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Tom Elmer's Turtle Page

Oh, a very useful philosophical animal, your average tortoise. Outrunning metaphorical arrows, beating hares in races... very handy.
Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

All the thoughts of a turtle are turtle.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journal '5/9 1854'

The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile.
Odgen Nash, 'The Turtle'

The rareness of meeting a Buddha is compared with the difficulty of a blind sea- turtle finding a log to float on, or a one-eyed tortoise finding a log with a spy-hole through it.
Chinese proverbs (Soothill)

This page is dedicate to T'Om's love of turtles (and tortoises of course :) Here you will find a brief history of T'Om's life. (T'Om being all aspects of that Tom guy that are related to turtles of course :) As time permits, I will add other sections devoted to: turtles in myth and legend (my favorite), turtles in art, my turtle shrine, etc. Over on Wikitheus, I've been tracking all of the references to turtles on The Simpsons, as well as Turtle Quotes and Turtle News.

And now a word from our sponsors...

Fillmore's Sherman's Lagoon
Aford the Turtle
Beatnik Turtle Official spokesband of hippy turtles everywhere... OK, so they actually aren't about turtles, but they're still a fun band :D
Turtle from The Encyclopedia of Hotcâk (Winnebago) Mythology (Hotcâgara style themselves as the "People of Turtle")

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A Brief History of T'Om

[TE1974_myrtle.jpg] 1974   I was born of course :) My first stuffed animal was a turtle my dad won for me called 'Myrtle the Turtle'.


No Picture 1978   Myrtle later got soaked in Raid (bug spray), so we had to throw her away :( As a replacement, my mother gave me a stuffed turtle that I named Jessie after my paternal grandmother. The ironic thing is that my mom remarried and my step-dad's mother's name just happened to be Myrtle. (Twilight Zone music cue... now)


Yertle at BN 1980   One of the first books I read on my own in the library was Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Seuss. (The first was Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parish.) These books started my lifelong obsession with books and clever uses of language. Many many many thanks to Jana for giving me a copy of Yertle for my birthday (2001) :D


[TE198x_OKCZoo.jpg] 1980s   My love of turtles slowly grew. (Not in the way some have suggested after looking at this picture.) During the early 1980s, we lived in Oklahoma where turtles are always crossing the road. (I didn't know the joke was supposed to be why did the chicken cross the road until years later.) My family would often stop to help the turtles off of the road and occasionally take one home. (To be released in a couple of days of course. :) One such turtle was a snapping turtle my mom and I came across while she was on her bus route. This one was so big it literally filled our bathtub (side-to-side). (That one was so nasty it had me cured for a while. I relapsed soon, however. :) Anyways... I digress. 'My love of turtles slowly grew...'


Small Gods at BN
1994   During the summer of 1994 I read the book Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. (The Turtle Moves!) I then gave it to a couple of friends to read. (Probably a bad idea in retrospect ;) This started the tortoise rolling, so-to-speak. Up until this time I only had a few turtle items. When one of the friends left soon after reading the book, Jana (Sköldpaddsdyrkare) and I found a tortoise-identification poster to give him. We retitled it 'Know Your Gods' and make comments on the religions of the various hard-shelled reptillian earthlings illustrated. Great fun :) After that, we started getting turtle-related gifts for each other. Soon, Crystal (my love interest at the time) started giving me turtles. Finally my mother realized I liked turtles, so then the whole (extended) family was in on it. Now people wonder if I'm a little crazy. *shrug* We all need one senseless obsession I guess :) As a side note, I met Terry Pratchett at a book signing in Chicago on 2001.05.14 and had him sign my paperback copy of Small Gods. He was very interesting and funny in person. When he says he'll personalize an autograph, he really means personalize it :)


A World of Turtles at BN 1999   How many Beanie Baby wannabe turtles can one person have? I don't know, but I have received so many of them that I have officially announced that I don't collect them anymore. What I tell people to look for is turtles in mythology/literature. (Examples: The second avatar of Vishnu, Kurma, is a tortoise which supports the continents, a common theme in mythology, though sometimes gruesome. Stephen King's It has a tortoise as the great force for good - actually based on the creator from pre-Vedic mythology. Hotc?mythology has a lot of stories about Turtle. Etc.) Of course, I still do collect the other turtle objects, but stories are easier to transport and share with others :) A World of Turtles is a perfect example of this type of book.


Gamera at Amazon 2003   So.. I've started collecting Gamera movies lately... As Terry Pratchett said in Small Gods, "One Day a turtle will learn how to fly". Well, Gamera is a flying, fire eating, arse kicking, fire breathing turtle with attitude to spare. Eat your heart out Ninja Turtles. :) I have all of them on DVD now, although 3 are VHS transfers. (I'm still looking for Japanese versions with English subtitles of some of the early ones.) The main difference in the Gamera series as opposed to other kaiju movies (i.e. Gojira / Godzilla) is that Gamera often reveals more about society and the humans in the movies than Gojira or any of the other monster movies. Gamera was geared more towards a children's demographic (thus the title 'Friend of children everywhere') and so the movies tended to be less gory than other kaiju films. Can anyone else think of any other culturally significant turtle films? Please let me know any recommendations. (Also, if anyone has any spare Touche Turtle episodes they'd be willing to part with... :D )


2004   I used to collect world coins as a kid. Lately I've focused the hobby specifically on turtle coins. Hopefully I should get a listing of my books / stories / coins / DVDs / CDs on here soon. The theme here is turtles as cultural icons.


<subliminal>You want to buy a book on turtle mythology for my birthday. It is March 18.</subliminal>

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