Blogs by Sherry Gail Heim
The True Story of Rudolph
12/17/2010 5:03:40 PM
A friend forwarded this to me, and I don't really know
who originated it, so I can't give them the credit.
But, I really enjoyed it and think you will too.
** True Story of Rudolph**
A man named Robert L. May, depressed and brokenhearted,
stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling
His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly
Bobs 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
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 a make one - a
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
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.
* MERRY CHRISTMAS 2010*
I wish the very best for you and your family.
More Blogs by Sherry Gail Heim
The True Story of Rudolph - Friday, December 17, 2010
Haiku Error Messages - Saturday, July 08, 2006
Look To Mexico As A Model On Immigration Policy - Sunday, May 21, 2006
We Are Ultimately Responsible - Thursday, May 04, 2006
Dude, where's my Civil War? - Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Easter Traditions - Sunday, April 16, 2006
I Was Once A Sailor - Friday, March 17, 2006
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Love and Hate - Wednesday, December 28, 2005
It's Time to Pin a Few Medals ... - Sunday, December 18, 2005
An inspiring message - Monday, December 05, 2005
Ben Stein's Last Column - Saturday, October 08, 2005
In Katrina I Didnt See Racism, I Saw Brotherhood - Thursday, September 22, 2005
What's really behind the chaos in New Orleans? - Tuesday, September 20, 2005
It was not the Federal Government's Responsibility - Monday, September 05, 2005
Positive Report From Iraq - Friday, September 02, 2005
Survival:Ultimately Our Own Responsibility - Friday, September 02, 2005
Europe, Thy Name Is Cowardice - Sunday, August 07, 2005
Getting Grandma - Sunday, August 07, 2005
The Terrorists Motivation: Islam - Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Peace If Possible, War If Necessary - Sunday, July 24, 2005
Terrorism's Root Causes - Sunday, July 17, 2005
A Shreveport Judge's Report on Iraq - Saturday, July 16, 2005
The Last Full Measure - Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Accept Yourself - Monday, May 09, 2005
Finally They Have Come Home - Sunday, May 08, 2005
Political Correctness and Incompetence - Sunday, March 20, 2005
Three Letters - Friday, March 11, 2005
The Iraqi Elections - Sunday, January 30, 2005
Sites to Support U.S. Troops and Vets - Saturday, January 29, 2005
Inaugural - Tuesday, January 18, 2005
A Carrot, An Egg, And a Cup of Coffee - Saturday, January 15, 2005
Supplies needed in Iraq - Friday, December 10, 2004
Out of the Loop, Thankfully - Sunday, November 14, 2004