We will have lived here in the country a year next month. Our house is still not complete, and our garage and basement are still full of unpacked boxes. We have 5 people’s stuff plus the contents of an antique shop! I am making a conscious, tho VERY slow effort to purge that stuff! The shop smalls go on eBay, the outgrown clothes to the thrift store, the boxes of memories- well, the boxes of memories are hard to part with.
I was unpacking one of the boxes, and came across some puppets and dolls created when my kids were small and I was going thru my doll making phase. Can’t part with those – because of the memories they hold, and because when you create something, it becomes an extension of yourself!
I have always been entranced by puppets, from the time my grandmother took me to the most expensive toy store in the world, FAO Schwartz. There, I coveted the life size stuffed elephant, and wanted to take him home with me that minute – which would have been difficult on the LIRR, even if we could have afforded him!! I remember him costing $100 – a fortune to us in the early 1960’s. Instead, being of VERY limited budget, I became the proud owner of a set of furry animal finger puppets. There started the fascination!
I digress, but that is not unusual for me!!! While unpacking today, I took a lunch break and was reading the Wall Street Journal, and coincidentally, there was an article about Basil Twist, puppeteer extraordinaire in NYC. He’s got a great website, and early in his career, had worked with the great Bil Baird (not to be confused with the abortion activist of the same era and name- one less “L” in the spelling).
I think all modern day puppeteers have some connection with Bil Baird, Jim Henson being one.
Around 1972 or 73, I had the chance to visit the Bil Baird Theatre at 59 Barrow St, in the Village, in NYC. If I remember correctly there was a workshop above the theatre, in a 6 story building. At that time, “The Village”, was at the height of its bohemian days. The friend who took me there, knew one of the puppeteers, and we got a backstage tour after the show. I was in awe, and in heaven!
It was amazing, with every nook, cranny, and floor of the old building erupting with puppet characters, body parts, clothing and set decorations. I wish now, some 35 years later, that I had had the presence of mind to have a camera with me. I would love to have those pictures now, because the ones in my mind have faded tremendously over the years.
Now you see why, after living here for almost a year, unpacking is still a work in progress!!! I unpack, get absorbed in the memories, stop for a lunch break, and think- wow, this would be a great story for the blog! Now, here I am – on the blog, and the boxes still sit!!!
Now, the fish bowls need to be cleaned, there are still a few flies left over from yesterday’s blog who need to be swatted, the horses are fed, the dogs need to be walked and the dishes washed. Some more eBay items need to be boxed for the trip to the PO tomorrow- and Oprah is on!!!!
Well, time to sign off and get busy!! Hope you enjoyed my zigzag trip down memory lane!
All is well, but still not unpacked, at Mountain Meadows today!
Your life is an occasion – Rise to it!!! Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Magorium