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Visual Stories

 My father, George, had often created original Christmas and birthday presents for his three sons. In 1959, he wrote and drew The Nick and Tom Pajama Story a charming tale that demonstrates how my father could have made a career out of writing children's books. (One of his earliest visual stories was "Nick & Tom at the  Beach," a tale he would narrate using slides. Even without his naration, the tale of crime and punishment is universal.) He created other books for us and one of my favorites is the one reproduced here, Tom's 14th The reproduction does not do justice to the book: the original pages are 14 x 16 inches, so it was an impressive size when George gave it to me for my 14th birthday. Only its size has been diminished, however, not its silly charm. He told me that he had gone to a film memorabilia shop and bought a collection of odd photos involving characters i was a obsessed with at the time: Charlie Chan, Tarzan, and Sherlock Holmes. In the true spirit of improvisation, he concocted the bizarre story of the trunk-breaking Tarzan and Jane. George's favorite line: "My God! They broke his trunk." The absurd was my dad's specialty.