For those of you who have not yet seen it, you might want to check out the very well-written LOTUS Blog, which is written as if it were Governor Palin’s laptop speaking. One entry Oh the Places We Will Go was providential and has a special significance for Governor Palin vis-á-vis her accomplishments. The blog author “Whitney the Pipsqueak” was writing about Governor Palin’s forthcoming trip to Hong Kong to speak at the CLSA Investors’ Forum, but the choice of headline is quite significant.
Theodor Seuss Giesel, 87 under the well-known pseudonym of “Dr. Seuss” wrote Oh the Places You’ll Go! in 1990. Places was his final gift, ending a long and distinguished career as a childrens’ book author — Dr. Seuss died shortly thereafter. I distilled the book in a May 21, 1992 article for the Times-Ledger chain of weekly newspapers in northeast Queens.
I was 22 at the time…Governor — then Ordinary Citizen — Palin was 27. I had just left the Airport Press a few months earlier to be an office manager/LAN administrator at NYU’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. My journalism career was drawing to its end, leading me to information technology. At the time my distillation was written, Sarah Palin’s political career was just beginning! At that time, she was working on her husband’s fishing boat, she had been a sportscaster and a hockey mom on the PTA. Governor Palin has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, just as I do. She was using hers, likely at the same time as I was using mine….
Seeing that entry on the LOTUS, and knowing approximately when I wrote the distillation, I had to re-read that book and find that article. Getting the book was easy, as it resides in my bookshelf, given to me when I wrote the story. Finding the article required a trip to the basement and down memory lane as I first had to find the box which contained my old articles and photos. Click the photos to see the full-sized text, scanned following my re-emergence from the basement an hour later.
Better yet, get a copy of Places. I was transfixed when I re-read it. I felt as if Dr. Seuss had written this book for Sarah Palin, though he actually wrote it for all of humanity. He wrote, “You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights” (Giesel, 1990, p. 12). Dr. Seuss continued, “You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest” (Giesel, 1990, p. 14).
My rally sign used in Bethlehem, PA, says “SuperSonic Sarah. Smashing Glass Ceilings from Above.” My tribute video bears the same title. Maybe Dr. Suess was on to something? Of course, he did not know who Citizen Palin was — and never would. But he did not have to….
Anyone who has lived at least to early childhood knows life is not always about high altitude, high-speed flight, and Dr. Seuss wrote about life’s dark moments in Places. He described what it is like to be stuck in a lurch, to be lonely, and set upon by vicious enemies (frivolous ethics complaints anyone?). Several pages of Places describe that combination of limbo and purgatory Dr. Seuss called “The Waiting Place.” He further delineated some of life’s most painful and anguishing waits. Governor Palin has experienced all of the foregoing to be sure.
The book ends on a triumphant note. “Kid…you’ll move mountains,” (Seuss, 1990, p. 41) he concluded. Her gas pipeline to be completed in 2019 could be said to be moving mountains quite literally — blasting through them. More figuratively, Sarah Palin has moved mountains in her 17-year political career, and we at US for Palin strongly believe she has many more to move and a glass ceiling to smash.
“Whitney the Pipsqueak” could not have chosen a headline more apropos, and more providential for that entry announcing Governor Palin’s forthcoming trip to Hong Kong. Oh the Places We Will Go indeed!
Giesel, S. T. and Giesel, A. S. (1990). Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (New York: Random House).