13.7.06

Jim Henson

Well, let's see. It all started when I was 3 years old. I was raised on Sesame Street and Whiney the Pooh. My affection towards pig characters was tremendous, to say the least. At this point in my stuffed animal collection career I had acquired a Sleepy Suzy that I addressed as Jodi, an assortment of teddy bears, and a handmade version of Raggedy Anne (thank you Grandma) but only one of my beloved pigs, Piglet.
Then in the summer of '81 my father planned to take my mother and I to his annual company picnic. It was to be my debut. A 2.5' girl with red shorts, a white patent leather purse, giant eyes and even larger glasses could hardly go unnoticed...at least I was hoping. I was checking out the scene. There was a lot shmoozing to be done. A lot laps to sit it. A lot smiles and giggles to hand out. While entertaining a small group of my parents close friends I was approached by a woman handing out raffle tickets. What's this? What's a raffle ticket? I was pointed in the direction of the prizes and went immediately to investigate. I can't tell what the selection consisted of because when I locked eye with that voluptuous, gown-donned pig, everything else dimmed and I knew that we would be together. And we were. My Miss Piggy puppet wore a violet gown, evening gloves and bedroom eyes. I love her dearly.
Years later I would find the same fascination with the Dark Crystal. I thought if was perfectly fitting that the girl gelflings had wings and the boy gleflings didn't. After all, my father was constantly insisted that I couldn't walk around the neighborhood with my shirt off. But the boy were doing it...
A-a-aneeee way Jim Henson. A great and imaginative power.
A few highlights:

* Rowlf was originally built in 1962 for Purina Dog Chow
* Kermit first premiered on a show called Sam and Friends, a five min. puppet show in 1955
* In 1969 he made an experimental film called the Cube that aired on NBC(haven't seen this yet but plan on it)
* said about Henson's funeral "At the end of (the funeral)...Frank Oz was talking and he suddenly lifted up Kermit's puppet and started to sing this song called 'One Voice'. And it turned out that all the guys in the memorial service had brought their puppets with them, and they lifted them up, and when you turned around and looked backwards there were fifty puppets all singing. And Big Bird walked down the aisle of Saint Paul's Cathedral, and they all came forward and just this massive chorus of puppets all singing...It was an extraordinary thing..."

7 comments:

The Terribles said...
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daye said...

the comment about henson's funeral made me a little emotional... i too am a child of that time period... fraggle rock should be mandatory watching for all children... uncle traveling matt's observations of the universe alone is a thesis in the making...
the fraggles were my obsession... my grandmother would wake me every morning to watch the fraggles on hbo before walking to school (gone are the days of great hbo children's shows)... the sun had barely started to peek into our den while i ate my breakfast and chatted with my grandmother... and then it would begin and i would marvell at the wonder of fraggle rock... while my grandmother sat in the chair next to me, not really interested in fraggle rock, but obviously enjoying me enjoying it... i often think about those times...
it takes a special person to create a thing that lasts with you your whole life, and henson definitely was of that caliber...
thanks for sharing that your henson moment g.k.

HugeRash said...

my favorite sesame street moments would consist of these two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GOGNE0nWHk&search=sesame%20street%20grover

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Anonymous said...

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