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My Blog

My Ornament of Dick Tracy

Good morning to everyone.  Sunday is here already.  Another beautiful day for the Memorial weekend.  Many are getting ready for a day with friends and family, food, fun and frivolity.  Let us not forget to stop a moment and bow our heads in prayer for all of the countless men and women who died for this freedom that we have. Along with those prayers, don't forget to be thankful for those who had fought and lived and are still living and those who are still fighting.  We are so blessed to live in such a land of freedom.  My heartfelt thanks goes out to each and every one of you! 
Well, today's blog is about a man by the name of Chester Gould.  Who is he?  Well, he is the sketch artist of Dick Tracy.  Everyone who ever picked up a Chicago newspaper and turned to the comic section knew of Dick Tracy.  
One day, quite a number of years ago, I met Chester Gould's daughter at a craft show I was doing.  I had created a very unique ornament that I copyrighted years ago and Mr. Gould's daughter had spotted it.  I made over 150 varieties of this ornament and she asked whether I would do a special order for her.  Now, mind you, I had no idea who she was at the time.  She asked me if I could do a Dick Tracy ornament.  I said that I could not, because Dick Tracy was a trademark and could not do something to infringe on that.  She politely laughed and then explained that that she was the daughter of Chester Gould.  I, of course, knew of Dick Tracy, but had no idea who Chester Gould was.  She then explained that he was her father and he was the cartoonist of Dick Tracy.  Now my ornament was a character sculpted on a glass ball and in it's belly was something that related to the character.  EX: a nurse with a bandage in her belly.  So, here was an opportunity to make an ornament for someone famous.  She wanted me to make the ornament to look like Dick Tracy and in the belly to shrink down an actual comic strip.     I was honored.  I made the ornament and never thought to take a picture of it.  I know, pretty dumb on my part!  Well, that just got me to wondering the other day, what ever happened to the ornament. 
I started to research the man and found that they have a museum in his honor in Woodstock Illinois.  The more I read about this man, the more honored I was at having the privilege of making that ornament so long ago. 
He lived in Wilmette, Illinois for the longest time and then one day, decided to buy and restore a home in Woodstock.  He resided there for 50 years.  He not only did the comic strip of Dick Tracy, but was also instrumental in  running a program for youth called the Crime Stoppers.
Chester Gould came to Chicago with a dream.  His dream came true and his comic strip appeared in the Chicago Tribune for 46 years. 

I discovered that not only did Chester Gould love Dick Tracy, but he also loved Christmas.  The song silent Night being one of his favorites, he often incorporated it into his pieces.  In his writeup, it states that it was his desire for world peace and silent night represented a prayer for humanity.  His comic strips during that time gave hope to our Country.  With that knowledge, I feel even more privileged to have him enjoy and cherish one of my ornaments.  As one of my many characters, Mrs. Claus is one of my favorites and I totally can identify with Mr. Gould. So, it seems to me that we never really know how someone or some item will identify and make a change in someone's life.  Mr. Gould changed the lives of many with his amazing cartoons and his spiritual messages.  Both to adults and children alike...he made a moment of happiness and joy. 

Mr. Gould had passed away on May 11, 1985.  His legacy continues on through his museum.  I wonder what ever happened to that ornament, but I am sure that it is being treasured somewhere.  I am just happy that I got to participate in that part of history.

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