There are certain people, both real or imaginary, who will always remain children in our memory.
From Peter Pan and his followers in Neverland, to Christopher Robin dragging Winnie the Pooh behind him, to the precocious rascals of the Our Gang comedies and the Depression-era tap dancing and ever-smiling Shirley Temple, these young ‘uns are ageless!
I’m adding to this menagerie of Shangrila cuties, Arthur Anderson Peters, who wrote under the name Fritz Peters. Fritz would have turned 100 years old today.
It was the wonderful chapter in his memoir, BOYHOOD WITH GURDJIEFF, which inspired me to write my picture book GERTRUDE AND ALICE AND FRITZ AND TOM. I just couldn’t resist retelling the story of two young boys, Fritz and his brother Tom, reveling under the tutelage of GertrudeandAlice in 1920s Paris. (Woody Allen, there’s a Paris sequel for you!) And Fritz’s quote about his years at the boarding school outside of Paris helped to make the decision to do the book even easier:
“I have never forgotten that winter. The long evenings of reading and study in our warm rooms [and] looking forward to my visits to Paris with Gertrude and Alice.”
On his 100th birthday, I pay tribute to Fritz Peters, a tribute that is long overdue.