December 16th, 2010

True Story of Rudolph

I thought this story was interesting and has a meaning.

Love to all my readers. Have a wonderful Holiday.




True, according to

 Don’t know if you have ever read this story or not.  It is always interesting to me to learn the origin of some things and to hear the story behind how they began.

** ** True Story of  Rudolph ** **

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old  daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing.   Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.  Little Barbara couldn’t  understand why her mommy could never come home  Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and  asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s  Mommy?”  Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.  Her question  brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had  been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be  different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob  was often bullied by other boys.   He was too  little at the time to compete in sports.  He was  often  called names he’d rather not remember.

From childhood, Bob  was different and never  seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving  wife and was grateful to  get his job as a copywriter at   Montgomery Ward during  the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was  all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all  their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a  two-room apartment in the   Chicago  slums. Evelyn  died just days before  Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift.  But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined a make one – a storybook!  Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope.  Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling.  Who was the character?  What was the story all about?  The story Bob May created  was his own autobiography in fable form.  The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was.  The name of the character?  A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.   Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day.  But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of   Montgomery  Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book.  Wards went on to print, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores.  By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph.  That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.  

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May.  The book became a best seller.  Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing  family, became wealthy from  the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.  But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Mark s, made a song adaptation to
Rudolph.  Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and   Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.  “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”  was released in 1949 and  became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other  Christmas song, with the exception of  “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again.  And Bob May learned the  lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad.  In fact, being different can  be a blessing.  Now  you know!

                   *_MERRY CHRISTMAS 2010 _*





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