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Crockett Johnson and Ruth KraussHow an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature$
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Philip Nel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617036248

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617036248.001.0001

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“You’re Only as Old as Other People Think You Are”

“You’re Only as Old as Other People Think You Are”

(p.244) 25 “You’re Only as Old as Other People Think You Are”
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Philip Nel

University Press of Mississippi

Upon turning seventy, Ruth Krauss knew that people would see her as old. So she changed her birth year from 1901 to 1911—a difference of ten years. When Krauss died two decades later, friends were shocked to learn that she was already in her nineties. She and Crockett Johnson also pondered changing their address, finding Rowayton much busier than when they moved there twenty-five years ago. The couple also spent a few weeks in Montauk, at the eastern tip of Long Island, and made preparations for another trip: a cruise through the Arctic Circle. Upon their return, Krauss resumed writing poetry while Johnson returned to painting and circle squaring. In the summer of 1972, Krauss and Johnson left Rowayton behind and moved to Westport. They then embarked from New York on another cruise, this one to the western Mediterranean. In early February 1975, Johnson was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Keywords:   poetry, Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson, Rowayton, Montauk, Arctic Circle, painting, circle squaring, Mediterranean, lung cancer

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