Stuff I Did in the '80s
Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates
Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates

My passion for summer vacation drawings started when I was 10 and made a comic book about my hamster, Max. Several years later, during the summer break of 1985, I filled a 3-ring binder with caricatures I’d drawn of my favorite musicians (which, of course, I creatively titled “The Musicians”).

One night in July I finished my pen drawing of the soulful duo Daryll Hall & John Oates while listening to their smash 1982 album H2O. On the sleeve of the album I spied the contact information for the band’s management in the liner notes. BIG BANG BOOM! I had an idea. An idea that was so crazy it just might work. I penned a letter to Hall & Oates’ manager and sent two photocopies of my drawing: one to keep and one to return with a request for an autograph.

A month later I received a reply from the dynamic duo. As I tore open the envelope and stared at the silver ink signatures a wave of awesomeness washed over me. I realized that Daryl Hall and John Oates had seen my art and liked it enough to sign it and send it back to me. It was a validation that rocketed my confidence into orbit. I sent more drawings to other pop stars and received many kind responses, but Hall & Oates did it first and Made My Dreams Come True.

Did you see that? How I used their song at the end of my story? Because, they sang You Make My Dreams and then I said...never mind.

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Introduction Half a Boombox I’m Not a Member I was Simon Le Bon (For Fifteen Minutes) Motown 25 Watch Whatever, Whenever Snowblind You’re the One That I Want Call Me Your Kiss is on My List Electric Boogaloo Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates Where Shopping is a Pleasure Dialect of a Decade I’m Alright The Sunshine State Shazam! It’s Just a Fantasy I’ve Got a Secret Sunday Funnies Impeachment American Top 40 License to Drive Risky (Show) Business Jumping Someone Else’s Train Yakety Sax I Want to be Elton John When I Grow Up Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Tetherball, Dodgeball & Flag Football Sk8 or Go Home Roll a Saving Throw vs. Velour Piano Man The Duckman Cometh Money for Nothing Waiting for the Bus More Than Meets the Eye The Legend Begins Whip It When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Master Chef Muppetmania I Want to Ride My Bicycle WW III My Octopus Teacher Some Like it Hot Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Dare to Be Stupid Keeping the Faith
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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.