Person of the Century...

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Tue, 18 Jan 2000 02:16:12 +0000

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Now lets think about who should be California's 'Person of the

Wishes & Dreams...


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  ------- Forwarded foolishness follows -------

He Could, He Should Be California's Guy...
How could that be, you ask me why. 
He tops them all, I say with a sigh. 
No one has brought more joy than he. 
Hats off to the Doc of the century! 

By Greg Lucas, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Sunday, July 18, 1999 

Today we pick California's Person of the Century. 

With the Legislature out of town, at last attention can be turned toward 
grander, less tawdry topics. 

Some of those big newsmagazines have been piddling around searching for
a guy or gal of the century. What is puzzling is that in a nation whose
citizens routinely proclaim government has no relevance to their lives,
most of the suggestions for Century Guy or Gal are politicians. 

Round up the usual suspects: FDR, Hitler, Ronald McPresident, Sir
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. 

Winnie was actually Time Magazine's Man of the First Half of This
Century. He kept the Free World alive with bluff and oratory. But hey,
what has he done since 1965? 

Of course, FDR hasn't done much since 1944. And Adolf - he keeps a
pretty low profile down there at the coffee plantation in Argentina.
Einstein. Gandhi. King. Jonas Salk. They get a few votes. 

But who should be California's Centurion? 

John Muir? Cool beard. Beautiful writer. Protector of Yosemite and the 
Sierra. Bummer about Hetch Hetchy, though. 

Randy Collier? State senator from Yreka. Chair of the transportation 
committee that created our network of highways. Father of our freeways. 

Herbert Hoover? Hey, come on, he went to Stanford. He's got a building
down there named after him and everything. 

Pat Brown? Unburdened by the environmental quality act and draft EIRs,
he was the builder of great universities and massive water projects. 

Richard M. Nixon? Wrote a few foreign policy books. Visited China.
President for awhile, if memory serves. 

Hiram Johnson? Turn-of-the-century reformer who fought the railroads and

Earl Warren? Swell attorney general. Good governor. Great chief justice. 

Jerry Garcia? Master doodler. Guitar wizard. 


Uncle George? 

Those techno-alchemists who found gold in Silicon Valley? 

No way. 

Forget the politicians, the inventors, the movie stars, the corporate
robber barons, the Internet entrepreneurs. California's Century Guy is
Theodor Geisel. Hands down. No question. 

No Californian has touched the lives of more people all over this tiny 
blue-green world in this century and, most likely, the next than Ted

Like many great Californians, Geisel was born somewhere else and
immigrated here, ultimately settling in La Jolla. 

All Ted Geisel did was draw pictures and write books - 47 of them to be 
precise. More than 100 million copies sold in 18 languages. He wrote
under the name of Dr. Seuss. 

He made reading fun for mommies and daddies and especially kiddos. And
what books they are. The good doctor took on more heavy issues than most 
politicians ever will. 

Is there any more eloquent denunciation of prejudice than the Sneetches?
Has the folly of blind obstinance been better portrayed than in 'The

Has anyone heard a better call to environmental action than reading
about those brown bar-ba-loots in their bar-ba-loot suits cavorting
around the truffula trees in 'The Lorax'? 

How about 'Yertle the Turtle' and its depiction of real and perceived

Is there a more sublime skewering of the madness of mutually assured 
destruction than 'The Butter Battle Book'? 

Who has proved better than the Grinch that holidays are measured by the
heart and not by the size of the stacks of store-bought gifts? 

Or just the simple courage to stand by your convictions in the face of 
universal denunciation like Horton when he hears those Whos and
steadfastly protects them? 

All that aside, you just have to love a guy who, on a $50 bet, writes a
book using only 50 words. That would be 'Green Eggs and Ham' - 'Huevos
Verdes con Jamon' in the Spanish edition. 

Show me a 20th century Californian who has done more to better this
planet than Dr. Seuss. 

Dig the good doctor talking about his craft: 

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary 
ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong
end of the telescope, which is what I do, and that's what enables you to
laugh at life's realities." 

On behalf of kiddos young and old, this one's for you, Doc. 

We will read you on a train. 
We will read you in the rain. 
We will read you with a goat. 
We will read you on a boat. 
We will read you in a car. 
We will read you on a star. 
We will read you here and there. 
And someday, maybe, everywhere.

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