The Uncle who drove me MAD

I’m currently on a long-overdue cross-country trip to see family & friends. Right now I’m in Kentucky, visiting my Uncle Norm who, besides being my favorite (and only) uncle, was more responsible than anyone for my becoming a MAD writer. When I was 7 or 8, on our family’s first visit to Norm’s apartment, I was let loose in a closet containing his collection of MADs — most of the entire run of the magazine up to that point (early 1960s). I lost track of the time I spent poring over them that day, but I knew one thing: I was definitely hooked.

Norm has spent most of his adult life as a successful freelance writer — so, besides providing my first “overdose” of MAD, he was that all-important role model a kid needs to demonstrate that, yes, it is possible to make a living doing that thing that you love. Or at least that it’s not a totally moronic pipe dream!

Norm and I have another thing in common (which I only realized recently): we both got married for the first time at the same age, 45. He, to a hot female attorney a couple decades his junior named Rita – they’ll be celebrating their 30th Anniversary next year. As for me…my marriage lasted 18 months. (Well…I had to do something different from him!)

Thanks for everything, Norm!

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