Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Book Recomendation and a Celebrity Encounter--sort of

Jim Henson

Wally's Ernie doll. Ernie was a Muppet from Sesame Street.
This week I went to another one of those free fabulous events you can attend at your library. I heard Brian Jay Jones talk about his latest book, Jim Henson: the Biography. Believe it or not, this is the first book that has been written for adults about the creator of the Muppets. The talk was quite interesting and involved a lot of video clips. It was an evening filled with smiles, laughs, and insights into a brilliant man. I would highly recommend this book to anyone--that is if I had read it. But I haven't, so I will just recommend it based on the talk and the recommendation from a friend who has read it. She says it is quite good and I trust her judgement. Check your local library for a copy.

Okay, that's the set up for the real reason for this post--another celebrity encounter that involves Jim Henson--sort of. This story takes a while before I get to him, so stay with me.

I was visiting Miss Landers and we were helping her elderly neighbor with some clean up.  Her neighbor's second husband* had just died and she had decided to move. Her step daughters were there helping also. (Her first marriage was to their father.) We were in the basement sorting through old records when one of the daughters said, "Look that's Dad's old trunk." The trunk was nondescript and had definitely seen better days. She said that her dad was a puppeteer and used to carry his puppets in that trunk. Well, that was interesting enough for me because I had never known a professional puppeteer. But here's when my eyes got really big. She said that her father used to teach Jim Henson. Jim Henson attended the University of Maryland where her father was a professor and taught a puppet class. And here's the kicker--he told Jim that puppets were fun, but there was no money in them. Famous last words. :)

As I tell these sort of celebrity encounters, I have come to the conclusion that the most important part of a celebrity encounter is how big your eyes get when it happens. Not how much it impresses the other people you tell about it. I have a feeling that my eyes may have gotten bigger than yours during this story. But that's okay. Thanks for listening.

*As it turns out, her second husband was a well known Vaudeville performer. If I only knew a little more about Vaudeville, I might have also been impressed when we found some of his music. I wanted to be, but I wasn't.