Grif.Net

12/17/16 Weekend Grif.Net – True Story of Rudolph

12/17/16 Weekend Grif.Net – True Story of Rudolph

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, =
stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December =
night.  His four-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly =
sobbing.  Bob’s wife/Barbara’s mother was dying of =
cancer.   Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy =
could never come home.  She looked up into her daddy’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 and was often called names he’d rather not =
remember.

 

From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to =
fit in.  He completed 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 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 has 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 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.
    =

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net www.grif.net =

"Jesus Knows Me, This I =
Love!"