May. 16th, 2017

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It is one of those occasions that one remembers exactly where one was when you heard the news. I was in the green room of the Yale Rep Theater on York St in New Haven, CT. To say I was devastated would to understate the kick in the gut when I found out. Jim Henson was dead and the world seemed to dim a bit.

If not for Jim Henson, I would not be making the kinds of puppets that I am known for. If I hadn’t been building those puppets, I would not have met Peter the way that we met and connected. If I had not met Peter, I would not have Caroline in my life in fact I doubt if I would be alive.

Because of Jim Henson, I have a crazy tribe that I belong to. We joking call each other doll wigglers because of Gonzo the Great asking Kermit what a puppet was.

Kermit: It’s a doll that’s made to look alive by wiggling strings or putting your hand in it.

Gonzo (thinks about it for a minute and then shakes his head): What a stupid idea! Who wants to watch dolls wiggle? I mean, I wouldn’t even do an act like that! Dolls wiggling, talk about boring. (Gonzo leaves)

Kermit (looking into camera): I didn’t have the heart to tell him.

That was from the Senor Wences episode of the Muppet Show.

I have made friends because I make puppets. I have interesting stories to tell because I make puppets. And I make puppets because of Jim and his body of work.

Henson’s work brought joy into my life at some pretty dark times. Gave me a reason to get to the next day and the next because I wanted to see the next episode or movie and sometimes holding onto to that kept me from letting go entirely.

So today I will work on puppets in honor of Jim Henson. I will create and make in his memory. I will proudly wiggle dolls for fun and profit.

I am grateful that I got to meet Jim Henson.


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