“Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer”

 

The book

 

My father-in-law passed this item on to me.

 

Although, obviously, I don’t want to allow the deep and fundamental religious significance of Christmas to be lost, that doesn’t mean that I ignore the aspects of the holiday that are simply good fun for children:

 

A man named Bob May, depressed and broken hearted,
 
Stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling
 
December night.
 
His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap
 
Quietly sobbing. Bob’s 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 to 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 Marks, made a song
 
Adaptation to Rudolph..
 
Though the song was turned down by such popular
 
Vocalists as Bing Crosby and DinahShore , 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.

 

The song

 

Posted from St. George, Utah

 

 

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  • AuntSue

    No wonder Rudolph was so successful! It came from the true pain of his heart and the deep love he had for his daughter. How great for Montgomery Ward to give him back the rights. And his brother-in-law set it to music. This story just gets better and better. Rudolph .does light the way.


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