reread several Seuss books for the visit, including “The Sneetches,” but could not find our copy. It turned out that one of my 21-year-old twins, Adam, had taken it with him to college. Dr. Seuss books aren’t primarily schoolbooks. They’re read-to-your-children-in-bed books. Christin LaRocque, a librarian at the Central branch in downtown Springfield, says Seuss books need to be replaced more often than any others — they wear out or disappear. Dr. Seuss is good for most anything that ails a child. To paraphrase Sylvester McMonkey McBean: He’s heard of your troubles, he’s heard you’re unhappy, but he can fix that all up, he’s the Fix-It-Up Chappie. Ms. LaRocque’s theory on why kids love Dr. Seuss: He’s very silly. Anyone trying to help children write should read Dr. Seuss with them. You learn that it is not enough to see what you’ve written. The words should play in your head until you hear what you’ve written. From, “If I Ran the Circus:” And now Here! In the cage Is a beast most ferocious Who’s known far and wide As the Spotted Atrocious. Springfield today is mostly poor and run-down, but on a tour, Mr. McLain, the historian, conjured a city from a century ago that was one of the country’s great manufacturing centers. The Indian company built the first motorcycles here, the ones Dr. Seuss drew for the policeman who escorted Marco’s parade down Mulberry Street. The rifles the hunters used to capture Thidwick the big-hearted moose were made at the Springfield Armory and used by American troops in World War I. The earliest motorized cars and tractors were built in Springfield. Everett Barney, who donated miles of wooded land to the city for Forest Park — where Ted Geisel and his friends played as children — became rich by inventing clip-on ice skates and manufacturing them here. Anything must have seemed possible and inventable in the Springfield where Dr. Seuss grew up. That spirit fills his books. Mr. McMonkey McBean invents the Star On and Star Off machines. Young Gerald McGrew builds a Skeegle-mobile to fill his new zoo and a Cooker-mobile to catch a Natch. The publication of “Mulberry Street” is a lesson in perseverance. The manuscript was rejected by 27 publishers. Dr. Seuss was about to burn it when a classmate from Dartmouth, who was new to the children’s book business, bought it. By the time it was published, in 1937, the author was 33. Despite an excellent review in The New York Times, the royalties for the book came to just $3,500 by 1943. Dr. Seuss was not one to sit in a garret waiting to be discovered. In the decade before “Mulberry Street,” he made a good living writing and drawing advertisements for Standard Oil, Vico Motor Oil, Flit bug spray and Narragansett beer. As Charles D. Cohen points out in his illustrated biography, many of the characters that would fill the Dr. Seuss children’s books first appeared in advertisements. In 1932, an ad he drew for the Warren Telechron clock company featured the same man who would ride the cart down Mulberry Street. For Daggett and Ramsdell beauty products, he drew a machine that made women beautiful and looked a lot like Mr. McMonkey McBean’s Star On and Star Off machines from “The Sneetches” 40 years later.  

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