Thursday, June 20, 2019

On raising boys: Words of wisdom from Tom Tyler

Tom Tyler with Frankie Darro in the great outdoors
in "Terror Mountain", 1928
Rare are the few interviews of Tom Tyler than do exist, and when they fall into the hands of fans and individuals interested in learning about his philosophy and views about life, prove to be real treasures. More often than not, these tidbits of wisdom are timeless and still hold true today.

In an article in The Republic, Columbus, Indiana, dated October 7, 1937 Tom explains why time spent in the great outdoors is so important for boys, and how it can help them with their studies in school and encourage them to read. Tom Tyler would certainly know about the great outdoors, not just in the movies he makes, but because he was born and raised in the Adirondacks in upstate New York: that magnificent region of land which serves as both a state park and residential space. Continuing, Tom states that if a boy has issues with a particular subject in school, such a geography or history, that the parents allow the child to integrate his personal interests in what he is learning. Such interests might be exploration by land or water to then-exotic places few in America have heard of in the 1930’s, like Burma, Indonesia, or Tibet.

Whiteface Mountain and Esther Mountain in the Adirondacks
- from Wikimedia Commons
While Tom Tyler does not mention the following, there is a second factor involved, and that is physical activity and its important connection to the human memory. Children spending time outside playing and getting lots of exercise are more likely to perform better at their studies in school. It was not long ago when scientific studies were conducted on this subject. While we do not know what Tom’s grades were like in school when he was a boy, it can be surmised that he was a good student, someone who never got into trouble, and who had the self-discipline to apply himself in class – just as he did with his acting lessons which he learned through a correspondence course. Coming full circle, this can certainly help many a young boy – or girl – who struggles in school to spend some time outside, exploring, getting the workout that only nature can provide and revel in before preparing to hit the books once he or she is back inside their homes.

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