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Saturday, August 21, 2010

"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus a day so I never have to live without you." — Winnie the Pooh.

Not a Boy Forever: Marking Christopher Robin's 90th Birthday
Winnie the Pooh's loyal pal grew up to become a humanitarian.

In literature, characters are frozen in time. Children in beloved children's classics remain young forever, their innocence unspoiled by real life. But Christopher Robin — AKA Winnie the Pooh's BFF — was not only a real person who outgrew his Hundred Acre Wood persona, but he would be a 90 year old man this Saturday if he had not passed away in 1996.

Although Christopher Robin the literary character led a simple existence, albeit one that included conversing with talking bears, piglets, owls and the like, Christopher Robin Milne the man led a considerably more complicated life, although in later years he notably used his unintended fame to become a force of good.

A. A. Milne penned the classic Pooh books and named the main human character after his only child. According to Just-Pooh.com, for years the real Christopher Robin resented the unwanted fame. As an adult, his relationship with his father deteriorated and after sustaining an injury in World War II, he retreated to a small English village and opened a bookshop with his wife.

For years, he endured people treating him a bit like a tourist attraction, pestering him for a photo with their kids. But eventually CR appeared to make peace with his fictional doppleganger, and when anyone asked him for a pic he would charge 10 pounds, which he would promptly donate to Save the Children.

In later years, he capitalized on his fame to front a campaign to save Ashdown Forest outside London, the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood, from oil prospectors.

And it was not until he was a mature 52 years old that he truly channeled his literary roots, penning several autobiographical books.

It's not easy to imagine Christopher Robin as a grown man with daddy issues. For most of us, he will forever be a sweet little boy enthralled by his tubby friend who loved honey. But it's comforting to know that despite the more complicated real person, he used his notoriety to help others.

1 comment:

Imperial Black said...

This is nice. Hard to envision Christopher as anything but a child. Despite his fatherly issues sounds as if he ended up a stand up guy. Hope that we can all do the same and give back to our own 100 acre woods, wherever they may be.

Although your rambles seem to encompass a bit more than 100 acres.

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I’m a Southern Boy, just 56 last November, I get around here and there, Central America, Africa, Red Bay. I’m a Father, Grandfather, Husband, Artist and general flunky of sorts. Live in a little historic town in an old building I remodeled. Just wanted to hear myself think I guess, talk about the need of simplification, show some art, express an interest or two, brag on my dogs and see where it goes. That’s it!, That’s the deal, Thanks