Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Rest of the Story Rests in Peace - Paul Harvey, 90

One favorite author has died. Paul Harvey, whose voice I haven't heard (his stories were first broadcast by him over the radio) but whose books I have cherished and kept in a special section of my library, is dead at 90.His books are soooo easy to read with its bite-size stories reminiscent of O. Henry surprise endings. His books include Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story, More of Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story, Destiny and 102 Other Real Life Stories and Paul Harvey's For What's It's Worth.

An excerpt from his first book, Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story:

The Mouse that Roared

Steve Morris was not a typical child. But when you're nine years old, the desire to be typical is very strong . . .

Of all the people and things Steve has since forgotten and remembered from those early years, one woman stands out in his mind. One woman encouraged him and gave him the courage to be extraordinary. Steve's elementary school teacher, Mrs. Beneduci . . . With the unwitting aid of a little gray mouse she seized instead upon a particular opportunity, and from that day on Steve knew his greatest pride, the calling of a life.

It happened in a tiny grade school classroom in Detroit, the rest of the story.

(Mrs. Beneduci asked the class who Abraham Lincoln was. Nobody answered except Steve who got the answer right. She continued lecturing about Lincoln but was interrupted by a sound.)

"I hear something like scratching . . . It's very faint . . . It sounds like a mouse!"

(The girls screamed and some stood on their chairs. The teacher tried to calm them. She asked Steve to help her find the mouse.)

Steve sat straight upright in his chair, brightening considerably. "OK." he said, "Now everybody be quiet!"

(Steve cocked his head and pointed to the wastebasket. Mrs. Beneduci found the little gray mouse.)

It was discovered by little Steve Morris, whom nature had given a remarkable pair of ears in compensation for having denied him eyes since birth.

So the class settled back to business. And the little gray mouse became a mascot. In the heart of small, unsighted Steve, a pride was born . . . and that pride is with him still.

(Mrs. Beneduci continued encouraging the talent that the whole world now knows and respects.)

In time, the marvelous ears of Steve Morris gave popular music something to be proud of . . . a singer-composer-musician-producer with 5 Grammys in '75 . . . 17 gold singles . . . 4 gold albums . . . 4 platinum records.

For once upon a time, a little gray mouse roared . . . gave a small boy confidence in what nature had given him. And Steve Morris, from the time he was ten . . . for his gifted ears . . . was never known as anything . . . but Little Stevie Wonder.

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