April 19, 2012

The Shel Silverstein 80's Kids Probably Didn't Know

Without checking Wikipedia or Googling him, I want you to say what you know about Shel Silverstein.
He simultaneously looks friendly and scary, right?
If you're around my age, you probably knew he wrote such childrens' books as "Light in the Attic" and "The Giving Tree". These are classics and I will read them to my kiddos whenever I have some.
He penned such great poems as "The Quick-Digesting Gink" and "Hug O' War".
But until recently I didn't know how much more there was to Shel Silverstein and his varied life.

Did you know Shel was friends with Johnny Cash? And that he wrote songs, including the hit "A Boy Named Sue"? Here's a clip if you don't believe me.
And did you know Shel also drew cartoons and wrote illustrated travel essays for Playboy (I guess they really DO have articles!)? Note: I won't include any here, as this is a family-friendly blog and I don't know what would come up if I searched for example materials. Not worth the risk.

For my theater-loving friends, were you aware that Shel wrote over 100 one-act plays?
I may have to look into them and see if any are short enough and also age-appropriate for my family's holiday/special occasion talent shows...

Isn't it amazing to learn that people actually have so much more to their lives than you thought?*

If you want more info on Shel, now you can go check out [his Wikipedia page].

Do you ever have this happen to you? Who was the celebrity/individual you learned more about?

*This also applies to school teachers and principals. It turned my world upside down to see one of my elementary school's 4th-grade teachers on a date with the principal at a University of Utah football game.


  1. Shel Silverstein's book "Where The Sidewalk Ends" was my favorite in 4th grade!

    But...that's all I knew about him.

  2. I'm trying to think of a good story for you, but I don't know if I have one.
    I was sad when I found out Winnie from "The Wonder Years" was not nice to my friend when they were at University of Chicago (or somewhere like that) at the same time.
    I was weirded out when I met Antonio Banderes and he wasn't nearly as handsome in person as one would imagine. But then Jane Krakowski, Chita Rivera, and Mary Stuart Masterson were all sitting there with him, so of course his beauty would pale in comparison to his.
    I have, however, been pleasantly surprised with every Broadway star I have met - sooooo stinkin' nice.

    OOOOO - I thought of one! This "old guy" would always come to our gymnastics classes at BYU and he was incredible and one day I walked into a high-level English course and BAM, there he was! My professor! At that moment, I knew it was destiny and I took two more classes from him.

  3. I love him! Esp. The Missing Piece. I didn't know that about A Boy Named Sue, that's awesome.

  4. Thanks for the comments, everybody!

    I'm with ya. Great book, and I can't believe I didn't even mention it in my blogpost. Fail on my part.

    Wow, you have met some famous peeps! I'm jealous (though I'm quite happy with my meeting Minnie Driver at Sundance).

    You continue to make me happier the more I learn about you :)