Puppetry and pasts…

The sun sets on another day…

Umm, I know there was a sunset up there somewhere, but I was laughing hard at how heavy the snow was and how my driveway was starting to look like the death star channels.

When I was a kid one of the best Christmases I ever had was when my mother brought home a box of broken toys. I know this probably seems weird to many people because a lot of the people I have met in life had really fantastic Christmases with lots of gifts and tons of things to do. My family was different. We had little in life and at Christmas it was never a huge Christmas and instead was fairly small. The broken toys offered possibilities.

the first two things I noticed were a skeleton marionette and a little Red Riding Hood Wolf marionette. Both were tangled and in bad shape. Obviously, they had been floor models or testers of some type and played with until they would work no longer. There were a variety of other toys in the box, but I took those two out fascinated by the idea of a marionette. I looked at how the mechanism worked and how everything was tied and put in place. Then I laid them out and one at a time I untied the strings and worked out the knots. It was very time consuming and at the time I was only 10 years old. Still, I had patience and continued for almost 3 days off and on. 1 by 1 the strings we’re straightened, and I retied them to their places on the control and the detachable bar.

The skeleton was unique as its head could be removed and controlled as though it were bouncing around on its own. It also had arm and leg controls allowing the different pieces to interact independently. This ability allowed it to be very flexible and as I’ve repaired it, I played over and over with the skeleton dropping its head and finally finding a way to put it back on. The Red Riding Hood had a reversible control that allowed it to flip over and be the Wolf as well. I was fascinated with this idea but far more interested in the skeleton.

As I thought about this today it was because I had a few other puppets on a book reading and enjoyed the articulation of the hand puppets. I suddenly missed my marionettes though that had been gone since I was 15. Lost in one of the dozen moves we had completed in my early life. the reason was simple. I was able to make a significant number of people laugh with the antics of my poor skeleton friend. There are few things more gratifying than helping people find laughter.

I get a kick out of all of these memories, but I enjoyed being in reality today and having some fun remind me of those good times. Do you remember something similar? Some fun memory that takes you back and lets you believe in excitement again? Was there something that makes you feel satisfied with what you’ve been through? If there is hold on to it and enjoy the ride.

So, as the sun sets on another day, give a few people some laughter. Give one person some laughter. Make yourself laugh. Find that path to happiness, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and giggle too…

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