Silly Putty gave Gracie Lee something to do while she ate breakfast or waited for the school bus on a cold winter morning. Plus, there was magic in that small wad of snappy plastic. When she pressed it flat against Snoopy, his picture appeared on the putty. That was neat. But the best part?
If she messed up and the edges blurred, she could erase it as though it never happened. With a squeeze of her palm, even a perfect picture was gone.
Like a disappearing dream.
Blondie’s husband, Dagwood, was an interesting fellow, and Gracie followed his story in the funnies. He was kind and goofy and ate big sandwiches and celebrated every holiday, especially Thanksgiving.
While Gracie pressed the Silly Putty over Dagwood, she watched her Daddy eating his breakfast cereal—his slow, evenly-spaced swallows, his tense jaw, his eyes studying the farm section of the newspaper, absorbing numbers about the price of cotton and soybeans and wheat. Numbers that changed every day. Numbers Gracie knew were important but looked like mumbo-jumbo to her.
Gracie Lee’s world was often fun and filled with unexpected things she knew she’d remember for a long time. Other days, Gracie wished she was someone else. Anyone else. A comic strip character, even. Someone who lived only inside a make-believe world.
Sometimes Gracie felt like that putty, trapped inside a plastic egg. But unlike Silly Putty, she had no power to erase anything.
Talya Tate Boerner
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Did you know:
- Silly Putty was accidentally invented during WWII when rubber was in high demand?
- In 1968, Silly Putty was used by the Apollo 8 astronauts to secure tools in zero gravity.
- According to Crayola, which owns Silly Putty, because newspaper ink changed from petroleum based to soy-based, Silly Putty will no longer pick up comic book pictures. Well, the proof’s in the pudding. If you buy the vintage stuff from Ebay, it still does a decent job. At least it works with the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
***Stay tuned for more news on The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee including book cover information and launch dates/locales!
Robert John, The Lion Sleeps Tonight