File puptcrit/puptcrit.0801, message 193


To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 05:18:29 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Missing Puptcrit since Jan 9 + Johnny Faust postscript+


We still don't know why I am not getting Puptcrit since Jan 9, but it was the same time I asked to be deleted from a major spam distributor's alleged drawing for a free Panasonic TV.

So today at Malagosia's suggestion I have been getting caught up thru the puptcrit archives. Jim Gamble has caught up with 2000 posts. So he has outdone me, but I can relate to the process. 

Jim Gamble also contacted me by direct e-mail. I'm glad to see Jim back on puptcrit.

Thank you Dorlis Grubidge for more info on Johnny Faust. When we did the puppet exhibit at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Priebe Art Gallery) I did not have Johnny Faust heads of Hitler, Mussolii, Tojo (?) and don't recall ever seeing them.

Thanks for listing Johhny's three puppet imprints. I got  "Producing the Marionette Play. The Haunted House by Dart Bean" as a gift from the South Pasadena Public Library, but was not aware of the other two books--so it is  welcome "new" information for me.

Jim Menke remembered seeing ALICE IN PHILCOLAND performed by just one puppeteer--memory as Jim G has pointed out, can be tricky, but perhaps the second company was done by 1 person, but if so, I'd think it had a different script than the one I did with Johnny Faust & his wife Marion/Miriam. For the Mad Hatter's Tea Party scene we needed three puppeteers.

In the scene with the caterpillar smoking a waterpipe, my job was to blow cigarette smoke through a rubber tube---I had seen nicotine-addicted smokers, and did not wish to become one, so like Bill Clinton, I did not inhale. Wow, I have not thought about that part since the late 1940s.

At my first National Puppetry Festival 1948 in Oklahoma City, the business meetings resembled old-style political conventions' fabled smoke-filled rooms.

So many marionette performers, especially those doing night club work, smoked & drank more than was healthy. Even doctors & nurses had smoking rooms so puppeteers were in good company. My good friend Frank Paris died of Lung Cancer, which was part of the Tobacco Company legacy. I think he'd have lasted another 10 years if he'd been able to kick the nicotine sticks sooner. Sylvia Meredith (actress, nurse, puppeteer. longtime Friend of Frank) tried to get him to quit for years.


Johnny Faust's Peepsqueak the Mouse did narrate the story for "Philcoland"---Later, I acquired a Faust mouse (not as good as the one in Philcoland, but with a  plastic wood head which lasts longer than a rubber headed one.

I was told that the prop refrigerator for "Philcoland" was on the Faust's Chicago backporch  for years. 

Anyway, Johnny made great mice puppets.

While Johnny toured, he carried plaster molds, soaked them in motel bathtubs, then used the thinnest layer of plastic wood I ever saw used by any puppet maker. His reason was so the plastic wood head would dry enough, harden fast enough to survive frequent travel to the next booking site. It is a curious footnote.

I HAD heard about the Chicago basement flooding, and how it destroyed so much of Johnny's puppetry history. 

Hopefully, his importance will be remembered even without documentation. 

ALAN COOK

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