02 February 2010

Old Mother West Wind

I just found out that 2010 is the 100th anniversary of the publication of "Old Mother West Wind" by Thornton Burgess. Now, I realize that some of you imaginary readers out there may never have heard of this crown jewel among books and royal gem among childrens authors, but keep in mind that I lived in the world Burgess created for a good part of my childhood - and I've been trying to get back there ever since I left - so bear with me while I rant on the greatness of the occasion. Burgess was born in 1874 (January, so I missed his birthday) and died in 1965. Because he had to support himself and his mother, he took a lot of different jobs as early as his teens. Some of the jobs were out of doors, one of them being at Discovery Hill Road, a wood-and-wetland nature preserve. This became the setting for some of the best. Children stories. Ever. Burgess was an original conservation NINJA and received several awards for his efforts. He grew up in Sandwich, MA, and there's now a museum and nature center there, kept up by the Thornton Burgess Society. And boy, do I consider myself lucky to have been there several times, even if it was over ten years ago. (Pictured is Blacky the Crow, one of my personal favorites of the Burgess characters.)

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