A friend of mine just told me they’re expecting a baby in late September. As a child of September 23rd, I did my duty to inform them that it is a stupid birthday, because you could have shared with Frodo and Bilbo on the 22nd, or Jim Freakin’ Henson on the 24th. Forewarned is forearmed.
Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be a muppet. When I was about eight and realized that wasn’t biologically possible, I fell in love with the idea of making them. I can’t remember just how many puppets were tucked into closets and sitting on book cases as I grew up, but I remember Chicky La Plume the garrulous mother hen, and Skippy the dragon best. I believe I was watching Ernie and Bert explore an Egyptian tomb when I realized how versatile, how adventurous, and how dream weaving characters became, just by donning a hat and coat.
Soon after college I found myself on a trip to the Czech Republic. My boyfriend’s mother devised for us to travel to the Museum of Puppets in Churdim, one of the largest collections of puppets in the world. I cried, I’ll admit it. I went through the whole museum twice, carefully drinking in all the details of these treasures.
Lately I’ve been dwelling on the ambition I’d always felt was an undercurrent to my projects. Whenever someone asks me what’s next, I say “I need to apply to the Henson Company already!” It may be that all I’ve ever wanted was to make Kermit a suit. I remember how my mother made the Jimbo puppet as a memorial to the contribution Jim Henson’s work had made to her children, and nearly every child she knew at the time. I would love to make my contribution as well.
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