Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Ted and Gloria Rand

There is a delightful article by Cecelia Goodnow about Ted and Gloria Rand in the Seattle Post Intelligencer. It describes how the illustrator/author couple met and their warm, loving relationship. There are too many great parts to share so you must read the whole thing.

Ted Rand has an upbeat outlook on life. From the article,
"I'll be 90 years old next year," he says in his strong, melodious voice. "How could I possibly squawk? Imagine getting to live this long and have this much fun."

Rand studied briefly at the Cornish College of the Arts and: 1938 he had saved enough for a 13-month trip around the world. He sailed to Europe on the legendary liner Normandie; tramp steamers carried him to Egypt, India and the Dutch East Indies. The world was on a precarious edge, and he arrived at the tipping point."I saw Hitler speak in Munich," he says, "and I saw Mussolini speak in Rome. There were youth marches at night and parades in cities. You had to feel something was coming (but) I was too dumb to be scared."

The Rands have lived in the same house on Mercer Island for 55 years. A picture of the couple in front of the fireplace is with the article.:
... ringed by lush trees and flower-edged patios. They might have moved years ago if not for the mural Ted painted on the white-brick fireplace wall -- a parade of Chinese horsemen that dominates the room. "We tried to sell the house once," Gloria said, "and a woman (buyer) said, 'Oh, that'll have to go -- I hate horses.' We took the house off the market."

It describes how he came to illustrate his first children's book, "The Ghost-Eye Tree"at the age of 65 and tells the story behind Gloria's book, "Salty Dog."

If you didn't already love their books, you can only cheer and feel worry as Ted's battle with cancer is described. The couple's loving and upbeat outlook are captured by this story:
But many will long cherish the sight of him and Gloria strolling in for a reading, "welded at the hip," in the words of writer-illustrator Laura Kvasnosky. Haslet at All for Kids says she lost her heart to the Rands on one such visit. "They were walking into the store," she says, "and he gently brushed a piece of lint off Gloria's shoulder."

Instead of recoiling, Gloria looked up at him and said lovingly, "Oh, Ted. How could I ever get along without you?"

"Please," he said. "Don't even try."

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