Gilbreth, Frank B., Jr. T. Morris Longstreth - Essay

T. Morris Longstreth

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["I'm a Lucky Guy"] is fully as entertaining as "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "Belles on Their Toes"…. Also the tale is rather more lighthearted. Dad and Mother, in their uniqueness, took a deal of explaining, but here the ballast is lighter.

The title is a misnomer, a concession to our ideas of modesty. Luck hadn't a toehold in the grueling childhood of the Gilbreth dozen….

My favorite of all Mr. Gilbreth's experiences is his tour of duty as admiral's aide. I doubt if anything funnier can be hoped for from naval literature. The situations resulting from his early assignments as reporter are also hilarious, while the plain facts of that truthful chapter, "Love on a Scavenger Hunt," vie with imagination's wildest fancies….

"I'm a Lucky Guy" is slightly earthy in places and pleasantly sentimental in others and relies perhaps a bit heavily on practical jokes, and these will be understood abroad. But I wonder whether its general atmosphere of zaniness will be appreciated for what it is, the bouquet of cheerfulness, a feeling of good will to everybody (nearly), and even a deprecation of success.

Biography as modest as this is rare. The alert will not be fooled but will note the unstated but continuously manifested instances of character in this son of Father and Mother Gilbreth.

T. Morris Longstreth, "Saga of a Gilbreth Scion," in The Christian Science Monitor (reprinted by permission from The Christian Science Monitor; © 1951 The Christian Science Publishing Society; all rights reserved), September 20, 1951, p. 13.