File puptcrit/puptcrit.0909, message 169

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Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 15:15:43 -0400
Subject: [Puptcrit] American Puppet Theatre

John Dudley mentioned Schoharie Valley in New York.  Interestingly, I once 
gave an evening performance in a park (more like a reserve) in the town of 
Schoharie.  It went fairly well, but after the audience left and the sun was 
almost gone, my assistant Sandy Bellock and I realized that there were no 
lights on for us to be able to see.  What's more, we were suddenly inundated 
by thousands (and I mean thousands) of bats.  Unable to dismantle our 
equipment, we ran to seek shelter in a very large barn nearby. 
Unfortunately, there were even more bats inside, as this is where they 
nested!  We then spied a little cottage in the distance and ran to it with 
the bats still spinning around our heads.  We banged on the door, and an 
elderly woman answered (just like in a fairytale).  She laughed and pointed 
out with some kind of weird pride that this park was home to one of the 
largest bat populations in the state.  Then, she closed the door.

We ran back across the park to our equipment; I pulled the van up as close 
as possible, kept the engine running & the lights on, and somehow we packed 
up.  Of course, the bats would never have bitten us.  But they were in such 
a frenzy, they passed way too close to our faces for us not to care.

We drove a few miles to the home of our hostess (the head of the local arts 
council) where we were to spend the night.  She was not there but her 
boyfriend was, and he offered us something to drink.  Lemonade would have 
been nice, but all they had was beer and wine.  We declined.  Our hostess 
arrived and was oblivious to the bat situation (she was oblivious to many 
things), and eventually showed us to "our" room which contained one 
full-sized bed.  Sandy was still a college student at the time, and I 
pointed out that we were definitely not a couple.  So in the end, Sandy got 
the room and I slept on a worn out couch downstairs.  The next morning, 
there was no food for breakfast, so we found ourselves a nice diner in town.

Ah, how puptcrit can prompt the memories!  Now, back to work.

Robert Rogers 

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