This page was also from my 1996 website, Cut Loose With Dr. Seuss. It originally belonged to E. Smith, aka "Starbellie" from the website Starbellie's Hullabaloo. This is his story as he attempted to find in real life the places he had read about. That's a great lesson and tale to share with young readers. However, I couldn't link directly to his page because "Starbellie" had some material inappropriate for children, so when I asked, he gave me permission to share these pictures and his story on my site.


external image search1.jpg
external image springfield.jpg

My brother had just bought me a copy of Judith Morgan's bio on Dr. Seuss, "Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel" for my birthday. I quickly ripped into the book and began reading. It was great to learn all about Dr. Seuss' influences and surroundings of his days growing up, stuff that would shape his books and stories. Around this same time I was plotting my drive to Nantucket, Massachusetts where my brother was currently living. Marked in big letters along the route I was to travel was "Springfield." Springfield, Massachusetts is where the Geisel family immigrated to, this is where Dr. Seuss grew up. I though it would be great to hit Springfield on the way home and try to retrace some of the areas the book had mentioned. I also hoped to go to the library in Springfield where the children's librarian is said to be a Seuss genius with plenty to of knowledge and resources to share.
external image mulberry.gif Sadly I did not find too much :-(. I was able to find the real-life Mulberry Street which was quite a rush. Definitely not as Seuss portrayed it anymore, but at least the street sign looked nice. I found what I believed to be the house he grew up in as well. The house described in the book resembles this one standing in no way whatsoever. A local I ran into said that the original house was "accidentally" knocked down despite is landmark status. The current resident's house placard was the Cat in the Hat with their name on it...so the address seems to have been right.
external image stairway.gif The best part of the trip was the park. This park is talked about all throughout the book. It used to be the Springfield Zoo where Theodor's father was employed after his brewing business. Theodor himself spent many a day here. The park was originally the land of a Mr. Eddy, an entrepreneur that struck it big with the invention of ice skates. The park is just gorgeous, like a Central Park but more divers, smaller, and much safer :). A huge mausoleum was built after Mr. Eddy's daughter died unexpectedly, just before she was to be wed. It was sad as the monument was placed on the sight of where their house was to be built. The monument has three tiers inside symbolizing the bodies of Eddy, his wife, and daughter; though the three are actually buried underneath the steps. The steps is where Seuss comes in. He found them to be a great influence in his art, the way they wound upward towards the sky. The winding steps are a major trademark in Seuss' works. Unfortunately the monument has since been caged off due to increased parties and vandalism but was still easy to appreciate.