File puptcrit/puptcrit.0803, message 427


Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 17:01:34 -0700
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] impromptu puppet shows in trenches WW 1


After Thought:

Puppeteers lead colorful lives.

Bruce


>Hey Alan,
>
>Don't forget me. Remember  (we shared Army
>experiences being of the same vintage) I had the
>experience of doing puppets shows in 1957 while
>in the US Army in Ethiopia. I had the major
>distinction of being accused of "unAmericanism"
>when I put on a show using a GI who was an
>Anglophile who would only do his part with a
>cockney accent and wanted to restore the Catholic
>Austro Hungarian Monarrchy by trying to desert to
>Hungary during their revolt against  the Russians
>in the 50's. Puppets were deemed subversive at
>the time as my friends and family at the same
>time were  being washed down the steps of the the
>City Hall in San Francisco when HUAC came to
>town. I was in Ethopia serving as part of the
>Army Security Agency. I  was an Entertainment
>Specialist there. It led to my getting a General
>Discharge under Honoralbe Conditions, and seeing
>the inside of the psych ward where I realized I
>was saner then the idiots that were running the
>asylum. The Army for me was an asylum which has
>never really changed given todays machination in
>Iraq. Vive Les Marionettes
>
>
>Bruce Chessé
>
>
>
>
>
>
>>This is mainly for Anne Shaefer.
>>
>>Take a look at DOLLS & PUPPETS by Max von Boehn
>>which was a standard reference. I think Dover
>>reprinted the second half on puppets. (The first
>>part, is srictly on dolls and in the original
>>German version was in two volumes, combined into
>>one rather thick book in the first Engish
>>language editions).
>>
>>Towards the back of the PUPPETS part is a
>>chapter on trench puppets of WW I, which was
>>left out of at least one reprint version.
>>These trench puppets entertained the Kaiser's troops.
>>
>>While in army uniform, Paul McPharlin had a GI
>>marionette. A number of American puppeteer
>>served in Special Services, performing with
>>puppets to boost morale in WW II and the Korean
>>War. At least one puptcritter might share
>>experiences perhaps.
>>
>>After WW II in a refugee camp in Europe, a group
>>of Estonians somehow managed to create puppets
>>from pieces of clothing and other scarce
>>materials in wintertime.  I'm told that every so
>>often they'd hurry to the wood metal stove to
>>warm their cold hands enough to continue making
>>puppets. Those puppets I think still exist
>>somewhere in New Jersey. They printed a thin
>>pamphlet about the history of this puppet
>>adventure.
>>
>>If a puppeteer's life sometimes seems hard
>>today, it has been much harder in the past.
>>
>>The Athens Puppet Theater, a  Greek civilian
>>enterprise which began during WW II by artists
>>determined to provide something positive for
>>children of that day, lasted long enough to
>>celebrate their 25th Anniversary. There too,
>>puppets were made from scarce materials during
>>the war, and the Old Man of the Woods and a
>>mouse in my collection are very much on the gray
>>color scale, but they made a brave and positive
>>statement in a very dismal time.
>>
>>In 1979-80 at The Library of Congress I got to
>>look at some rare photos acquired by Allied
>>Troops in Germany in WW II, showing a German
>>puppet exhibit being vsited by Nazi officers.
>>(Those puppets had been made of readily obtained
>>materials in contrast to those by Greek and
>>Estonian puppet makers.)
>>
>>While I was at  Camp (sometimes Fort Chaffee)
>>Chaffee, Arkansas I planned to talk about puppet
>>making to a local girl scout group, so I made a
>>hand puppet head out of an old tennis ball, but
>>was transferred a week or two before that
>>scheduled event and only have a photo of the
>>puppet that misse its engagement with local
>>folks.
>>
>>I am pleased at reports that puppets are being
>>sent to Iraq. Every positive action is welcome
>>in difficult times.
>>
>>ALAN COOK
>>
>>
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Anne Schaefer
>>Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 7:35 AM
>>To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
>>Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Losing a BIG contract
>>
>>
>>On Mar 25, 2008, at 6:57 PM, Mathieu Ren=EF=BF=BD wrote:
>>>
>  >>  Surprisingly to most people who know me, I once was in the
>>>   "cadets", a form
>>>   of army for younger people, kind of like the boy scouts, but with
>>   > all the
>>>   army equipement, including the senseless insults and shouting.
>>>   As a bonus, the whole thing was a model of disorganisation. Couple
>>>   that with
>>>   weapons training, and it's a wonder no one's ever been shot...
>>>
>>
>>Hee hee - sorry, M - was not intending to impugn your manliness or
>>anything.  Visions of impromptu puppet shows in the trenches just
>>wandered through my mind...
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>>
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