At one point in his swampy, poorly punctuated tirade, Tom made an interesting error. He spelled our site’s name “Gather ‘Round Children” instead of the traditional/correct “Gather Round, Children.”
Tom’s use of an apostrophe before “Round” implies that the word is slang for “Around,” as in “Gather Around [the radio for some old-fashioned story time], Children”. This makes a certain sense, as it was the explicit goal of our radio show to get people to gather ’round the radio, just like in the old days.
However, Tom and most of our listeners are oblivious to the original purpose of the GRC website when Clarence Ohbigey and I began it in 1965. The site first appeared “Gather, Round Children” as a resource for the unionization of the young and obese. We held rallies and protests, championing Round Rights, and gained quite a bit of attention (particularly from Time Magazine.) What did “Gather, Round Chilren” in was the media maelstrom that came about when it was discovered that co-founder Gabe Durham, me, was not obese. I quickly fired back with a “Doesn’t that make me all the more heroic, in a way?” but the smart-ass media kept quoting my famous “We Chubb-os Gotta Stick Tagetha” speech (completely out of context) and Clarence and I declared G,RC, as it was dead.
Clarence went on to found the very successful Round Alliance (www.roundalliance.org). He even ran for president in 1969 and again in 1971. I continued to maintain the GRC site under a new premise: old-timey radio (which was then not old-timey at all but quite recent). Now, to change the name to “Gather ‘Round, Children,” I would have had to purchase an apostrophe to add to the marquee at GRC Headquarters. I was in a tight spot, now that Clarence got 100% of the profits from G,RC’s popular “I am a round child” t-shirt line, so, in the end, no apostrophe was added.
Same url, different comma placement… “Gather Round, Children” was reborn, like a phoenix from the ashes.
Thomas got involved in the GRC project in 1970. After my first wife left me due to my long hours at GRC headquarters, I realized that I could use some help running the old-timey radio show. I put an ad in the paper (“Co-host Wanted, Shirtless a Plus”) and Tom was the only one who answered. Hoping to leave the shame of my “G,RC” days behind, I never told him about the site’s near-forgotten past. Hence the lack of an apostrophe. Hope that clears things up.