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'Grimm' Man Gives a Humorous Speech

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Grimm' Man Gives a Humorous Speech

Article excerpt

THE YOUNG MIKE Peters stuttered so badly he was afraid to talk, which sent him into his high school bathroom for salvation.

"I would sit in a stall, draw dirty pictures and sign my name," Peters recalled, . waving a pen at 600 chuckling student journalists. "I was the only one at the school who did that. It was a way for me to talk to people."

But promoting his restroom art got the "Mother Goose and Grimm creator and political cartoonist into one academic scrape after another at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis. Indeed, Peters' passion for cartoons and practical jokes helped keep his grade-point average low.

"I always got in trouble for drawing my teachers," Peters, 53, clucked with cartoon-like glee. The Tribune Media Services creator's favorite target was Mr. Morgan, an English teacher who detested that kind of prankster art.

"He used to put me and some other bad guys in the back of the room," remembered Peters. "He called us his vegetable garden. That was because we were in the row closest to the window. He said if we got nothing else out of school, we'd get sunlight."

Right before Peters graduated in 1961, Mr. Morgan penned some advice to him in the school yearbook:"You better start growing up real soon because uou can't always draw cartoons."

Peters paused and looked out at the packed auditorium in Orlando's Hilton Hotel, headquarters for the College Media Advisers convention, then added. "Even if doing what you want to do doesn't seem to make you any money at the beginning, if you do it long enough they'll eventually throw money at you. "And give you awards, such as the 1981 Pulitzer that Peters received for his Dayton (Ohio) Daily News work.

But one of his proudest moments was the day Mr. Morgan invited him to return to his high school to give a speech. …

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