Kids today with their Xbox, why I tell you when I was a kid we had something better.
Don’t think it sounds like fun?
- Put your brother in RefrigeratorBox™ and roll it down the hill. (Offer not valid in oxygen breathing states.)
- Draw fins on RefrigeratorBox™ and fly to the moon.
- Carve a window in RefrigeratorBox™ with a steak knife and put on a puppet show. (Be sure to put the knife back in the drawer before someone misses it.)
I’m just scratching the surface here. It didn’t matter if the internet was slow or the power was out. Only boring people get bored. Now get out of the house into the sunshine and fresh air and entertain yourselves.
The 1960s may have been the golden era for puppets. Several popular artist got their start on vaudeville circuit or in early movie and television shows. Here are some of the examples I recall along with the year they first took the stage.
- Thunderbirds 1964
- Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop 1957
- Birth of Kermit the frog 1955
- Howdy Doody 1947- He had 48 freckles one for each state of the union.
- Rankin/Bass, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special 1964
- Godzilla 1954
- Disney’s Pinocchio 1940
- Wenceslao Moreno better known as Señor Wences, frequent guest on Ed Sullivan show.
- Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy 1937
In 1966 the then San Luis Obispo County Fair featured Baker’s Marionettes as part of the professional entertainment. He must have had something going, there are smiles on five of the nine faces in the photo as a giraffe in high heels, dress and hat struts across an elaborate stage consisting of a multi-colored rope. The 2010 Mid-State Fair had a puppet master on the main stage in the form of Jeff Dunham. In terms of modern puppet entertainers the field is less crowded and one of these is out of work with the folding of Pets.com.
- Veggie tales
- Woody, star of Toy Story 3 this year.
- Pets.com sock puppet
- Triumph the insult comic dog
‘Biggest little fair anywhere’
PASO ROBLES —The fast-moving chant of livestock auctioneer Vince Power, the odor of damp sawdust in the flower display building and the bustle of brightly dressed youngsters headed for the carnival are all a part of the “Biggest Little Fair Anywhere.”
Everyone, from cowboys to cooks, was in the act as the San Luis Obispo County Fair opened its fire-day run this week. The cowboys gathered at the livestock area while the cooks centered their attention on the home economics building at the opposite end of the fairgrounds.
The weather started off hot and the crowds small. But it has been getting cooler and the crowds bigger.
Fair manager Larry Lewin claims, “we’ve got something for everyone” and expects still more visitors this weekend. There’s rodeo tonight, a gymkhana Sunday afternoon and the county talent show Sunday night in addition to all the displays.
Or, you can pull up a bench under a tree and watch the people. You’ll see them all — ranchers from the far corners of the county, teen-agers in the latest styles, soldiers in uniform, mothers with babes in arms and rushing fair workers trying to keep things running smoothly.
It all comes to an end Sunday night; the sales of sheep and cattle raised by 4-H members, the rush and roar of carnival rides, the music of the marionette shows and the jingle of rodeo rider’s spurs.
Then work can start on the 1967 fair.
No doubt, some of the kids in these photos are now taking their kids to the fair. Did I miss listing your favorite puppet entertainer? Post a comment.