David Bruce: The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Art, Babies, Birth, Birthdays


• Vincent van Gogh once gave a painting to a friend named Anton Kerssemakers, who pointed out that he hadn’t signed the painting. Mr. van Gogh replied, “Actually, it isn’t necessary — they will surely recognize my work later on and write about me when I am dead and gone.”

• Pop artist Andy Warhol was a cat person. He and his mother kept a couple of dozen cats in the apartment they shared together. All of the cats were named Sam.


• When children’s book author Tomie DePaola was in kindergarten, his parents brought home a baby sister for him. At the baby’s baptism, little Tomie saw the priest pour water on his baby sister’s head, and so he wanted water poured on his head. Hearing him, the priest promised, “Little boy, if you’re quiet you can have anything you want after the ceremony.” Knowing little Tomie, his dad said, “Big mistake, Father.” Tomie was quiet, and when the priest asked what he wanted after the ceremony, Tomie said, “Baby Jesus,” by which he meant the baby Jesus in the church’s nativity scene. Of course, Tomie couldn’t have that particular baby Jesus, but his parents bought him another one at Woolworth’s.

• When a family had a baby, their young son insisted on having a private time with the new baby. Of course, the parents were afraid that their young son was jealous of the new baby and might try to hurt it, so they unobtrusively hid and watched their young son as he was “alone” with the new baby. However, the boy did not try to hurt the baby. All he did was request, “Tell me what it was like. I’m beginning to forget.”

• Jimmy Piersall was a Red Sox outfielder who had 10 children and was intimately familiar with changing cloth diapers, so he had the perfect qualifications to teach Yankee catcher Yogi Berra how to diaper a child: “Yog, you take a diaper and put it in the shape of a baseball diamond. Take the baby’s bottom and put it on the pitcher’s mound. Take first base and pin it to third. Take home and slide it to second.”


• Marty Links was a woman who created a comic strip titled Bobby Sox about a teenager. She was a member of the National Cartoonists Society, and after giving birth to her first child, she mailed the members of the NCS an announcement, so she was somewhat annoyed when they kept sending her mail addressed to Mr. Links. (She even considered sending them her measurements in an attempt to get them to get her sex right.)

• In 1969, New York Met Ron Swoboda became a proud father. The birth occurred back home in New York at 1 a.m. at the same time that Mr. Swoboda was playing an away game in Los Angeles at 10 p.m. due to the three-hour time difference on the coasts. On the scoreboard flashed this message: “Congratulations, Ron Swoboda. Your new son was born tomorrow morning.”


• William C. McVeigh and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Hills, Arizona, where they had 14 children. Three of their children, Robert, Charles, and James, were born on December 4, but in different years. As the boys were growing up, each year on their birthday the family would bring a birthday cake, sing “Happy Birthday” to Bobby, then take four candles off the cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to Charlie, and finally take three more candles off the cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jimmy.

• When Yoshiko Uchida, author of Journey to Topaz, was a little girl, her grandmother celebrated her 88thbirthday. Little Yoshiko worried about how her grandmother would blow out all those candles on her birthday cake, but when the time came, her grandmother simply took a fan and with one sweep of her arm blew out all the candles. (Her grandmother was always prepared. In her closet was a very nice black dress. Pinned on it was this note: “This one is for my trip to Heaven.”)


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: The Stan Laurels — Red-Handed Puppet”


Music: “Red-Handed Puppet”


Artist: The Stan Laurels

Artist Location: Austin, Texas

Info: “The Beatles, Breeders, Zombies, Kinks, Cars, and Debussy make up just some of the layers of the Warhol-esque sonic power-pop art painting that is The Stan Laurels, the musical creation of earthling Sound Scientist John Lathrop of Austin, TX, USA.”

“THERE IS NO LIGHT WITHOUT THE DARK is the fourth full-length studio album by John Lathrop as The Stan Laurels and marks his debut on the Big Stir Records label.”

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $11 (USD) for 12-track album





The Stan Laurels on Bandcamp


Big Stir Records