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[pct-l] Harry L. Rossoll (1910 - 1999) R.I.P.
- Subject: [pct-l] Harry L. Rossoll (1910 - 1999) R.I.P.
- From: Birgitte Jensen <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 19:45:01 -0800
Did everyone read that the Forest Service illustrator "whose 'Smokey
Says cartoons helped make Smokey Bear almost as famous as Santa Claus and
an almost universally recognized symbol of forest fire safety" died last
Thrusday? Paraphrased from the NY Times article:
Smokey was created by committee in 1944, when the FS firefighting
corps was being depleted by the military draft and lumber was critical
for the war effort. Other animals, including Bambi (whose services were
offered by Walt Disney) and a firefighting beaver, were rejected. In
1945, Mr Rossoll was soon turning out weekly newspaper cartoons with
their familiar cautionary tales of what happens when campers are careless
There's a funny story of the evolution of Smokey's appearance from a
"disheleved character with a WWI campaign hat, baggy dungarees, a paunch,
and such a bulbous nose that it appeared he had been spending more time
raiding backwoods stills than honey bee nests".
Mr Rossoll was so identified with the bear that he was in demand to
give talks to rangers, children, and others. After leaving the FS, he
continued to work as an artist, producing a set of murals at a State Park
museum in Oklahoma that led to a new venture: Tree Bear, who has appeared
in magazines and trade journals to spread the message about how much the
world owes to trees. At his request, his microbiologist niece produced a
children's book featuring Tree Bear and her uncle's drawings, which she
hopes will soon find a publisher.
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