Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BMW Stowaway
Saturday night about midnight as I was packing up some items in the car after a wonderful birthday party... I discovered this guy sitting in my back seat. If the intent was to un-nerve me and test the strength of my aging heart, it will take more than that. You can't scare a vampire with blood and you can't scare a ventriloquist with tools of their trade. So, I don't think my reaction was quite what as intended. I simply said, "Hello, John Henry." It was like greeting an old friend who was late to the party.

This very old figure belonged to Loring Campbell a magician ventriloquist and although I never met Loring, I certainly did know John Henry. I think Loring created John himself and he is complete with upper lip and spitter controls. Not sure how he was dressed as Loring's assistant but here he is dressed as a new boy for the Inquirer (the newpaper from Citizen Cane). Not evident in the picture is a political election button for Mayor Gaffney the mayor in the play "Harvey". Dressing like a news boy, the earliest incarnation of Charlie McCarthy, and wearing a button from a Broadway play about an imaginary character could only be the detailed work of my best friend Harry Anderson. I guess after you know someone as long as I have known Harry you can recognize their style.

John Henry now sits in the Helen Hayes chairs continually keeping vigil over the Tony. Under his mustard yellow shirt is the faded red valentine heart painted there and signed by his maker and partner Loring Campbell. It seems as if he was always there silently waiting a return to the stage. Not haunting at all, but very content to watch and wait. I guess it is up to me to write a Broadway show about this little guy.

Friends are the most valuable gift you can have. I have been blessed with so many not only of the human variety but the wooden as well.

As you were,


Anonymous said...

The Gaffney in "Harvey" was Judge Gaffney. There was, though, a Mayor Gaffney in New Jersey (Cape May) and an Australian Mayor Gaffney.
Does Harry have Cape May connections?
What a lovely gift. You DO have good friends.

Roomie said...

Mandy wants to know what all you got for your birthday at Lynn and Tom's....in the way of gifts....and she also wants to know if Harry came to your party and left his gift in the back seat of your car? If so, he certainly loves you to come all that way for the BIG 60!!! We would love to have been there....know it was grand...we would like a full report with pictures....can you manage that now that you're OLDer?
Carry on,