Dr. Seuss and Charlottesville – What’s the Connection?

There’s more to “real estate” than houses and infrastructure and market data. Part of “real estate” is the story of the place.

The connection between Dr. Seuss and Charlottesville is simple – there’s an urban legend about Dr. Seuss and Charlottesville.

It’s nearly that time of year again, when people start googling about Dr. Seuss’ relation to, influence by, connection to, Charlottesville and the University of Virginia.

Short story: lots of people think that Dr. Seuss wrote “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” because of some relation to UVA. Not true.

One thing is true. The interwebs are ephemeral, and quoting the most relevant parts of a story is often awfully critical.

I wrote Grinches in Charlottesville in 2008; many of the stories to which I linked are now dead and unfindable, and that sucks. But I quoted the most relevant part of one of the stories, which turns out to have been a great idea!

Doubtful, but it’s a pretty cool little urban legend to have. Ace from C-Ville responded in 1989 – NO. And again in 2007 referencing the Lewis Mountain House –

“First, Ace can tell you what it’s not. It’s not Monticello, as many a doofus tourist believes it to be. It’s also not Dr. Seuss’ house. That particular rumor started in correlation with the rumor that How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ “Hoos down in Hooville” was based somehow on a certain local university’s Hoos down in Hooville. Only problem being that Theodor Geisel ”a.k.a. Dr. Seuss”spent his whole life in New England, Europe and California, and his “Hoos” were actually “Whos down in Whoville.” The fact that the story depicts Hoos/Whos as absolute saints surely didn’t hurt that particular tall tale’s traction with a student body that’s not exactly known for its modesty and perspective.”

So – if it makes you feel better about Charlottesville to tell friends that Dr. Seuss’ inspiration for the green guy whose heart eventually triples in size came from Charlottesville – go ahead. It’s a neat story.”

Happy Christmas, people. Go forth with the new knowledge.

(image courtesy of.)

 

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