David Bruce: Be a Work of Art — Fathers, Feminism, Games


• In 2010, graphic designer Anthony Herrera took his family on a trip to Sequoia National Park. He and his little daughter are fans of the Star Wars series of movies, and Mr. Herrera told his little daughter that Sequoia National Park was where the Ewoks — the teddy bear-like species that appeared in Return of the Jedi — lived. His little daughter kept looking for Ewoks, but unfortunately, she did not see any. Mr. Herrera explained to her that the Ewoks are a shy species and therefore few people ever see them. He took lots of photos during the trip, and when they got home, he used Photoshop to add hidden Ewoks to some of the photos. In Mr. Herrera’s words, “After we got home, and after I had a little time alone with the photos, I told her I thought I saw something strange in a few pictures. We viewed them on the TV to get a larger image. You can imagine how surprised and excited she was when we discovered that we didn’t see any Ewoks, but they saw us, and had certainly taken an interest in her and her little brother. Maybe I’m a little wrong for lying to her and falsifying the pictures, but I don’t care. She’ll never forget the time she spent in the big woods with Ewoks.”

• Pablo Picasso first learned about art from his father, Don José Ruiz Blasco, who would take a real pigeon’s feet, pin them on a board, and have young Pablo draw them. Pablo also played a game with his young relatives. They would name an animal, and he would either draw it or cut it out of paper with scissors. Frequently, his father would start a drawing, then have his son finish it. When Pablo was 13 years old, he completed a drawing of a pigeon that his father had begun. His father looked at the drawing and realized that Pablo had surpassed him as an artist. Therefore, he gave his art supplies to his son and stopped creating art.

• Even at six months old, Tiger Woods was learning how to be a golfer. As Tiger sat in a highchair, his father, Earl, demonstrated to him how to hit golf balls. When Tiger was old enough to swing his first golf club — a putter with the top of the handle sawn off — he wiggled the club twice before hitting the ball, exactly as his father was accustomed to do. His father says, “His first swing was a perfect imitation of mine. It was like looking at myself in a miniature mirror.”

• When young-people’s author Jean Little was growing up, she liked to read and write, but her stories tended to be about elves, leading her father to advise her, “Write about what you know.” She immediately wrote a story about a father and a daughter — and elves. But she discovered that she enjoyed writing about the father and daughter more than she did writing about the elves.


• At the very first modern Olympic Games in 1896, a woman named Melpomene wanted to compete in the marathon, but no women were allowed to compete back then. She ran anyway — not on the road the men ran on, but off to the side, so often she had no decent surface to run on. She finished one-and-a-half hours behind the winner.

• Celebrated female jockey Julianne Krone was sometimes asked, “How does it feel to be a girl jockey?” She always replied, “Let’s see, when I was a boy jockey it felt like that, and now that I’m a girl jockey it feels like this.”


• Frank Benson was the manager of a traveling Shakespearean troupe and a lover of sports. He once sent a wire to an actor, asking, “Can you play Rugby tomorrow?” The actor wired back, “Yes,” and arrived the next day expecting in play in a Rugby match — and was startled to learn that Mr. Benson wanted him to play the character of Rugby in The Merry Wives of Windsor.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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